After reading the article in Creative Loafing, called “Going Going”by Scott Henry, I got the feeling he was in fear of the Atlanta arts community disappearing. I really beg to differ.
I understand that ticket sales are down, and galleries have been forced to re think their plans but it doesn’t mean a dry up of our beloved scene. Maybe this severe change will reframe (pardon the pun) our visions.
When I first got here, back in 1993 there wasn’t anything here, the High, Faye Gold, Sandler-Hudson, and Nexus Comptemporary Art Center which is now the just the Comtemporary. There was the High of course, Alliance Theater, and the Fox Theater.
One of the reasons why I picked Atlanta, was because of the funky, bohemian, quirky art scene. Cities like Richmond, Asheville, Charleston and Nashville hadn’t started to flourish as of yet and maybe hadn’t if Atlanta hadn’t shown them the way.
So after a few years out of the art scene and I came back a couple of years ago, I found out the character that Atlanta once had was gone. The small community had gotten almost too big and I couldn’t find anyone. It was almost as if everyone that I knew had left town. Slowly I found folks but there wasn’t any of the charm. Even the music scene had gone despondent. I am wondering if Atlanta had gotten too big too soon.
To me, the city had a lot handed to us, the Olympics, the growth, the suburbs and back to downtown again. All for what, “Number One Southern City in Growth?” Ugh. No.
For once we are faced with something… something so big it’s small.
So what does a city like Atlanta do? A bunch of us creative souls need to think outside the box now. Maybe get more involved in our neighborhoods, communities and churches to explore our artistic sides with our friends. Life is not what it used to be now, and money doesn’t have to go to a swanky gallery and drink the swanky wine to get a sale and be the IT artist. All it takes is a house or a social hall or an Elk’s Lodge to hang out and share our creativity. Maybe those old garden clubs were onto something. Try imitating the old Paris salons and have a gallery party at your house.
So I say, rubbish to the Creative Loafing article and I think we as the surviving artists whom are going to be the victims, need to raise our own bars to create a new scene and when the economy comes around, then we will be ready to expand.
Oh and how about some media coverage on the local arts scene than covering something NYC or DC. WHO CARES! They have their own writers covering them.