Despite the perpetual downer of a pandemic and the curve ball it has thrown the city’s cultural offerings, there are nevertheless bright spots on the Atlanta art scene this fall. Some of the enduring pillars of the Atlanta gallery scene are run by women: Marcia Wood Gallery, Camayuhs, Jackson Fine Art, Whitespace, Sandler Hudson and Poem 88. And this fall, women artists — especially women artists of color — have the spotlight in solo and group exhibitions, many of them also curated by women. There’s also a sense of renewal in exhibitions that examine ideas of the natural world, home, community, art history and the alchemic power of familiar objects and materials turned into art.
‘Wild Chrysalis Bloom.’ Atlanta sculptor Zipporah Camille Thompson won a prestigious national Artadia award last year and continues her use of unique materials to create otherworldly collisions of the familiar and strange. Using found objects including fabric, hair, bones, wasps nests, ceramics, antlers and other items, Thompson creates tapestry-like installations that embrace nature, chaos and exude a mystical energy. Sept. 11-Oct. 23. Free. Whitespace Gallery, 814 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-688-1892, whitespace814.com.
‘Cave.’ Georgia-based artist Andrea Clark exhibits her ceramic-centric works in a solo show at Marcia Wood Gallery, which has relocated from Castleberry Hill to the gallery nexus of Buckhead’s Miami Circle. Using ceramics in novel ways, Clark will exhibit ceramic light-objects and ceramic-based drawings created by building up layers of liquid clay on paper displayed in charming ceramic frames. Like many of the artists showing work this fall, Clark demonstrates an unfettered imagination that allows new forms to take hold. Sept. 9-Oct. 16. Free. Marcia Wood Gallery, 764 Miami Circle, NE, Suite 150, Atlanta. 404- 827-0030, www.marciawoodgallery.com.
‘Kimberly Binns: HomeFront.’ A timely meditation, considering our COVID-dictated isolation, on home and how it has served as both a source of security and comfort for Black Americans, but also something denied them by institutional impediments to home ownership. This solo show digs into social issues made especially relevant during the pandemic. Through Sept. 11. Free. Poem 88, 1123 Zonolite Road, Suite 8C, Atlanta, 404-735-1000, www.poem88.net.
‘Underfoot.’ Based in Brooklyn and Atlanta, Adrienne Elise Tarver creates work that encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, photography and video. Her lush, verdant drawings and paintings often suggest a feminist spin on Gauguin and conventional renderings on the female form. In “Underfoot,” curated by Camayuhs gallery owner Jamie Steele, Tarver examines origin stories including the often difficult, unclear history of Black Americans and a longed-for connection to place. Sept. 18-Jan. 9. Atlanta Contemporary, 535 Means St. NW, Atlanta. 404-688-1970, atlantacontemporary.org.
‘the mud at our feet.’ A two-person show of emerging artists Sarah Nathaniel and Komikka Patton, “the mud at our feet” is organized by Atlanta artist and curator Makeda Lewis and features large-scale installation work, illustration and collage. Both artists share a stark, earthy palette of black and white and have a tactile, seductive appeal to their work. Centered on ideas of community and the individual that seem more relevant than ever after a period of profound isolation, curator Lewis poses the question: “In the face of global anxieties and devastation, how can we overcome the instinct to isolate and detach in favor of building community and increasing the chance of not only survival, but a sustainably joyful life for ourselves and future generations?” Aug. 19-Sept. 23. Free. Swan Coach House Gallery, 3130 Slaton Drive NW, Atlanta. 404-266-2636, www.swangallery.org.
More of our fall arts preview
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Atlanta theaters reopening for fall
Women artists shine in visual arts
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com