Tag: atlanta

Leading Lady Number 4

In participation of National Women’s Month and the National Women’s History Project’s Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives, C4 Atlanta would like to share the next story from our Leading Ladies series.

Everyone meet Vanessa Bamber!


Where/who do you work for and what is your role?
Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta GA September 2012-present
Professor of Arts Administration
Writer and instructor for all art administration coursework including Principles of Arts Administration, Finance and Money Management, Legal Issues in the Arts, Raising Funds for the Arts, Promoting the Arts, Arts Leadership and Governance, Events Planning, and Final Project Thesis.Serve as graduate faculty advisor for all Atlanta-based studentsPrincipal and CEO of Spellcast Entertainment LLC.
Spellcast Entertainment LLC is dedicated to spurring the imagination and captivating the senses of its audiences by creating unique, immersive theatrical experiences across multiple mediums.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An actress, a producer, rich and famous
Who was your favorite artist/writer/performer growing up?
Madonna was my favorite artist; she was a girl being who she wanted to be.
Who has been/had the the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did the person teach you?
I cannot say that I have had just one. I find influence in those overlooked heroes who blazed their own trail, did what they wanted, improved lives, and through it all (all the ups and downs) kept going. I’ve had to learn many lessons in my life but the biggest is that no matter how tough the path or how many times you fall down, you just keep going until you reach your goal. I give credit to my father, the best man I know, who taught me that attitude is key to success.
When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
Birth. I saw the light and took my place on the stage. It really has been that long! Whether I was performing for my parents, their friends, or paying guests at professional theatre shows, I have always been a part of the arts.
How is art a passion for you?
I couldn’t image my life without my passion for the arts in it. I’m always wishing to create, shape, or perform something. My home is in that collective space where artists go to make their imagination reality.
What are your thoughts on equality and representation of women in the arts?
I believe it is our responsibility as women to take our place at the table. The environment is changing for the better but we as women must be diligent and keep working, keep shaping, and keep doing and we’ll all get there, together.
What in your profession has given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfillment? Looking back, what would you have done differently? What would you do again?
Wow, good questions. I would have to say teaching and mentoring on the job. I have and continue to really enjoy working one-on-one with others to improve their knowledge of tasks and thinking about arts administration/management. Plus I always learn something.I wouldn’t do anything differently. I dig my scars and would do it all again just to ensure I would be the person I am today.
What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
Possibilities for growth. I believe Atlanta is entering a strong period of growth and the arts just need to find new ways to capture the incoming audiences, plus find ways to work together and help each other out.
What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community?
Great thinkers, administrators, and art enthusiasts (particularly theatre).
Where can we go to find out more?
https://www.scad.edu/academics/programs/arts-administrationhttps://www.facebook.com/spellcastentertainment (official website coming in a few short weeks)

Featured Artist: Diana Toma

I had the privilege of interviewing Diana Toma, a local artist originally from Romania.  She recently received the honor of working on the US Open 2013 Theme Art Project.  Diana has participated in C4 Atlanta’s Ignite  workshops and has some exciting projects coming up.  Continue reading to learn more about the talented Diana Toma…

Congratulations on your recent accomplishment working with the US Open.  How do you think this accomplishment will shape your artwork in the future?

Collage of images by Diana Toma
Courtesy of Diana Toma

Thank you! I’ve connected right away with this project as soon as I got invited to create a proposal: I feel it fits like a snug glove. Working with the United States Tennis Association has been an enriching experience, I am ecstatic that they are interested in bringing the fine arts back into their art theme, after a long history of illustration type of themes. There’re six of us in the final run – if my artwork will be chosen to represent the US Open 2013 it will bring about terrific exposure: I read about 1 million people attend the tournament! It will be a dream come true for my work to reach such large community.

Furthermore, this experience challenged the way I create my compositions and brought about a new way of constructing the artwork. I get to draw and paint with traditional methods then scan them and manipulate them as layers in Photoshop. This is very exciting, I will definitely continue exploring this technique even after the US OPEN 2013 Theme Art project will come to an end.

2. Where can one learn more about the artwork you do?

You can see my current work at www.artbydianatoma.com and my past work at www.inthatmood.com. I have also recently created a facebook page where you can get in a direct dialogue with me. I aim to post daily, wherever it’s my art, my thoughts, or artwork and articles that inspire me. Thou I am new at it, I am falling in love with this venue of communication that allows me to connect directly with the one who are moved by my art. Check me out at www.facebook.com/inthatmood. If you may, please like and share the page.

You have participated in Ignite workshops in the past.  How has this workshop enhanced your art career? What did you take away from the workshop?

It offered a great deal of info on running my art as a business, and offered quite a few samples of creative pathways to take. It basically widened my view on what is available out there and in the process left me with new ideas on how to expand myself. Being in a new conversation, reading material that I usually don’t, connecting with a diverse group of people – all these have got the internal wheels turning faster.

How do you feel your art work fits in to the Atlanta art scene?

