3 Shows You Need to See at Atlanta Art Week

Above:  Emmanuel Massillon

As the 2023 Global Art Calendar approaches its conclusion, we find ourselves amidst the vibrant season of Atlanta Art Week. Conceived in 2022 by writer and art consultant, Kendra Walker, Atlanta Art Week stands as a celebration of artists and the various art establishments nestled within the Atlanta metropolitan area. Furthermore, it presents an invaluable opportunity to delve into the intricacies of art collection and grasp a deeper understanding of the financial aspects inherent to the world of art.

The excitement radiating from the community during this event is truly invigorating. It reflects a collective effort to not only harness their geographical and cultural uniqueness but also to capitalize on the rich historical legacy of Atlanta. Atlanta has persistently held its reputation as a veritable Black Mecca—a place where individuals of Black descent in fields spanning business, the arts, film, music, and sports come together to forge connections, collaborate, and flourish, all while preserving their stake in a city renowned for its leadership by brilliant Black minds.

However, Atlanta Art Week is far from being exclusively dedicated to Black artists. It serves as an inclusive platform, welcoming creatives from all backgrounds to exhibit their work. This inclusivity adds an extra layer of excitement to the event, making it a genuinely diverse and all-encompassing celebration of artistry.

For those fortunate enough to find themselves in the Atlanta metropolitan this week, we highly recommend attending three particular exhibitions before bidding adieu. Furthermore, our guide to Black art galleries provides a comprehensive list of spaces that merit your consideration for exploration and art acquisition. Some of these galleries will proudly serve as official venues for this year’s Atlanta Art Week festivities. You can explore these locations, as well as others, by following the links provided below.

Emmanuel Massillon: Some Believe It To Be Conspiracy | UTA Artist Space

UTA Artist Space Atlanta presents Some Believe It To Be Conspiracy, a solo exhibition by rising conceptual artist Emmanuel Massillon on view from September 22 through October 21, 2023. The exhibition features 13 new sculptures that delve into conspiracies deeply impacting the Black community, including mass incarceration, the drug epidemic, manipulation of Black culture, and distrust of the medical system. Massillon draws inspiration from his upbringing in Washington D.C. and incorporates found objects like bullet shells and wood to create thought-provoking connections between race, identity, and culture.  Massillon will create a semi-permanent earth artwork using tire tracks from the local dirt bike community, inspired by African fractals and crop circles.

In Unity as in Division | Johnson Lowe Gallery

Masela Nkolo, Remember Me , 2022

In Unity as in Division, a group exhibition featuring new works from seven emerging artists at Johnson Lowe Gallery. On view from October 6, 2023 to November 11, 2023, the exhibition showcases the works of Demetri Burke, Danielle Deadwyler, Leia Genis, Wihro Kim, Masela Nkolo, Sergio Suarez, and Ellex Swavoni, continuing the gallery’s commitment to championing artists from Atlanta and the Global South. In Unity, as in Division is a testament to Atlanta’s pioneering artists who are actively shaping the city’s artistic terrain. Rather than adhering to a collective theme or narrative, Johnson Lowe Gallery dedicated several months to closely collaborating with each of the artists featured to cultivate seven solo micro-exhibitions, capturing their current conceptual, philosophical and creative focus. In Unity, as in Division is on view from October 6, 2023 through November 11, 2023, coinciding with the second edition of Atlanta Art Week in October 2023

Shirley Woodson, In my Reverie with Mayola, collage2015

Shirley Woodson | Connections: A Key to Something Else | September Gray Gallery

September Gray Gallery proudly introduces the captivating artwork of Shirley Woodson, a native of Detroit. At the remarkable age of 85, Woodson stands as a formidable artistic force, with her creations gracing the collections of prestigious institutions like the Detroit Institute of Arts, Studio Museum of Harlem, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Art in Boston, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Florida A and M University.

This exhibition serves as a poignant tribute to the distinguished career of this esteemed artist and elder. On display, you will encounter an array of her remarkable paintings and collages, offering a compelling glimpse into the world of one of our most revered artistic talents.

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