Atlanta Contemporary exhibits works from ‘Real Atlanta’ creatives at annual Art Party

Event begins season of exhibits focusing on local artists’ imaginings
Atlanta Contemporary is opening up its full campus for the annual Real Atlanta Art Party on June 22, 2024 to showcase the range of original works and performances exhibited in the space.

Credit: Stanchez Kenyata

Credit: Stanchez Kenyata

Atlanta Contemporary is opening up its full campus for the annual Real Atlanta Art Party on June 22, 2024 to showcase the range of original works and performances exhibited in the space.

Atlanta Contemporary’s signature annual fundraiser Real Atlanta Art Party, an event presenting the various ways artists and communities experience Atlanta, returns Saturday.

The creative campus, located in West Midtown, is transforming into an interactive sampler of musical, visual and performance art. Attendees can go through six galleries, a pavilion, a secret garden, and an atrium to observe special presentations and original art.

Floyd Hall, Atlanta Contemporary’s executive director since January, says Real Atlanta Art Party is a one-stop shop to experience public and community-based art offered year-round at the venue.

“There are so many versions of Atlanta that people talk about,” Hall said. “The arts scene is always a reflection of the people. It’s about giving people a real experience through the arts in Atlanta and a chance to turn up.”

Patrons hang outside Atlanta Contemporary's 2023 Art Party event.

Credit: Stanchez Kenyata

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Credit: Stanchez Kenyata

On Atlanta Contemporary’s courtyard, 13 artists from its Studio Artist Program are having open houses in their individual work spaces. The venue’s incubator program, the Studio Artist Program, provides working artists in Atlanta with affordable space to produce creative works for up to three years.

Atlanta Contemporary’s largest exhibition this season, is a group show titled “30 Summers,” which features 30 artists who live across metro Atlanta, creatively interpreting what the city means to them.

Atlanta photographer Mary Stanley is curating a portrait series. Ateaelle, a Black-owned gift and specialty shop, is hosting a pop-up lounge and merchandise collaboration with the space. Atlanta deejays DJ Kemit, DJ Tabone and Salah Ananse are providing the music.

Atlanta Contemporary was closed from May 20 through June 21, in order for the new installation to be built.

Atlanta Contemporary executive director Floyd Hall joined the arts space as its lead in January 2024.

Credit: Atlanta Contemporary

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Credit: Atlanta Contemporary

Hall, a native of College Park, says including native creatives in the Real Atlanta Art Party is a way to give the special event authenticity.

“If you’re going to have a party called Real Atlanta, you have to get with brands who have been representing the city for a long time,” Hall said.

“This is a moment when all of the things that people love about the city converge.”

ARTiculate ATL, a nonprofit that provides emerging artists with spaces to showcase and sell their work, is curating galleries from three artists in the project spaces.

Georgia Retyped,” a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based visual and performance artist Tim Youd, is an ink-on-paper piece, featuring six novels retyped on the same typewriter and paper as the original authors used.

Creating his work over two weeks, Youd is typing “An American Marriage” by Atlanta author Tayari Jones live in his studio space at the Real Atlanta Art Party.

Hall, a co-founder of community journalism nonprofit Canopy Atlanta and former interim director of Science Gallery Atlanta, says Atlanta Contemporary welcomes the point-of-view of new artists who are transplants.

The Westside arts stalwart, Atlanta Contemporary, has been hosting exhibitions, open studio tours and more for 50 years.
Courtesy Atlanta Contemporary

Credit: Atlanta Contemporary

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Credit: Atlanta Contemporary

“We’re holding room for artists outside of Atlanta that are coming here trying to understand and engage with our geography,” Hall said.

“We have a legacy of cultural production in Atlanta where we reflect so much of the history and become the engine of new things that are happening here. The art is a reflection and a vehicle for the change that’s going on.

Real Atlanta Art Party is Atlanta Contemporary's signature fundraising event on June 22, 2024 that showcases the free art space's galleries and installations across various disciplines.

Credit: Stanchez Kenyata

icon to expand image

Credit: Stanchez Kenyata

Hall says the goals for Real Atlanta Art Party are to create a “family” and preserve Atlanta as a theme in every form of art.

“The best part is hearing from and understanding all of the different generations of Atlanta artists and what their perspectives are,” Hall said.

“Art helps to inform, reflect and provide spaces for exploring big ideas in the community. We try to engage with the people, city and different communities for them to see, learn from and engage with each other.”

Real Atlanta Art Party: 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Atlanta Contemporary, 535 Means Street NW, Atlanta. 404-688-1970. TicketTailor.


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