June 12, 2019

Athens Art Roundup: A Guide to This Week's Top Receptions

Art Notes

"Blue Squiggle Bouquet" by Ally White in "Effervescence" at ATHICA

A handful of exciting exhibitions opened in Athens recently, and several more are yet to come. At the Lyndon House Arts Center, “Raucous” shares how five contemporary artists explore the gender dynamics in the world around them, while “A Century of Art: The Athens Art Association, 1919–2019” takes a look backwards at figures who have helped shape the local arts community into what it is today. “Cut and Paste: Works of Paper” and “Paper Flowers by Heidi Stabler” demonstrate the astounding, unpredictable forms paper can take when pushed to its limits.

Over at the Georgia Museum of Art, “Women of the WPA” and “Larger Than Life: Mural Studies” offer a glimpse into how President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs increased artist employment and public works of art during the Great Depression. Howard’s opened a show of gelatin silver prints by Mo Costello, while cohabiting gallery Tif Sigfrids debuted works by Becky Kolsrud, Jasmine Little and Amy Pleasant. The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation opened its own new exhibitions too, “A Room of Their Own: OCAF Summer Installation Invitational” and “Sense of Touch: Fiber Arts by Shirley Chambliss.”

Now that you know of the parties you missed, here are the ones to pencil in for this week.

Spotlight 2019: A recurring exhibition series at the Gallery at Hotel Indigo, “Spotlight” is an opportunity to dive deeper into the practices of a few artists by viewing more individual works by each person than traditional group shows can typically accommodate. The fourth installment delves into the worlds of Jeanne Ann Davidson, Maggie Davis and Elizabeth McFalls.

Davidson, a longtime Athenian who is retired from IT services, makes small works that pack an expressive punch of color and shape. Atlanta-based artist Davis’ paintings focus on the narrative potential of abstraction, allowing each vertically oriented splotch of color to form conversations with each other across the surface of the canvas. A print media professor at Columbus State University, McFalls recently completed the yearlong Artists in Residence in Motherhood program, influencing her work to incorporate themes of parenthood and balance.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 13 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. “Spotlight 2019” will remain on view through Sunday, Sept. 15.

Effervescence: Traditionally dedicated to showcasing artists who are in the early stages of their careers and comparatively new to gallery settings, “Emerges” is an annual exhibition at the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art that in recent years has also offered an opportunity for emerging curators to develop their practices. This year’s curator, Kayla King, is a current undergraduate student at UGA studying art history and studio art, who has also been active with ATHICA for over three years as a volunteer and intern.

For “Effervescence: Emerges XII,” she selected five women, most of whom are fairly recent art-school graduates yet already have professional practices underway. Each of the artists caught King’s eye with their imaginative, process-driven works that layer colors, textures and patterns into abstracted, energetic forms. Christine Bush Roman’s recent series of paintings have loosely drawn shapes that speak to the obsession and distortion of reality, while Ally White’s palette injects unexpected highlights of color that establish a sense of fantasy. Erin McIntosh’s body of work centers around biomorphic shapes that appear as boldly colored microcosms. Drema Montgomery’s artwork often feels sickly sweet, incorporating feminine and childhood imagery into fleshy, suffocating interiors. Hannah Ehrlich, an Atlanta-based textile artist, creates wall-bound tapestries of abstracted landscapes reflecting human emotions.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 15 from 6–9 p.m., and the exhibition will also be celebrated during Experimental Music at Sunset, an evening featuring performances by Annie Leeth, Peter Webb and Alex Livaditis, on Thursday, June 20 beginning at 6:30 p.m. A closing reception will include a curator and artist talk on Sunday, July 21 at 4 p.m.

The Middening: Flicker Theatre and Bar is currently hosting refreshingly chaotic, texturally alluring creations by Ed Edderson, Madison Sparks and Pete Though throughout the month of June. A multi-sensory event called “The Middening” will kick off with an artist reception on Saturday, June 15 at 8 p.m. In addition to performances by the exhibition’s three visual artists, the night features contributions from Keller Berry, Grant Marshall, Chase Merritt, Ryan Lambert, Chelsea Wildflower and Loftin Weyler that will kick off around 10 p.m.

“This show will be like the Voltron or Megazord combination of Athens' and Atlanta's weirdest multimedia artists,” says Edderson. “There will be music, dance, song, animation, video, PowerPoint, sketch comedy, peace and violence, all rolled into one giant middening burrito.”

Without giving away any surprises, you should know that ponchos will be provided.