TechsmARTs Podcast : Episode 1 – Net Neutrality, Policy, & Action

Introducing our brand new TechsmARTs Podcast!

C4 Atlanta has launched a new podcast for our TechsmARTs program. This podcast will feature similar content to our in-person TechsmARTs meetups, which will still occur a few times a year. However, we hope that through our new podcast format we can provide a bank of relevant content that artists can access over and over again.  Additionally, we want to keep you up-to-date on trends in art and technology relevant to your arts careers.

Welcome to our inaugural episode! Future podcast content will be released monthly. Click the link below to subscribe. 

TechsmARTs Podcast : Episode 1 | Net Neutrality, Policy, & Action

Image of Protesters with Digital signs that say "Don't Block My Net".
Image by Backbone Campaign through Creative Commons.

Featuring: Adam Huttler from Fractured Atlas

Adam Huttler of Fractured Atlas speaks on the Federal Communications Commission’s current stance on net neutrality, and what the future may hold for artist and arts organizations if net neutrality is eliminated.

Contact your legislators and let them know how changes to net neutrality could affect your arts business. Find My Legislator’s Contact Information By Address

Fractured Atlas is a national arts service organization, serving the needs of professional artists and arts workers across the country. Click here to learn more about Fractured Atlas.

Click the link below to subscribe to the TechsmARTs Podcast!

Click Here to Rate and Subscribe

TechsmARTs: Digital Documentation and Storytelling

On August 5, 2017, C4 Atlanta hosted a TechsmARTs Conversation on Digital Documentation and Storytelling.  Our friends at MOCA GA graciously hosted this conversation. Speakers Kimberly Binns and Reis Birdwhistell lead presentations for artists who don’t work in documentation mediums such as film and photography on the basics of documenting work. Both artists document work for other artists in the community, including photographing performance and visual art and documentary filmaking.

 

Reis talked about the basic needs for photographing work or performance. In particular, he emphasized that in order to get the shot you really want, taking time to experiment with different filters, light placement and effects while shooting can help eliminate time spent editing. Including a grey card or industry standard color card in the periphery of the shot (to be edited out later) can help a printer to find the proper color for accurate reproductions. For performance, preparation is key to getting quality images. Seeing a dress rehearsal beforehand can help with informing camera placement and which scenes have the best lighting for photography. Some scenes can also be staged out for the photographer as tableaus so that you can achieve the proper look and feel in a more controlled environment outside of the performance.

 

Kimberly’s presentation focused primarily on representing yourself through the story you’d like to tell about your art.  As an example, Kimberly showed a clip from her series Maker_ in which she documents the work of Atlanta makers and creatives. Kimberly works with the individual artist to craft the perfect narrative for their artwork and business. Watch Kim’s film of Cord Shoes and Boots artist Sarah Green. Above all, Kimberly stressed beginning with what you have and working up to larger resources as you have access to them. You can begin with your cell phone camera or rent nicer equipment from a film rental company to stay economical. Some editing software is free but is limited in its usage. Some more expensive industry standard products like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro have free trials and online tutorials to help users learn to use software.

 

You can download a PDF copy of the slide decks presented below:

 

You can follow each of our presenters on their Social Media platforms here:
Kimberley Binns: @binnski (Instagram) | @kimberlybinns (Twitter) | Kim Binns (Vimeo)
Reis Birdwhistell: Reis Birdwhistell Photography (Facebook)

 

An archive of the conversation is available on Periscope here:

 

Resources Referenced in this Conversation:
Adobe Creative Cloud Editing Software (Modules available include Premiere Pro for Film and Lightroom, Illustrator, and Photoshop for image editing. Free 30 day trials available.)
Final Cut Pro (Software for Mac for editing film. Also has free trial versions available)

 

One last announcement: C4 Atlanta is launching a TechsmARTs podcast! Look for our launch this Summer 2017. Upcoming topics include net neutrality, working in virtual reality, submissions for film and TV and much more. Have a topic you’d like to see us explore in a future TechsmARTs? Submit it here.

Meet the Presenters for TechsmARTs: Digital Documentation and Storytelling

Join us on Monday, June 5, 2017  from 10:30am – 12:00pm at MOCA GA for a free conversation on Digital Documentation and Storytelling. 

This presentation and discussion for artists who don’t work in traditional documentation formats. What concerns should professional artists address when photographing and presenting their work and telling the story of their arts business through their documentation? RSVP HERE.

