Monday, March 30, 2009

Speakeasy with Hope Cohn

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 1:10 PM

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From a restored farmhouse in Dunwoody, the Spruill Gallery offers a quaint oasis of culture among the strip malls, giant restaurant chains and fancy condo complexes. The current exhibit PLAY, on view through April 25, showcases the lighthearted facets of creativity from more than a dozen artists, including Avantika Bawa, Barrett Feldman, Jason Fulford and Staci Stone. As Hope Cohn observes her first anniversary at Spruill, the exhibitions director explains PLAY's origins and how she expects the gallery to maintain its accessibility when its new, larger facility opens in 2010.

What were the origins of PLAY?

The catalyst of the show was the economy. The economy has been so challenging for artists. Studios have closed, galleries have closed, and we thought we needed to bring back a sense of joy and play in the work, something that inspired us to make the work in the first place.

Even the word PLAY invites a sense of optimism. I called it “the artistic stimulus exhibition.” In the outdoor part of the exhibit, sculptor George Long placed these wheelbarrows full of dirt, and they also had seeds in them that just started sprouting, which creates a sense of hope. There are still things growing.

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