In the coming months, Atlanta will be hosting a series of collections which will highlight the very best art it has to offer. This will be more than a simple matter of taste, but rather the collective tastes of some the city’s most time-honored and respected museums and galleries. From the drawings of art history’s masters to the group exhibitions of our contemporary, living masters, these selected shows each provide great variety.
“Top Drawer: Select Drawings from the High’s Collections”
High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree St. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309
Date: Through Jan. 4, 2015
The High Museum holds many works of art from all over the world and from many different periods in its permanent collection. This exhibition, which will run all the way into next year, is a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of works by masters and otherwise priceless pieces. Mary Cassatt, arguably America’s most famous female painter in history, will have her polished pastel work on display. Joining her work will be that of her friends Edgar Degas, Edward Hopper and Ellsworth Kelly, among many others. Their works on paper are drawn in graphite, crayon and pencil, which gives a useful glimpse into their process. The High Museum is right to remind the public that these are, of course, finished and complete, however the intimacy of seeing the artists’ hand in individual lines and strokes is a special sight, indeed.
“AIGA 100: A Century of Design”
Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
1315 Peachtree St. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309
Date: Aug. 17 – Oct. 5, 2014
AIGA is celebrating 100 years of graphic art with memorable commercial pieces from its vast archive. Graphic design students will recognize names like Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser and Stefan Sagmeister, but everyone will recognize their iconic works such as Glaser’s “I HEART New York.” If the fact that a single auteur could have such a dramatic impact on society through design surprises you, this exhibition will be a useful chance to see how much design has changed through the years. AIGA, which was originally called The American Institute of Graphic Arts, will chronicle both monuments of design history as well as the actual creation of the field of study as we know it today.
“Exquisite Exhibit: Parlour Games”
Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
75 Bennett St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30309
Date: Sept. 13 – Oct. 11, 2014
“Exquisite Corpse” is a common drawing game, in which players take turns completing the same drawing, blind to the other’s progress. This produces unexpected results which defy traditional strategies of style and representation. Meanwhile, MOCA is adding its unique spin on the idea: “Instead of using paper, the work is installed directly on the gallery walls.” Ten years’ worth of the MOCA’s Studio artists will transform the museum into one big canvas and the opening reception or “Annual Art Party” will be held on Saturday, September 13, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
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Beep Beep Gallery
696 Charles Allen Drive N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30308
Date: Aug. 2 – Sept. 6, 2014
Cozy Atlanta art shop, Beep Beep Gallery, will soon be debuting “Continuum.” According to its press release, “Continuum is a collection of watercolors, painted by S. Patricia Patterson and Sanithna Phansavanh, that explores past, present and future connections.” Inspiration aside, their work is illustration influenced with plenty of recognizable human forms. Patterson is consistently using patterns in her painting which bring to mind printmaking, while Phansavanh borrows both classic and American icons.
Ben Venom Solo Exhibition
Get This Gallery
1037 Monroe Drive N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30306
Date: Oct. 4, 2014 – Nov. 29, 2014
Ben Venom is an artist who originally came from the Atlanta area (Marietta) and has returned from San Francisco to show off his skillfully made and aesthetically punk quilts. Venom makes heraldic creatures made of “Heavy Metal” and “Punk” band t-shirts that are sewn into large-scale work. The quilts seem to be filled with fun contradictions. His work is lovingly sewn in the tradition of historically female handicraft yet filled with over-the-top macho imagery. Still, once the audience looks past the surface, there are more wrinkles to discover. For instance, the punk tradition has always been largely a “DIY” movement, and according to the artist, his artwork always remains functional. Even if they are hanging in a gallery, the quilts could always provide warmth should the need arise.
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With a BFA in Digital Media, Sean Mills has worked for design firms with clients across the United States. He has worked as an illustrator and visual designer, and has shown paintings in juried exhibitions. He currently works as a studio artist and writer in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found at Examiner.com.