MEET THE PRESENTERS:

Filmmaker and Photographer Kimberly Binns
Filmmaker and Photographer Kimberly Binns.

Kimberly Binns is a multi-disciplinary creative currently
living and working in Atlanta, Ga. She holds a BFA from
Georgia State University and has a background in
architectural design and video production. Her most
recent exhibition of works on paper included
compositions from her “He and Me Then We, but She”
series at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
(MOCAGa) and she has also been recognized for her
photographic works. Kimberly is heavily involved in the
arts and creative community and is currently producing
an ongoing artist documentary series titled “MAKER_”.

“As an artist, I hold a personal tenet that whatever art I create is always deeply personal. It is in the sharing of this art, and my creativity, however, that I give much of myself. I believe that my work should encourage the viewer to appreciate and synthesize what they see in a manner that’s befitting to their own sensibilities.”

 

Photographer Reis Birdwhistell
Photographer Reis Birdwhistell.

Reis Birdwhistell is a freelance photographer living in Atlanta, GA. His interest in photography began in high school, where he began photographing for the school newspaper and yearbook. Prior to his work as a freelancer, Reis formally worked for a Photographic Services of Atlanta.  He holds an Associate’s Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in Photography. Subjects of his photography are incredibly varied and diverse, including past presidents, neighbors’ children, jewelry, architecture and more. Reis uses a variety of equipment and techniques to create his work in both digital and film formats. Reis shares his life with his beloved wife, to whom has been married since college.

C4 Membership Drive

C4 Atlanta is please to announce our launch of the 2017 Member Drive.


Lisa Pellegrino shares: “I am a C4 Atlanta member because staying in touch with my artistic side is deeply important to becoming the best version of myself. Thanks to C4 not only do i have health insurance through the KP bridge program, but I also gained the skills and confidence to launch my website for my craft pesto sauce business.” {Image credit: Familiar Roots Photography}

Between now and June 30, 2017 C4 Atlanta has a goal of adding 50 new artist members to our creative family. 

Through our membership program C4 Atlanta connects artists through classes and member gatherings, amplifies artistic voices through advocacy work, and fosters a thriving and healthy arts community.

C4 Atlanta memberships help keep our training classes affordable for all, and insure that we can continue to provide vital services and programs to our community.

Membership begin at only $40 for the year and include many different benefits such as access to apply to KP Bridge health insurance, discounts to C4 Atlanta classes, cross membership with Fractured Atlas and so much more. See the full list of benefits here

Consider a membership for yourself or for a creative friend today!

Already a member of C4 Atlanta? Then help us by sharing your testimonials here.

 

 

First Amendment Rights with Georgia Lawyers for the Arts

Street musician with guitar
Image by artist Coffee.

In Atlanta, there has been a lot of interest lately in art in the public realm. What is and is not allowed in the public sphere has been brought further to the forefront as the interest in public art, political art, and performance in public space grows.

I would be remiss not to mention several very visible controversies over an artist’s rights to freedom of expression lately that prompted an interest in sharing this topic. One of the most well known examples in the city are the two murals painted in South Atlanta by international artists Hyuro and Roti that sparked interest in Atlanta’s mural art permitting process in Atlanta. C4 staff also learned anecdotally through our personal circles of musicians arrested for playing in public spaces. And within the last month, artist Kyle Brooks (Black Cat Tips) posted an account on his blog of the citations he received as a result of displaying his own work on his privately owned property. All three of these instances deal with artistic expression in the public right of way and in some way relate to the artist’s ability to exercise freedom of expression.

For artists confronted with these issues, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA) is a tremendous resource.  If you aren’t familiar, GLA provides everything from general education on issues of relevance to artists to low/no cost legal council for artists. They are an incredible resource to the artistic community, and one that every artist should know about.

C4 Atlanta recently partnered with GLA to offer a free workshop to the arts community around First Amendment Rights when working in the public right of way. GLA Executive Director Meredith Raigins, Esq., and Director of Operations Matthew Goings, Esq. presented the free workshop at 7 Stages Theatre on May 9, 2017. The contents of the presentation are available for download in the PDF below. Additionally, we have included other helpful links for more information.

Download 1st Amendment Rights Presentation by Georgia Lawyers for the Arts

**Disclaimer: The resources provided are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal council. They should not be viewed as a substitute to working with an attorney or law professional.

