When Laura Hathaway, owner of Hathaway Contemporary Gallery, decided to curate a contemporary art exhibition at ADAC, it was an ingenious idea that would bring together two inextricably linked worlds into one space. The Contemporary art exhibition at ADAC includes some of the most prestigious art galleries in Atlanta and also artists represented by galleries and showroom within ADAC. Participating galleries and showrooms include HATHAWAYContemporary Gallery, Sandler Hudson, Alan Avery Art Company, BRADLEY, Duralee, Grizzel & Mann, Martin Nash, and Travis & Company. Hathaway says the inspiration came from Atlanta’s bubbling art scene.
“When you’re in New York contemporary art is a part of everyone’s life and Atlanta is ready to have that here. And there is the decorative market and the contemporary art market and we’re trying bring those worlds together where the designers understand they can work with galleries…. and a lot of designers know that already. It also about being open to working with designers, because they’re the ones with the clients everyday and standing in the homes,” Hathaway explains. “We’re trying to expand the collector base in the Southeast for people to understand art and understand contemporary art, but in the Southeast I feel like that first line where customers go to is the designer because it’s more comfortable. They already know their designer and the designer knows them and their taste…. there’s that trust and relationship.”
For many years the connection between art and contemporary design was almost non existent. There is and has always been a number of interior designers with knowledge about contemporary art, but with the growing interiors field, the gap between the two industries is widening. Katie Miner, general manager at ADAC, says it’s about providing interior designers with a outlet to view contemporary artworks among fine furnishings.
“We wanted to drive home the connection between art and decorative furnishings and beautiful fine art. We wanted people to know they can stop by ADAC and see work from Sandler Hudson and Alan Avery and our show rooms that also represent artists,” Miner says. “The designers come in and work with galleries as an extension of their team trying to pair art with a client because it is personal because the client is going to be living with it their home. but then designers get a little nervous that they don’t know art the way a gallery owner knows it.”
Interior designers create space for their clients to live in and art enhances those spaces. For designers, the exhibition, offers them another option for decorating while giving artists another outlet to sell their work. Hathaway says the movement within ADAC has a place in Atlanta’s growing contemporary art scene and is inclusive to all interior designers regardless of their level of knowledge of contemporary art.
“There are plenty of designers out there that know a lot about contemporary art , but for those that don’t include them in the conversation and welcome them into the conversation to talk about the why behind the art and the passion behind the art and how you can feel so much from something that’s hanging on your wall,” Hathaway says.”It’s mainly opening the door to bringing those two worlds together more than they have been in the past. I feel like Atlanta is ready for the next step in supporting our artists. If your interested and have $500.00, buy a piece of art instead of putting a mirror on the wall. Why not place something from an emerging artist that is going bring you joy, you’re going to love it every time you walk past it and you’re supporting the artist to help sustain themselves here.”
Veronica Kessenich, director of Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, sat on the panel titled creating Thought Provoking Interiors with Contemporary Art October 13 at ADAC and says the conversation is important because your home is an extension of yourself. Kessenich worked with interior designers often when she managed galleries in New York and feels building a bridge between interiors and contemporary art is a win, win for everyone involved
“When people come to my house they say ‘Oh my gosh you’re house looks like you.’ It’s your opportunity to give a voice to your home. I think purchasing and acquiring pieces that are of the moment keep you fresh, keep your home fresh, keep you on your toes and keep the conversation fresh,” Kessenich says. “I thinks it’s a really nice space for designer and potential collectors to see works curated together in one space and to see examples of all the different galleries and works that potentially could be acquired. It’s a one stop shop and in a lot of ways and can potentially do well for the artists to sell. It’s also experiencing all the different medias and forms of art.”