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Past Event January 11, 2018 / 7:00pm – 9:00pm
We are pleased to announce six exhibition openings:
Kamrooz Aram | Joe Minter | Sable Elyse Smith | Alex C. Kerr | Tau Lewis | Pasaquan
Join us for a rendition of a Pasaquan opera to be performed at our exhibition opening. “Eddie’s Stone Song: Odyssey of the First Pasaquoyan,” brings together the visual, musical and theatrical arts to portray the life of Eddie Owens Martin, also known as the self-anointed “Saint EOM” and Pasaquan’s founder. Composed by James Ogburn, a resident artist at Pasaquan, the opera explores the self-taught artist’s journey from his upbringing as a sharecropper’s son to his life in New York to his return to Georgia to create Pasaquan.
Performance will begin at 7:30pm.
Librettist: Scott Wilkerson
Soprano: Michelle Murphy DeBruyn
Stage Direction: Becky Becker
Pianist: Mengyao Sun
Costume design: Kimberly Garcia.
Video Production: Charles Fowler
We are also pleased to announce Sonya Yong James as featured studio artist on the Studio Artist Program wall.
The opening reception will be held in conjunction with Contemporary Cocktails, drinks by our Mixologist in Residence, Amanda Sutton. Admission is free. Cash/credit bar.
Please RSVP with the link above or click here.
Kamrooz Aram was born in 1978 in Shiraz, Iran, and currently lives in Brooklyn. He received an MFA from Columbia University in 2003 and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001. He has shown internationally and nationally, including solo exhibitions at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium; Green Art Gallery, Dubai; The Suburban, Chicago; LA><ART, Los Angeles; and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams. Aram’s work has been shown in many group exhibitions, including Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, 2014; the Busan Biennale, 2006; Greater New York2005, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2005; and the Prague Biennale I, 2003. Public collections that include his work are The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; and M+, Hong Kong. He has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Courtesy of the artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai
Joe Minter, Sr (born c. 1942) is a retired construction worker and “outsider” artist who created his “African Village in America” at his home and an adjoining vacant lot at 912 Nassau Street near Shadow Lawn Memorial Park in the Woodland Park neighborhood of Birmingham. The African Village in America was begun in 1988 after Minter received a vision from God. The result, which is being continually enlarged, is a densely-packed art environment consisting of sculptures, monuments, signs, plantings and totems. The primary themes involve African-American history, particularly in Birmingham. Specific installations memorialize the 1963 church bombing and Martin Luther King, Jr’s stay in the Birmingham City Jail. He includes references to the spirits of African warriors looking over their descendants, and the achievements of African-Americans in numerous fields. Alongside the themes of achievement and loss are constant Biblical references and words of praise and thanks to God. These messages are distinct from William Rice’s “cross garden” in Prattville in that they favor praise and respect for God and creation rather than fiery appeals for salvation.
Sable Elyse Smith has performed at the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, Eyebeam, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. Her work has also been screened at Birkbeck Cinema in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries, London, Artist Television Access, San Francisco, and MoMA Ps1, New York. Her writing has been published in Radical Teacher, Selfish, Studio Magazine and with Recess Art’s Critical Writing Fellowship. She is currently working on her first book. Smith has received grants & fellowships from Creative Capital, the Queens Museum, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Franklin Furnace Fund, and Art Matters. She recently received the 2017 Emerging Artist Grant in New York City from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and was named a 2018 Artist-in-Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Alex C. Kerr (b. 1989, Norfolk, VA) lives and works in Atlanta, GA. He received his BFA from the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University in 2015. His work examines contemporary notions surrounding vanity and status in popular culture.
Tau Lewis (b. 1993) is a Jamaican-Canadian artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. A self-taught sculptor, Lewis combines methods of construction such as hand carving, sewing and assemblage to create simulations of living things. She considers the history and symbolism of each material, exploring the political boundaries of nature, identity and authenticity. Her work is bodily and organic, with an explicit strangeness and subtle morbidity. Her current practice relies heavily on her surrounding environment; she constructs sculptural portraits using found objects, repurposed materials and live plants sourced from urban and rural landscapes. She connects these acts of repurposing and collecting with diasporic experience. Her portraits are recuperative gestures that counter persistent tendencies to erase or peripheralize marginalized artists and narratives within Canadian art and history. Lewis has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, NADA Miami and New Museum, New York. She has received support from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council. Recent and forthcoming exhibition sites include: Atlanta Contemporary, Shrine Gallery, New York, COOPER COLE, Toronto, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Oakville Galleries, Toronto, and The Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ont.