Additional helpful links:

Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Information (includes information on permitting for public art)

A Guide to the Visual Artists’ Rights Act (VARA)

 

5 Types of Bad Websites & How to Avoid

As an artist you NEED a website. All small businesses do. Not only does it serve as a place to sell your good and services, but it provides brand value to your customers. These days building a website is easier than ever, but there are some key things to consider before you begin.

Chelsea Steverson, C4 Atlanta’s Operations Manager and facilitator for Website Bootcamp, took some time this week to screenshot some of her least favorite websites, and breakdown common mistakes many small businesses make.


YOUR WEBSITE REPRESENTS YOU

Websites are an asset to your business. Everything including your social media and business cards should lead people to your website. Isn’t it important then to have a website that professionally represents what you do? This one was top on my list of least favorite sites. Simple, bland colors does not equal professionalism. Not only have they chosen to use Pantone 448C, voted the most offensive color in the world, they don’t even have a logo. Simple choices like color and logos are key in helping customers trust and identify your brand.


DESIGN WITH YOUR CUSTOMER IN MIND

You can be the BEST at what you do. You can win all the awards, and even be certified in your field. But when it comes to your website shouldn’t it be about your customer or client’s needs? This website was clearly designed with the optometrist in mind, not the customer. The entire first page is dedicated to his practice, and doesn’t provide clear, solid navigational options for customers to take action. Really think about what you want your customer to do when they come to your site. In this case, I’m sure this Eye Care business wants to be booking patients and providing eye care services. So why is the main page of this website dedicated to something different?


MAKE PRODUCT NAVIGATION & TRANSACTIONS AS EASY AS POSSIBLE 

If the main purpose of your website is to sell a product… you need to have images of your product. Not only are there no images, but there is no hierarchy of information, no buttons, and tiny text. People don’t buy things they can’t see. This is especially true for the creative sector. The customer has to really know what they want before they ever arrive on this website. This puts potential new customers in a place where exploring these leather goods is not intuitive and makes purchasing difficult. The more difficult browsing and purchasing is the less likely customers are to actually complete the transaction.


DON’T TELL US ABOUT PRODUCT, SHOW US

Wow. Just wow. This Web Solutions company provides lots of text about what they do and how well they do it, but I don’t see any links or images to websites they have actually designed. Without other examples all the customer has to go on is their current website, and I wouldn’t pay to have my business website look like this. Would you?


YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD REINFORCE YOUR BRAND & PRODUCT

There are so many things wrong here, so lets just stick with the basics. I’m sure you’ve heard that a professional looking website provides your business with the first chance at make a good impression on a customer.  What impression is Ling making? Truth be told, this is a pretty infamous website because of the purposeful, careless design. Either way, I wouldn’t be caught dead buying a car from Ling. From the Lisa Frank-ish background to the disturbing GIFs, I question the legitimacy of this business. The whole site feels like a joke. I don’t know about you, but the last time I bought a car it was pretty serious business. Not to mention that Ling felt the need to reiterate how trustworthy he is… kind of makes me not trust him. If Ling’s cars are really that great then he should consider customer testimonials/reviews as a way share this knowledge and build brand loyalty.


Are you in need of a website? Maybe you have one, but it needs major updates. Then join C4 Atlanta for Website Bootcamp, Tuesdays May 16th – May 30th from 10:30am to 1:30pm at Fuse Arts Center. 

Website Bootcamp is a three-week, hands-on workshop for artists and arts administrators who want to learn how to quickly build a website.

Learn more or register here >>

Meet the Panelist for Arts Journalism in the Digital Age

Join us on Monday, April 24, 2017  from 10:30am – 12:00pm for a free conversation on Arts Journalism in the Digital Age. 

We will discuss how the content, style and distribution of arts journalism and artistic critique changed as choices for journalistic consumption have increased. RSVP HERE.

MEET THE PANELIST:

Meredith Kooi  is a visual and performance artist, critic, curator, and educator based in ATL. Using research-based and process-based practices, Kooi engages radio broadcast, performance, drawing, mapping, writing, book-making and zines, video, photography, and installation to illuminate the embodied nature of the electromagnetic spectrum. In recent years, Meredith has been working collaboratively, connecting with others in conversations, oftentimes broadcasting those dialogues on air. She is an artist-in-residence with The Creatives Project (2015-17), a Wave Farm Transmission Artist, Hambidge Fellow, and recipient of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs Emerging Artist Award (2014-15).

