The Art Gardner

Artist Spotlight: Melissa D. Johnston
May 9, 2010, 12:04 pm
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Melissa D. Johnston love's labor

Melissa D. Johnston's love's labor


I was recently introduced to Melissa D. Johnston by a mutual friend who thought I might be interested in this Atlanta-based artist’s form of expression called “VisPo” short for Visual Poetry. Melissa’s blog describes it as “a form of poetry that’s meant to be seen, where words and images perform a dialogue with each other and with the reader to make meaning.” 

Melissa has a show up at Eyedrum through the 15th of this month if you want to check out her work in person. She also has an online gallery site here. To learn more about VisPo read Melissa’s write-up on WoPoWriMo here. More work below. 




Artist Spotlight: Lee Mayer

Lee Mayer's Hand-Painted Eggs


It’s a wee bit late, but still timely–check out my friend Lee Mayer’s hand painted Easter eggs. She makes a new one for her husband each year. I love the fact that each one is an homage to a famous painting or style of art. Wyeth’s Christina’s World with a disabled, yearning bunny and Van Gogh’s one-eared rabbit absolutely make my heart sing. Bravo! More below. 


Artist Spotlight: Ernesto Neto
March 29, 2010, 4:42 pm
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Ernesto Neto's Anthropodino

Ernesto Neto's Anthropodino


When I was studying for my MA in Art History back in 2001, I worked in the University of Essex’s on-campus art gallery. It was a refuge and about the only place on that campus where beauty could be found. Our big exhibit while I was there featured John Constable’s Wivenhoe Park–a big deal as the painting had “come back home.” Busloads of little old ladies from the nearby churches came each day to see the local treasure.  

Lucky for them, they kept coming even after the show went down and were also able to see my absolute favorite exhibit by Brazilian artist, Ernesto Neto. Neto creates huge sculptures out of what I would describe as panty hose on steroids. He makes his space interactive and organic. Pods of spices like turmeric and cinnamon hang from the ceilings of many of his soft environments and there are open holes and “sleeves” on the walls so that people on the outside can reach in to those on the inside (and vice versa).  

The piece that was at Essex filled the entirety of the tiny gallery and was a wonderful cocoon. The material was about three inches off the floor, so if you wanted to walk inside (and you would want to walk inside), you had to take off your shoes. The feeling of stepping into that delicious smelling womb and slowly sinking to the floor was something I will never forget. The sight of the little old ladies taking off their Clarks and oooing and ahhing over this strange new form of art, so different from a painted landscape, was equally unforgettable.  


Artist Spotlight: Alexa Meade
March 21, 2010, 12:42 pm
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Alexa Meade - Portrait of a Self-Portrait

Alexa Meade - Portrait of a Self-Portrait


Recently, I’ve seen a lot of buzz on the web about Washington, DC-based artist, Alexa Meade. And with good reason. She’s sort of blown my mind. Can you figure out what’s going on in her work? Hint–she’s an installation artist. 



Artist Spotlight: Nathaniel Emerson
March 10, 2010, 8:53 pm
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Untitled T-1 Northern

Nathaniel Emerson's Untitled T-1 Northern


Nat Emerson was my oil painting teacher at Callanwolde. In one of our last classes, he brought in some pictures of his own work. He does these amazing, large-scale paintings of modern steam locomotives of the 1920s-1940s. Check out his blog to see more. Enjoy!      


Artist Spotlight: Anne-Davnes Elser
March 2, 2010, 8:22 pm
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Anne-Davnes Elser's Light

I met Anne-Davnes Elser at The Partnership, an advertising/interactive agency here in Atlanta many moons ago. She was a designer. I was an account executive. We were both young and green and full of possibility. We became great friends and I have been inspired by her ever since. Anne is hands-down the most creative person I know. Graphic design, painting, knitting, bookmaking, calligraphy–you name it, she does it. And she’s a teacher, too–committed to sharing her art.

I look forward to seeing her newest paintings at Kin Lin Art in a show entitled “GRACE.” The show details are below along with another piece by Anne. Make sure to check out Anne’s blog where you can learn about classes that she offers through Binders in bookmaking and calligraphy.

KAI LIN ART proudly invites you to attend our eighth exhibition “GRACE”, featuring the lush, ethereal work of three female painters Mary Farmer, Sun Hong, and Anne-Davnes Elser.

The show opens Friday, March 19th, 2010 and runs through May 1st, 2010.

GRACE: lush, ethereal, color

800 Peachtree Street, NE Suite A. Atlanta, GA 30308


Artist Spotlight: Don Robson
February 28, 2010, 11:48 pm
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Bear Baiter and Bear

Bear Baiter and Bear

I am lucky enough to have many friends who are far more talented than I when it comes to art. One of those friends is Don Robson. In addition to my painting classes at Callanwolde, I have been taking private lessons with Don. He’s a wonderful teacher and, as you can see, a talented painter. Right now, Don has his work in a show at Wonderroot called Film Noir. It’s up for another week if you want to check it out. More of Don’s work is below.