I’ve been creating in different cities on different continents, in both Europe and in North America. Wherever place I chose to stay a while, it leaves an impression on my art, and living in Atlanta left its own unique mark. With that said, my art is all about moving and touching the viewer at an emotional level. In that way my art is of universal nature. I would say it fits wherever someone pays it attention, locally or not.

How do you see “the arts” helping Atlanta?

I think that wherever artists show up, the community changes, improve and develops. Likewise, part of my mission is to transform my environment through creating art. Can’t imagine a better life then beautifying and adorning my community and my surroundings.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

I only went as far as considering what I will do this summer! I have just started the creative thinking around touring Europe by car for a month, starting in my home country Romania. Keep checking my facebook for more info, I intend to make this tour be a social art project.

As a rule of thumb I don’t spend much time futuring (or pasting for that matter). I prefer to dwell in the only time that I know to ever exist: right now. I could say this thou: I always see myself doing something that I love, whatever that would be.

To browse and buy prints by Diana look here http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtByDianaToma



Why Atlanta?

I’m proud to consider myself an Atlantan.  I moved here after graduating from the University of South Carolina, and I can already tell that I will love the creative community Atlanta has to offer.  I graduated with a degree in Ballet Performance and Choreography and Economics, with a minor in business.  Currently, I dance with the Georgia Ballet (http://www.georgiaballet.org/) and teach dance at two local studios.  Since I’m an artist with a business background, I’m intrigued to discover how all of this comes together to support a creative economy in Atlanta.

Photo of dancer
Photo by Jason Ayer, University of South Carolina Dance Department

After graduation, I got asked a lot of questions as to why I was moving to Atlanta and not one of the major art cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago.  My answer was simple; Atlanta has a lot to offer and some amazing opportunities in all industries.  It is safe to say that after living here for about two months now that I am even more confident in my answer. Atlanta offers everything; great restaurants, shopping, entertainment, art, business opportunities, etc.  I was especially drawn to the dance and art scene in Atlanta.  There are strong dance companies that each offers a different artistic vision.  In addition, there are incredible and unique performing art spaces to showcase the variety of the dancers.

Photo by Jason Ayer, University of South Carolina Dance Department

I’m excited to see what the city has in store for me; not only in the dance world, but also in the art and entertainment business industry.  I hope to surround myself with artists who are just as excited about local opportunities as I am.  C4 Atlanta has some amazing opportunities to help individual artists and art businesses. C4 Atlanta’s mission is to “to build a foundation of research, technology and education for a sustainable, creative economy in the Atlanta region.” The organization offers some great resources and opportunities to support a thriving art community.  (http://c4atlanta.org/). I want people to acknowledge Atlanta as a mainstream city for the arts, and I think we are making great progress towards this goal.

-Katie Owerbach


(Photos by Jason Ayer, University of South Carolina Dance Department)

The Culture of Arts: Or Just Another Story About Monkeys

Okay. You may be familiar with the story below. But stay with me. There is a point…

Five Monkeys

There was an interesting experiment that started with five monkeys in a cage. A banana hung inside the cage with a set of steps placed underneath it. After a while, a monkey went to the steps and started to climb towards the banana, but when he touched the steps, he set off a spray that soaked all the other monkeys with cold water. Another monkey tried to reach the banana with the same result. It didn’t take long for the monkeys to learn that the best way to stay dry was to prevent any monkey from attempting to reach the banana.

The next stage of the experiment was to remove the spray from the cage and to replace one of the monkeys with a new one. Of course, the new monkey saw the banana and went over to climb the steps. To his horror, the other monkeys attacked him. After another attempt, he learned that if he touched the steps, he would be assaulted.

Next, another of the original five was replaced with a new monkey. The newcomer went to the steps and was attacked. The previous newcomer joined in the attack with enthusiasm!

Then, a third monkey was replaced with a new one and then a fourth. Every time a newcomer approached the steps, he was attacked. Most of the monkeys beating him had no idea why they were not allowed to climb the steps or why they were joining in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing the fifth monkey, none of the monkeys had ever been sprayed with water. Still, no monkey ever approached the steps. Why not? Because as far as they knew it was the way it had always been done around here…

Two things we accept because of our current culture as an art community:

Artists starve – The assumption is that if you choose the life of  the cloister…uh, I mean arts, then you have chosen poverty. Your art sustains you more than food, clothing, or shelter. But lets take a lesson from our friend Maslow: you cannot achieve self actualization without meeting basic needs. So much of art creation is in self actualization.

The arts community is fragmented – I can only speak to what I observe now but I see a community that is coming together. I see young leaders emerging with amazing talent and intellect.  There is a time to lean on colleagues within a particular affinity group; yet, there times when all of the disciplines, in one accord, strive for toward policy change, community outreach and public awareness. Collaboration should be organic and further the mission of all parties involved.  A varied arts community is to our advantage…as long as we can come together at the right moment–and I think we will.

Culture – As in biology, grow in a special preparation. Atlanta is our petri dish. We can grow our own culture.

Special note: I ripped this lesson off from my husband. He used this framework for a morning office meeting. When I told him “thank you” for letting me use this idea, he replied: “sure, baby. we share the same brain anyway.” That is the culture of us.