Her art and culture criticism has been published in ART PAPERS, ArtsATL, ArtSlant, Bad At Sports, BURNAWAY, Dilettante Army, Temporary Art Review, Wussy, and soon to be Number. In 2014 she started the curatorial platform ALTERED MEANS, and from 2011-2016 she was editor and assistant director of Radius, an experimental curatorial platform based in Chicago.

Meredith is currently working on her PhD at Emory University in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, received her MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011), and earned her BA in Environmental Studies from Denison University (2007).

Twitter: @kooi_is_birdcage Website: meredithkooi.us


Floyd Hall is a cultural producer, storyteller, writer and documentarian from Atlanta, Georgia. His professional work often relates to the intersection of media and technology as platforms to bring cultures together and make the world a more fulfilling place. As an artist he is interested in the process of how we come to define and design ourselves, and is passionate about how history, culture and art blend together to construct narratives of place.

He has worked across the media spectrum in a variety of roles and capacities, including strategy, research and production; his current and past work spans several industries, including Gaming Retail, Brand Management, Nonprofit Arts, Social Change, Sporting Goods, Sports Media and Luxury Lifestyle.

Floyd counts the experiences of his Intown Atlanta upbringing, childhood summers spent in Augusta, Georgia and living in New York City as an adult as the primary influences on his life. Time spent in these locations gave him moments of clarity and insight about regional perspectives, the immigrant experience, how spaces influence patterns of life, and the imagination and ingenuity of different cultures.

Floyd is passionate about the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts & Mathematics) disciplines and holds a BS in Mathematics from Morehouse College, a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

He has supplementary training in Radio & Television Broadcasting, is a Hambidge Center Creative Residency Fellow and has presented as a guest lecturer at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Spelman College, Spelman College Musuem of Fine Art, the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning and is a media contributor to ArtsATL and Americans for the Arts.

He has produced over 700 podcast episodes covering Art, Pop Culture, Fashion, Sports, and Technology, and has worked with several arts-related organizations in the Atlanta area, including Woodruff Arts Center/High Museum, Flux Projects, ArtsATL, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and WonderRoot.

Twitter: @floydintl Website: floydcreates.com Soundcloud: @floydintl


Laura Relyea is Executive Editor of ArtsATL. Her book, All Glitter, Everything, a collection of flash prose, was released by Deer Bear Wolf in March 2015. A portion of the book was included in the 2015 &Now Experimental Fiction Anthology, released biennially by the University of Notre Dame. Her essays, reviews, poems, and features have been published in The Bitter Southerner, Thought Catalog, Monkey Bicycle, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere. Her book criticism has been published in PASTE, Fanzine, and Vouched Books. She was previously the Managing Editor of Scoutmob, and the Editor & Chief of Vouched Books. Relyea received a BA in Telecommunications and Creative Writing from Ball State University.

Twitter: @laura_relyea @ArtsATLcom Website: laurarelyea.com artsATL.com


Victoria Camblin is a writer, editor, art historian, and curator of public programming. She is the Editor and Artistic Director of ART PAPERS, a 38 year-old arts magazine and non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia. From 2006-2013, she was Editor of 032c, a Berlin-based contemporary culture magazine, where she remains on the editorial board. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Artforum and Texte zur Kunst, in addition to a number of exhibition catalogues and artists’ books, and she has organized and contributed to public programming and exhibitions in Europe, in the Middle East, and in the southeastern United States. Camblin attended Columbia University in New York and the University of Cambridge (UK). She is a recipient of DAAD and Rauschenberg fellowships, and was the 2009-2012 Leslie Wilson Major Scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Twitter: @vcamblin @artpapers Website: artpapers.org


Stephanie Cash has been the Editor of BURNAWAY since November 2013. She was an editor at Art in America magazine in New York from 1993 to 2012. At BURNAWAY, she is responsible for all editorial content for the website and print editions, and for producing the Atlanta Art Guide, a free guide and map of current exhibitions and venues in the city. She also manages the Art Writers Mentorship Program, now in its third year.

