The Art Gardner

A Job Well Done

It’s been a busy week. Today, I finished up day two of volunteering for the Fulton County Arts Council as a review panelist. It was an intense and unique experience. I learned so much, met a great group of fellow arts advocates, and was introduced to a number of arts organizations that are doing amazing work in Fulton county. Hopefully the funding can help many of them continue with their missions and programs for 2010-2011.

Arts advocacy and mobilization have also apparently saved the Georgia Council for the Arts. The Georgia Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to give them back their funding. I believe once it passes the full vote of the Senate, the organization will officially be “back in business.” It is a bittersweet victory as the allocated $890,735 is an 88% decrease from 2008. Still these small triumphs speak to the resourcefulness and passion of people who understand the cultural and economic importance of the arts.

I meant to post this days ago, but The Art Gardner has been “in the weeds” (crikey, I am lame). Anyway, Daniel Summers, Marketing Director at the Center for Puppetry Arts and fellow Guilford College alum (Go Fighting Quakers!), wrote a first-hand account of the Georgia Arts March that took place April 19th. To the hundreds that marched that day and the thousands that have been calling and writing their legislators–I say that’s a job well done.


Splash Shows
April 25, 2010, 11:33 am
Filed under: Creative Ideas, Oil Painting | Tags: ,

Convergence is an annual event for Microsoft Dynamics partners, developers, and customers and thanks to my geek-tastic husband and the fact that it’s in Atlanta this year, I get to tag along for all the fun stuff. Last night’s fun stuff was the opening party at the Georgia World Congress Center. The fact that it was supposed to be in Centennial Olympic Park, but got rained out and switched to indoors, did not dampen the fun at all. Microsoft was rocking an art theme this year. There were various performance artists, bands, photo booths, caricature artists, and something completely new to me called “Splash Shows.” I know it sounds naughty, but it’s all on the up and up. An artist starts with a huge black canvas and paints a picture in about 10 minutes to throbbing dance music while an audience watches in amazement. It’s dancing, it’s painting, it’s raw creative energy–it’s a Splash Show! Check out more below.

The Beehive
April 21, 2010, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Creative Ideas | Tags:

I came across a cool, new store in the Edgewood Retail District called the beehive, a local boutique. For those familiar with Etsy, it’s like a bricks and mortar version of their online community of artisans. All of the handmade items from jewelry to soaps to clothing are made by local and regional entrepreneurs. Although the selection is obviously smaller that what you will find on Etsy, it’s wonderful to go into a store and see and feel the items before you commit to buying–that is if you live in Atlanta. And you can feel good about supporting local artists in the process. Check them out next time you are in the neighborhood.

Hundreds rally to protest arts funding cuts
April 20, 2010, 6:51 pm
Filed under: Georgia Arts & Culture | Tags:

From the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:

The Capitol steps erupted with activity Monday when musicians, actors and puppeteers gathered to protest arts funding cuts and the elimination of the Georgia Council for the Arts. Read more.

Waiter, there’s a naked lady in my gravy boat
Sauce Boat Palissy, Bernard 1550-1600

Sauce Boat Palissy, Bernard 1550-1600 from the V&A


With me pretty much everything comes back to television. Why I am such a media junkie could surely be unearthed in hours of therapy, but I choose to just go with it. Every once in a while life has a funny way of throwing me a felicitous bone and colliding my two worlds into one–art and TV. What could be better? This weekend while sorting socks, I happened upon my new best friend, Ovation TV. Maybe everyone and their mothers have heard of it, but with about 500 channels to sift through, I’m a little slow on the uptake.  

Ovation is an entire television station focused on “art, culture and personal creativity.” I was tuned into a show called Art and the City, hosted by a guy named David Keeps. In this hour-long show, David shows you around the art scene of a different city in each episode. This episode was London. The Tate Modern, hipster galleries of Hoxton and the Victoria & Albert Museum were all covered. David is a funny guy–charismatic and nerdy with dorky jokes–he is to art what Alton Brown is to food. “Waiter, there’s a naked lady in my gravy boat,” he quips while introducing viewers to the priceless antiques at the V&A. He brings high art to the sock-folding masses and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Two Things You Can Do to Support Georgia Arts
April 16, 2010, 8:12 am
Filed under: General | Tags: ,
The House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to eliminate the Georgia Council for the Arts budget for FY 2011. GCA will not  exist. This means Georgia will be the only state in the nation that will have no state arts agency. Shameful. If you feel passionate about this issue and want to express the negative impact this decision will make on the Georgia economy and tourism, you can contact your legislators via this link. It’s very easy and just takes 30 seconds.
Secondly, if you live in Atlanta and have some time during lunch on Monday, April 19th, there is an “Artist March on the Capitol.” Here is the Facebook page with all the information. It starts at The Rialto at 1:00 pm.
Thanks for your support!

The Latest Setback – Georgia Council for the Arts
April 15, 2010, 7:51 am
Filed under: Georgia Arts & Culture | Tags:

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The $17.8 billion budget passed by the House on Wednesday calls for the elimination of the Georgia Council for the Arts. Georgia would become the only state in the U.S. without an arts agency if that plan holds as the budget works its way through the Senate before going to Gov. Sonny Perdue.

The GCA, which awards competitive programming grants that touch cities, towns and communities across the state, was slated for $890,735 in the governor’s proposed fiscal 2011 budget, down from $2.32 million this year and $4.18 million as recently as fiscal 2008. Even before the latest cut, Georgia ranked 44th among states in per capita arts appropriations in fiscal 2009, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Read more.