by Ryan Kor / photography by Mercedes Bleth
160 Tracy St
One of the best ways for local artists to be inspired is to view the work of others. At the Athica art gallery, viewers can enjoy a unique sensory experience with each new exhibit.
Located in the Chase Park warehouse district, Athica is a non-profit gallery that promotes innovative and contemporary art. The gallery’s urban setting adds to its charm. The building used to be a cotton storage facility before its renovation.
All artists are welcome to submit an exhibit to be featured in Athica’s gallery; however, Athica focuses on multi-dimensional displays that use several different mediums of art. Their current exhibit, “Advice from the Oceans,” includes interactive sound features from Elephant 6 recording studios, paintings, and sculptures. The exhibit will continue until November 16th.
“Athica did a very good job of giving the viewer a well-rounded and informative picture of the topic being presented and made me pleased that I went,” says Emma Price, a graduate student in the social work master’s program from Canton.
The interior of Athica is restructured for each new exhibit; walls are torn down and rebuilt, and artwork is sometimes suspended from the ceiling. The flexibility of the gallery is a testament to its love for innovative art.
A visit to Athica is a powerful artistic experience that will inspire local artists to think outside of the box.
237 Prince Avenue
Athens is full of musicians waiting to be heard, and Hendershots’ open-mic night is a breeding ground for up-and-coming talent.
Every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m., Hendershots hosts one of the most well-known open-mic nights in Athens. Local musicians flock to the coffee shop to get their ten minutes of stage time, during which they can play only two songs. One or both of these songs must be an original composition, but covers are also welcome. The popular café-and-bar features close to 20 acts every Monday night.
“Open-mic night provides a platform for both beginners and professional musicians to showcase new and old material,” says owner Seth Hendershot.
The warm and eclectic feel of Hendershots is the ideal creative environment for performers of all stripes. Soulful and folksy melodies fill the space and create an invigorating energy in the audience. How could a performer feel nervous with the amount of praise and support doled out by the listeners?
“I love Hendershots,” says regular customer Bob Brussack. “There is music here almost every night.”
Open-mic nights like these give Athens a voice. To perform, sign up the Sunday before between 6 and 9 p.m. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nestled in suburban Five Points neighborhood, the Poetry Post is an unassuming monument for passing poets.
The Poetry Post is a painted wooden sign that showcases a single poem in its glass display case. The handcrafted sign sits in the front yard of a beautifully manicured home. Lily, the owner of the iconic sign, was inspired by a similar sign in Portland, Ore. Her husband built the sign for her two years ago, and since then, Lily has posted a new poem every week for neighbors and artists to enjoy.
Lily’s goal is to brighten the mood of the few people who see the Poetry Post each day. The poems are usually themed around nature; a detail that is suiting for the organic setting of the sign. Local artists are encouraged to submit their work for Lily to feature. Just stick a poem in the mailbox.
“The Poetry Post is an intimate insight into the heart of Athens’ desire to create and share,” says Zachary Sins, a senior history major from Woodstock.
A visit to the Poetry Post is the perfect way for local artists to connect with nature and contribute to this artistic anomaly. Take a walk to Highlands Avenue and be inspired.
Artini's Art Lounge
296 West Broad St
Drink, snack, and paint all at the same time. Situated in the heart of downtown, ARTini’s Art Lounge is an oasis for all levels of painting enthusiasts.
ARTini’s painting soirées allow anyone to be an artist by creating an original masterpiece in a 2-3 hour painting session. Experienced instructors guide each guest, stroke by stroke, until they have created a piece of art worthy of hanging above the mantle. Guests can sign up for sessions based on which piece of art they want to create, and there are themes ranging from the UGA arch to a desert sunset.
All ages are welcome; however, to participate in the “drink” portion of the experience, guests must be at least 21. ARTini’s serves wine and beer -- a great compliment to the creative process. Guests are encouraged to bring their own snacks and food to munch on during the session. “Expect to have a good time,” says owner and instructor Kate Cook.
ARTini’s also offers open studio hours during the week where painters desiring more freedom can utilize the studio and paint whatever they wish. Artists who are interested in displaying their work around the gallery can contact the owner at email@example.com.
Painters of all skill levels have found a home in ARTini’s, so pick up a paintbrush and turn a blank canvas into a masterpiece of color.