Twitter: @stephanie_cash @BurnAwayGA Website: burnaway.org

 

 

Leading Lady : Stephanie Kong

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the final next Leading Lady for March 2017: Stephanie Kong

Stephanie Kong, Program Director for WonderRoot

Where do you work and what do you do?
As the WonderRoot Programs Director, I am responsible and accountable for the design and management of educational, artistic, and public programs which fulfill the mission and vision of WonderRoot. As a senior member of staff, I champion strategic plan initiatives focused on the systematic integration of arts and activism into programs, the evaluation of the social and financial impact of programs, and the management of program staff. I develop indicators of success and program assessment plans, recommend new programs, and oversee the fulfillment of grant commitments. I graduated from the Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta in 2016 and participated on the review committee for the 2017 cohort. I currently participate in the Georgia Council for Nonprofits’ Momentum Program and the Blank Foundation’s inaugural Audience Building Roundtable cohort. I also oversee a fiscally-sponsored project, the Humble Telescopes, with my partner.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I have always been interested in arts. My mother invited her brother from Seoul to live with us in America, start a new life, and to help her raise me and my sister. He is a calligrapher and painter, and he filled our tiny apartments with his illustrations and paintings. My mother was a photographer, but she focused on it as a hobby rather than a craft. Her profession as a pharmacist created greater opportunities for her in this country.

Fugus, 2012, Photograph by Stephanie Kong

Art always has a home in my life. I write short stories and obsessively take photos. I use art as a means of expression and release, and it has been a very private practice. I use photography as a way to document present histories. Being a child of an immigrant from a war-torn country, we do not hold many records that recount who is in our family. I am an emotional hoarder, and I use photos as a means of archiving my life and the context and complexities of the world that continue to shape me.

I have been in arts nonprofit work for almost two years, but I have always had art integrated into my professional life. I hold a Bachelors in Social Work and pursued Art Therapy. I graduated during the recession so I turned to progressive educational pedagogy and integrated arts as the bloodline of that approach.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I (still) want to be a cartoon voice actor, photographer for National Geographics, and a movie director. I thought I’d be the next Steven Spielberg after I watched Jurassic Park.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
I’d rather have a potluck or dinner party like Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, and everyone has a plus 1 including Nina Simone, bell hooks, Angela Davis, Asata Shakur, Rebecca Solnit, Yayoi Kasuma, Camilla Paglia, Pussy Riot, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and Patti Smith. We’d talk about what I talk about with my friends- our relationships with ourselves, our bodies, our lovers, nature, the state of politics, travelling, food, and cats.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Obviously my mom has had the most direct influence on my life. Perhaps Confucius. Apparently I come from his lineage, and the Korean culture is heavily influenced by his philosophy. There are aspects that I do and do not agree with, and I do not prescribe myself to the constraints of some of the values, however, I also view some of them as utterly beautiful.

How is art a passion for you?
Art is a form of storytelling. It is a mean of archiving emotions and events.

Shroud of Jeju, 2001, Photograph by Stephanie Kong

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
The rise of women is the rise of the nation.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
The artists and their passions. I love being with artists when they are fully present and cooking or creating or walking and intentional about each action they take. I love doing that.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
Empathy

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
www.wonderroot.org
https://c4atlanta.org/project/humble-telescopes/

Leading Lady : Mary Ruth Ralston

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the next Leading Lady for March 2017: Mary Ruth Ralston

Mary Ruth Ralston is a local Atlanta actor, education artist, fight choreographer, director, and lighting designer.

Where do you work and what do you do?
I work at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company where I am an actor and education artist, as well as sometime fight choreographer, director, and lighting designer.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I grew up in Athens, GA with great exposure to the arts and started dancing at about age 4. I really got into acting and theater my freshman year of high school.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a dancer, marine biologist, and/or Jedi knight.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Ooh, tough one. Right now I think I’d like to sit down and chat with Virginia Wolfe about art, time, culture, and gender. I just read her incredible novel “Orlando”, and I’d like very much to talk with her about it.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents. They both worked very hard to encourage my imagination and to instill in me the desire to work hard, improve myself professionally and personally, and do my best to maintain a strong sense of empathy, humor, and ethics.

Mary Ruth Ralston in Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s production of Henry VI.

How is art a passion for you?
It is honestly very difficult for me to imagine not being a performing artist. I feel very strongly that it is what I need to be doing, and it is a career that, although often difficult, is uniquely challenging and rewarding.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
I think it’s moving in a great direction. We’re still in a lot of places facing the old problems of lack of complex female characters in plays and lack of female leadership in the arts in general, but I’m seeing more and more women breaking the mold of outdated gender stereotypes and taking charge as directors, writers, and leaders of arts organizations. I know so many amazing women who are becoming cornerstones of the Atlanta arts scene working incredibly hard to push for diversity and intersectionality. Also, being someone whose passion is classical theater, which can be terribly restrictive for women, I’m benefiting a lot personally from the Shakespeare Tavern and other theaters being willing to cast outside the traditional gender binary.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
I’ve experienced some really moving displays of cooperative and supportive spirit among Atlanta’s artists. I’ve seen so many of my friends and colleagues encourage, uplift, and celebrate each other’s work. I think we have an amazing community of artists who support each other and enable growth, creativity, and collaboration in our city.