Eddie Owens Martin, a self-taught Southern artist, drew inspiration from many colorful cultures to develop the 7-acre, internationally recognized visionary art environment known as Pasaquan.
Michelle Murphy DeBruyn is an artist-teacher dedicated to the highest level of musical performance and the encouragement of young vocalists. Ms. DeBruyn is a highly accomplished performer, pedagogue, and musical director, which is supported by awards in each area of specialty. She now serves as an Associate Professor of Music in Voice at Columbus State University. Although at home in all major musical styles, Ms. DeBruyn has been praised for her interpretation of 20th and 21st Century English art song. An active recitalist, she is currently in demand as a collaborator in small ensembles of contemporary work. In the past few years she has premiered new works by James Ogburn, including a monodrama opera Eddie’s Stone Song: Odyssey of the First Pasaquoyan, and presented works by Ricardo Muldoon-Zohn, Federico Garcia-De Castro, Ingrid Stölzel, Andy Akiho, George Crumb, and Angela Schwickert. She has collaborated on musical theatre productions at collegiate, high school, and community levels, most notably several productions with the CSU Theatre Department. Ms. DeBruyn was a semi-finalist in the NATS Artist Award competition in 2006, recipient of a NATS Emerging Leader Award in 2010, the College of the Arts Regents Teaching Award in 2016, and the Columbus State University College of the Arts Teacher Award in 2013. As of March 2017, Dr. DeBruyn has completed her Advance Yoga Teaching Certification and is teaching yoga classes and workshops targeting the special needs of musicians and performers. Dr. DeBruyn completed both a Masters of Music (2002) and Doctorate of Musical Arts (2005) in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.
Since 2016, Amanda has acted as brand manager and taproom director for Golda Kombucha, Georgia’s first full-scale kombucha brewery. She moved to Atlanta in 2017 in order to help design a bar program for the new Golda Kombucha taproom, opening at Lee and White in the West End in Spring 2018. The bar will feature all of Golda’s kombucha flavors on draft and an array of signature kombucha cocktails, as well as gelato/kombucha floats and vegan small plates.
Sonya Yong James is a sculptor and multi-media artist whose work for the past several years has focused on the exploration of the idea of physical devotion and ritual experienced through the process of repetitive labor intensive making. The sculptures utilize animal hair, including sheep wool and horse hair. Her current work is focused on the duality of form representing opposing sensations and active emotional tensions. This is shown by contrasting visual textures such as gentleness and violence, animal and human, and beauty and the abject. She is influenced by the landscapes of the South, personal narrative, and the history of mourning in America.
James was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She received a BFA in Printmaking from Georgia State University in 2000 where she focused on etching and sculpture. James has exhibited nationally for the past twenty years and has been the recipient of several grants, awards, and residencies. In 2013, she curated an exhibition for the Hudgens Center for the Arts entitled Repetition and Ritual: New Sculpture in Fiber that travelled to the Minnesota Museum of American Art. She is currently in a traveling exhibit originating at the Muskegon Museum of Art that is considered an international survey of innovators in the field entitled Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge.
LocationGallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3, Gallery 4, Gallery 5, Chute Space, Sliver Space
January 11, 2018 – April 1, 2018
January 11, 2018 – April 1, 2018
January 11, 2018 – February 4, 2018
Sable Elyse Smith
Sable Elyse Smith
January 11, 2018 – February 18, 2018
Alex C. Kerr
Alex C. Kerr
January 11, 2018 – March 4, 2018
January 11, 2018 – March 11, 2018
April 12 / 6:00pm
Meditate + Create
Atlanta Contemporary hosts a session of mindfulness-based activities to inspire awareness, creativity, and healing for everyone.
April 15 / 7:00pm
Redaction of Archival Materials
Adam Forrester manifests a physical representation of the notion of selective memory by interacting with formally confidential archival materials reflecting the hidden history of his hometown.
April 17 / 12:00pm
Deeply Rooted, Cultured, and Silenced
Jose Villalobos Performance and Talkback
Jose Villalobos virtually screens their performance Deeply Rooted, Cultured, and Silenced (2021) followed by a talk back with curator Dr. Jordan Amirkhani.