In response to Cinque Hicks’s extensive take on the High Museum’s efforts, I would like to point out sentiments that are missing from his text and from the truth about the arts ecology of Atlanta. While many in our midst might pine for more adventurous contemporary art at the museum, we cannot expect the High to be providing it consistently. It is, as has been pointed out, a general museum with several mandates. It needs to be compared to museums of similar size and mission for an adequate assessment of vitality and value. It is unfair to compare it to some of the most progressive and mostly non-collecting contemporary art venues in the US including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Wexner Center for the Arts, and others.
What also must be realized, embraced, and written about in equally considered articles is the fact that numerous venues in Atlanta have been tireless in their roles of advancing dynamic, challenging, and ambitious contemporary art made by artists from the local to international. As Artistic Director at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, I can proudly report that in the past few years (as well as throughout the institution’s 38 year old tenure), we have shown artists including Jack Whitten, Jiha Moon, Jennie C. Jones, Daniel Bozhkov, Danielle Roney, Tamy Ben-Tor, Brian Dettmer and numerous other respected artists whose works can be seen at the most prestigious galleries and museums around this country and beyond. In addition, we provide a steady diet of contemporary art lectures and programs with some of the leading experts in the field of contemporary art and culture including Jerry Saltz, Barbara Pollack, Richard Flood, Dan Cameron, Nato Thompson, Helen Molesworth, and many others. Our challenge is to have this fact be understood by the arts professionals and art-loving general public here.
We are not alone in this, in addition to those already mentioned in the comments, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, SCAD, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Flux Projects, Jackson Fine Art, Solomon Projects, Get This Gallery!, Saltworks, Sandler Hudson, Marcia Wood, Marilyn Kiang and many others must be applauded for providing Atlanta with contemporary art in all shapes and sizes and spirits—made by local, regional, national, and international artists. To have a thriving arts culture in our city, we must see art at all of these venues, demonize none of them, and become fiercer advocates for what is going on.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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