Mary Ruth Ralston (pictured right) shows off her skills in the the famous Hamlet vs. Laertes fight from Fern Theatre’s all female production of Hamlet.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I’m hoping that I get to continue playing parts that are traditionally played by men and encourage out-of-the-box casting in that regard, but I think the most important thing I can do is to keep encouraging students to embrace empathy, passion, and open-mindedness and impart the idea that a career in the arts is not just possible but important and useful.

Leading Lady : Yun Bai

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the next Leading Lady for March 2017: Yun Bai

Yun Bai is an Atlanta based artist who creates flower collage paintings using porn magazines as an expression of human rights.

Where do you work and what do you do?
It’s been an adventure, being a visual artist. I create flower collage paintings using porn magazines as an expression of human rights to inspire hope and healing. Sharing my art, life experiences, and perspectives have allowed me to engage in speaking, panel discussions, consulting, various collaborations, leadership opportunities, etc. I’m passionate about diversity and women’s rights, especially when it pertains to our willingness in having those difficult, vulnerable, uncomfortable conversations.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I remember embracing art as a small child, but didn’t realize my connection to it until I was fourteen during a high school art class. We were instructed to do self-portraits, and our teacher introduced us to Prismacolor color pencils. I remember being so happy in those art classes. Ever since then, it’s been a necessary part of my life. Professionally I started in 2003, after studying art in college.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist. There isn’t anything else I’d rather be. I was set on it even though my parents wanted me to be a lawyer, doctor, or accountant. When I was younger I thought about being a fashion designer, though part of me thinks being a florist would be fun too.

“Gentle Awakening” 8″ x 8″ Porn magazines, acrylic on wood 2016 Artist: Yun Bai

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
The Chinese empress Wu Zetian, from the Tang Dynasty. She was the only woman to officially lead China. I would ask her how she was able to access her leadership, what regrets she had, what she would do differently. I would ask how she influenced men to be more supportive and respectful of women during her time, and what insights she would give women of the world today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Zetian

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
There’s so many people that inspire me, but I would have to say my high school art teacher Debi Barrett-Hayes (Florida State University School, Tallahassee, FL). I learned of my love for art through her. It was her belief and investment in me doing well as a student that paved a career commitment to art. She is an amazing teacher who really impact her students.

How is art a passion for you?
Art has become a necessity for joy. Making it, being around it, expressing ourselves through it, being inspired by others’ expressions, all joyful things. Art has many roles – documentarian, speaker, healer, muse. Art is a voice, a observer of the times, comforting inspiration. Sometimes it really is the colorful air I need to breathe.

Yun Bai advocates for continuation of funding for the arts.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
We need more of it (in other industries as well). It’s important to make sure women have platforms where perspectives are heard and respected, so our contributions can flourish. Women bring ideas, connections, resources, labor to endeavors yet often are not given the platform to fully speak, nor participate. We also need more women to sit on the boards of organizations.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
How passionate, committed, and knowledgeable our community is. How fast we are growing. How our city government listens and supports us.

“Expansive Flow” 8″ x 8″ Porn magazines, acrylic on wood 2016 Artist: Yun Bai

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I am passionate about cultivating art collectors and patrons, and hope to collaborate with other members of our community to welcome new collectors into our city’s vibrant art eco-system. Recently I shared an idea with the community that has received positive feedback on how we can go about it, https://youtu.be/dMM4DIbr6aE. It’s always exciting to welcome those unfamiliar with art into our fascinating art world – it would be cool to co-create something as a community that can celebrate each of our perspectives.

Experimentation and taking risks are important to me, both artistically and business-wise. Creating something that never existed before and trying out new ways of doings, it all fascinates me. It’s also part of evolving. I look forward to sharing these ideas and experiments with the community, as we continue to inspire one another through innovation and servitude.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
Website: www.yunbai.com

Instagram: @yunbaiart
Twitter: @yunbaiart
Facebook: www.facebook.com/YUNBAIart.design