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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Warren Ullom to exhibit artwork at Monarch Arts Center

Warren Ullom

The Monarch Arts Center, a new gallery and studio space in Chosewood Park, is planning a one-night exhibition that may raise some eyebrows. When the gallery opens its doors to the public on May 2, the first exhibition will consist of artwork by Warren Ullom, former frontman for the Judies, created while incarcerated in Washington State Prison in Davisboro, Ga.

Ullom is better known as a musician than as a visual artist, though he is probably best known for his current situation: serving a 20 year sentence for voluntary manslaughter in the death of Rachel San Inocencio. The details of that story are too complicated to recount here. Mara Shalhoup wrote a two-part cover story for CL exploring the drug overdose that lead to San Inocencio's death and Ullom's incarceration, if you're interested.

According to Scott Henry at Atlanta Magazine, the one-night event will feature musical performances by "musicians with connections" to Ullom. Matt Greenia, Lightning Ray Jackson and the Mystics, Nadia Marie, and a "surprise band" are all on the bill. Clair Reeve, one of the Monarch's founders, says the exhibition, titled Davisboro Blues, will consist of about 70 drawings that vary in subject matter from abstract work to realistic documentation of his time in prison.

The Monarch Arts Center is the project of Reeve, a graphic designer formerly affiliated with Living Walls, and Greg Lloyd. Reeve says she invisions the center, based in a mid-century depot and office space on three acres of land, as a place where educators, nonprofit organizations, and artists can gather, work, and have events. They're currently in the process of renovating six large studios, but their plans for the future are ambitious, including a music and theater venue, land for gardening and bee-keeping, office space, a marketplace, and more.

Reeve is also launching a food truck series at the same location, 140 Milton Ave. The first "Food Truck Thursday" will take place tonight, starting at 5 p.m.

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