High Museum Showcases Atlanta’s Diversity Through its Drawings


– The High Museum has always been involved with, and engaged with,
artists in Atlanta– from the very beginning. In fact, the modern and
contemporary collections were founded by curators–or
at that time, the director of the Museum–acquiring work from regional shows. So for decades, the
collection really consisted of work that was made
by artists in Atlanta and in the Southeast in general. So when I arrived at the
Museum, the thought was to somehow reignite that commitment to local artists, and one way to do it for me was to think about drawing, because drawing is a very intimate form of art making. So I
started doing studio visits with artists in the city– Atlanta metro area– and quickly came to realize that so many artists were making exciting work, incredibly relevant work, engaged with ideas and
topics that were not only about living in the
South and in our context but living in the world. The first iteration of what is now a three-part series was called Drawing Inside the Perimeter, which was really intended
to provide an overview of contemporary art practice
in the city at that time. The next iteration was more ambitious because we started to
think about what was going on outside the city proper
and what was happening in Athens and Savannah and
further afield from the city. And so that exhibition was much larger. Of Origins and Belongings,
Drawn from Atlanta aims to demonstrate how these six artists illustrate
the American immigration story through their own unique experiences. And our city is so incredibly diverse, and art making–specifically
drawing–is such an interesting mode of exchange. From one studio to the next, the artists I
met–their work was both informed by and enriched by their own
unique individual experiences and the different cultures
that they were reared in or came from. And by doing so, demonstrate to our audience how rich and
diverse our city really is. (contemplative music)

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