atlanta artist | WABE 90.1 FM

atlanta artist

Jason Travis

You’ve probably seen Barry Lee's bright illustrations in Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine, and on billboards and murals across the city. Artist Barry Lee recently visited WABE and spoke with "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes about his colorful and often humorous work.

Lee has been drawn to art from an early age.

"My dad bought me a Playskool easel, when I think I was about 3 years old. And I immediately became hooked on that," he said.

And now as an established artist, he finds people see past his appearance.

Courtesy of Wonderroot

Local arts nonprofit WonderRoot's mission is to unite artist and community. Their recent initiative "Percolate" did that in a very literal way. In partnership with last week’s Facing Race conference, the organizers paired up 100 artists and 100 activists to go on coffee dates, where they were given a tool kit to aid them in discussions about racial justice.

Courtesy of Chris Condon

The Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System has just finished Phase I of a major capital overhaul. That has included building eight new libraries, all of which include commissioned public art pieces through Fulton County's Arts in Public Places Resolution, which says that one percent of all capital funding must go towards installing and maintaining public art.

Fulton County commissioned artist Chris Condon to create work for the East Roswell Branch, which opened to the public in February 2015. His project “New Growth Forest” brings the outdoors indoors.

Courtesy of Atlanta Contemporary

As a mentor, professor and artist, Larry Walker has made his mark. He is the latest recipient of the Atlanta Contemporary’s Nexus Award for his contributions to contemporary art in Atlanta.

Ranging from landscapes to collage, Walker has presented his work in more than 40 solo and 200 group exhibitions since 1971. His work is also in permanent collections across the country.

Gabbie Watts / WABE

Perhaps you’ve seen artist Kyle Brooks’ work in a gallery, but more likely, you’ve seen it on the side of the road.

Reminiscent of Southern folk artists, his work features brightly colored animals and creatures he has imagined. And almost all of these critters have big eyes and smiles on their faces. Under his moniker BlackCatTips, he adorns the Atlanta landscape with his street poems and murals.

Gabbie Watts / WABE

While Joe Barry Carroll made a name for himself on the basketball court, he is now off the court and rebounded into in wealth management, philanthropy and the arts.

An artist himself, Carroll recently opened his home to seven artists for a four-week residency program, called the Carroll House. The artists from Germany, the United States, the Bahamas and Venezuela each had their own unit inside the house and access to the surrounding property to create their art.

Naomi Lavender

Scrolling through the FM dial, there is plenty of static in between stations. But, in the right place at the right time, the sounds of one Atlanta artist might be heard.

That artist is Meredith Kooi. She is also a Ph.D. student at Emory University, and she is doing a lecture and performance called “Why Go Terrestrial: How Radio Can Benefit You and Your Life” at the Atlanta Zine Fest this Saturday.

Eleanor Dixon Stecker

Courtroom artist Jane Rosenberg got a lot of Internet hate in August 2015. She had drawn football superstar Tom Brady at the “Deflategate” trial, where the New England Patriots were accused of tampering with footballs used in a championship game.

According to Internet commenters, Rosenberg did not make Brady pretty enough. Tweets compared the courtroom depiction to the White Walkers from “Game of Thrones,” E.T. and Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

Dana Haugaard with his sculpture and sound piece "No Here More Than Here" in his studio at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Myke Johns

Things are about to get considerably noisier at one Atlanta art gallery. This week, artist Dana Haugaard opens “No Here More Than Here,” a sound and sculptural installation at the Mint Gallery. 

In the exhibit, viewer's voices are amplified and used to vibrate a metal water table, creating ripples and patterns. It invites the audience to actually have a physical effect on the artwork.

Gabbie Watts/WABE

Over the weekend, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center opened three new exhibitions and a new chapter for the museum.

“On Tuesday, Sept. 1, we’re very excited to announce our free admission,” said Atlanta Contemporary Executive Director Veronica Kessenich. “Admission was $8, which is not cost prohibitive, but it is a barrier to entry, particularly for our neighborhood. We want more outreach to our neighborhood communities.”

Stephanie Lennox / WABE

Atlanta-based artist Bethany Collins is the recipient of the 2015 Hudgens Prize.

The award, now in its third year, is intended to elevate the visual arts in Georgia. Winners receive a $50,000 cash award and the opportunity to have a solo exhibition. 

"My work very much concerns issues of race and identity and language, and the inability of language to actually speak to those former two topics," Collins explained.

"How much can language capture about race and identity?"

Courtesy of Mike Stasny

Atlanta artist and musician Mike Stasny has made monsters out of furniture and has turned a gallery into a bar.

“So my grandfather was a taxidermist, so when I was growing up playing with Legos and other things, I would play with his unfinished taxidermy projects,” he said. 

That gruesome and skeletal influence of the unfinished taxidermy animals can be seen in his monster sculptures, which are made out of whatever materials are available.

Courtesy of Sean Fahie

Leonardo DaVinci was the Renaissance Man of the Renaissance, but Atlanta has its own Renaissance Man of now. 

"Creative Loafing" named Sean Fahie Atlanta’s “Best Local Renaissance Man” in 2014, and it’s duly given. He’s a painter and illustrator. He’s written two books. He’s a graphic designer, and when he arrived in Atlanta seven years ago, he was very involved with the hip-hop music scene as an MC.  

He hosts a radio show and curates parties at some of Edgewood Avenue’s raucous bars and clubs. He calls himself “a purveyor of fun” and "grandmaster lurker."