Institutional Exhibit Spaces


The category "institutional exhibit spaces" refers to what are known as "alternative spaces." The oldest of these were seeded by the National Endowment of the Arts grant programs in the 1970s, which modelled a quasi-institutional form of visual arts exhibition space. The scene in Atlanta is very much more hybrid, and many of the recent adventurous exhibition spaces do not rely on any public monies. Here we have ended up putting a lot of eggs that don't fit in other baskets.


A Short History


In Atlanta, art turned a corner in the 1960s making it easier for contemporary art to set up shop in the local scene. Until that point the Atlanta Art scene rarely featured contemporary artists. The catalyst to this beginning change was Gudmund Vigtel becoming director of the High Museum. This was followed by the opening of the first contemporary gallery by David Heath named the Heath Gallery. Vigtel, through the '70s, exhibited internationally known contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, Hans Haacke, Eva Hesse, Robert Morris, and Claes Oldenburg, and a string of experimental artist to show at the High. Other museums in Atlanta followed suit, and more contemporary exhibits began to be seen in Atlanta. In 1973 Jim Frazer and John McWilliams set up the Nexus Gallery to feature local photographers. Nexus later absorbed the alternative gallery run by the Atlanta Art Worker Coalition. In 1978 Judith Alexander set up the Alexander Gallery to show southern folk art. The steady growth in contemporary exhibition spaces in Atlanta involved not only galleries, museums, and local college art departments but Atlanta also saw new magazines of contemporary art information. David Heath later started the art journal Contemporary Art/Southeast. The Atlanta Art Worker Coalition also began sending out a newsletter. In 1981 Art Papers was established and quickly grew to be a nationally known contemporary art magazine. Small changes made in the 1960's allowed the contemporary art scene to grow exponentially in Atlanta and have the influence it has today.



Alternative Art Spaces


youngblood_copy.jpg Youngblood Gallery

eyemini.jpg Eyedrum

conticon.jpg Atlanta Contemporary Art Center | Atlanta College of Art Gallery

tatoo.gif All or Nothing Tattoo

We go Visit...


bottlecon.jpg A foray and exclusive behind the scene look at The Contemporary & Eyedrum April 14th, 2006

contem_copy.gif A foray to the "Really, Really Alternative Spaces" panel discussion at the Contemporary, April 6th, 2006


Art in Religious Communities


Religion has always been a large and influential part of Atlanta's culture, and religion and philosophy are growing and diversifying. Many practices and centers for worship, meditation, and sanctuary are opening their doors to the world of the arts. This section covers forays, links and some current events in Atlanta's religious and philosophical scenes.

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