Tag: Atlanta Artist

New Voter Engagement Initiative Using Art

C4 Atlanta collaborates with local artists to encourage people to vote in the 2018 Midterm Elections
DATE: Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Atlanta, GA – C4 Atlanta is excited to collaborate with sound artists, Meredith Kooi and Floyd Hall on Vote With Your heART, a civic engagement project designed to encourage people, especially the under-35 age group, to vote in the 2018 Midterm elections. This project is nonpartisan. Vote With Your heART is generously supported by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta through a $5,000 award from their Civic Engagement Fund. Part art project, part civic intervention, Vote With Your heART is an invitation to the citizens of Atlanta to vote on November 6, 2018.

Vote with Your heART seeks to encourage Atlanta citizens, particularly young voters, to participate in the voting process
through a simple invitation to join the process. Floyd and Meredith have captured the stories of local residents’ experiences with civic participation. Through our public art instillation and website, passersby can listen to these compelling stories from Atlantans of diverse backgrounds and points of view. The temporary installation will be located at two local universities this fall and in Woodruff Park during Atlanta Streets Alive.
During the in-person events, students and other participants are invited to record their own stories and reactions
with local artists Floyd Hall and Meredith Kooi. Participants will have the chance to share their stories inside Meredith Kooi’s Buckminster geodesic dome, known as the Bucky Dome. These stories will be broadcast over an internet radio channel during
Atlanta Streets Alive. All interviews are housed on the site c4atlanta.org/voteart
Additionally, research tell us that many people do not participate in the voting process because no one asked them. C4 Atlanta will be literally inviting people to participate in their community through voting. Designer and printmaker Lennie Gray Mowris is designing an actual handmade letterpress invitation to be a part of our democratic process.

“The website serves as a repository for stories about voting and civic engagement,” said Jessyca Holland, C4’s Executive Director. “But it also serves as a place where anyone in Georgia with internet access can learn about voter registration, polling location, and it links to information about the candidates. By setting up the listening dome we hope to engage with as many people as possible. Maybe this project will give us better insight into how people in Georgia feel the  political process.”
Vote With Your heART web address:https://c4atlanta.org/voteart
Atlanta Streets Alive – Activity PartnerWoodruff Park, Downtown September 30, 2018 Free & Open to the public
About C4 Atlanta:
C4 Atlanta Inc. is a non-profit arts service organization whose mission is to connect arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta. The organization was founded in July 2010 in response to a growing need for business services for Atlanta’s arts community. C4 Atlanta fulfills this mission by offering professional practice classes for artists, fiscal sponsorship, co-working space, and advocacy for arts workers. C4 Atlanta’s program offerings are geared toward creating a new foundation of sustainability for arts and culture in the Atlanta region. For more information, visit c4atlanta.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

Featured C4 Member Artist, Jeffrey Adler – Making Atlanta a Better Looking Place

As I mentioned in a previous post, C4 Atlanta is highlighting the work of its members. Each month, we will post an interview about one arts organization and one member artist. We want to help build a community among our artists. Sometimes, with our busy schedules, we aren’t able to keep up with one another. This is a platform for expanding our creative reach and an opportunity to recognize the amazing talent residing within our city.

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Greenhouse Still Life - painting of plants and flowers
Greenhouse Still Life, Jeffrey Adler

Jeffrey Adler is a neat soul. I met Jeffrey during our Ignite class. Honestly, I was honored to have him in the seminar. Within that class, you have artists who bring a wealth of experience and insight to the table. Jeffrey is no exception. I hope that this interview will give you a glimpse of the artist, Jeffrey Adler. To learn more about Jeffrey, visit Adlerarts.com. Enjoy!

“I’m not trying to make the world a better place, just a better looking place.” –Banksy

I make new work blending a backward glance with a forward look or sound. (Making my living as a painter, photographer and designer, I sing and write songs, too.) I use symbols and pattern extensively in paintings, objects, and furnishings. Decorative art informs the work, often in the form of pictures within pictures. Text and texture become patterns in some work, 2-D and 3-D. 

JH:Are you originally from the Atlanta area?

Photo of a plate with dog in the center. Blue & white plate on red background.
Com Plat II-5, Jeffrey Adler

JA: I came to Atlanta in 1977, resident since.

JH: How long have you been practicing your art?

JA: I got my first commission when I was 18, so that makes four decades.

JH: Who inspired you to create?

JA: I have to say the inspiration to create came from inside, so I guess that means the inspiration was from the Universe.

JH: Who or what inspires you today?

JA: Jeff Koons is who. The challenge to make new work that is not totally derivative is what.

Leaf on tile floor
Wist leaves Bloss, Jeffrey Adler

JH: What is the greatest challenge facing Atlanta artists today?

JA: Wow. Of the ten questions, this one gives me the most pause. The greatest challenge facing any artist of quality is getting the work in front of the right patron, be it private, commercial, or institutional.

JH: What does Atlanta have to offer artists like you?

JA: Atlanta has been very good to me. It is affluent. It is full of professionals who commission art, who place art, and who buy art. Atlanta is also a music center with a diverse populace eager for novelty in all forms.

JH: Do you have a local favorite (artist)?
JA: Yes. The late Michael Venezia.

JH: What advice do you have for a young person thinking about being an artist?

JA: Those worn out aphorisms obtain: Just do it. Follow your heart. Learn history. Watch the pros. Read labels. Break rules. Be fearless.

Water color of Grover Farm
Water color of Grover Farm, Jeffrey Adler

JH: Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?

JA: I have many favorite quotes. I suppose this by André Gide is number one: “Trust
those who are seeking the Truth. Doubt those who find it.” Or maybe it’s this one by
Glenn Gould: “At the end of the day there are only two things that matter: Truth and
Beauty.”

Thank you, Jeffrey!