The Second Friday Art Stroll at Castleberry Hill: April Edition

I don't know how I didn't know about all these art walks before but Atlanta seems to have quite a handle on them.  I experienced my first Castleberry Hill Stroll this past Friday evening.  Lately the area has been hot with art galleries and artistic events and this walk featured the opening of a new gallery (from what I understand anyway, I wouldn't have been able to point out which one was which!).

The building in the back is the pub itself...
As always, I didn't know quite where to begin so I simply chose to start at Elliott Street Deli and Pub where I had been once before with friends.  I was flying solo initially and so spent around an hour getting to know the bartenders Michael and Jordan (yes, those were really their names).  Mike told me about some of his sailing adventures and the proceeded to give me the lowdown on which galleries I had to see.  He is also one of the owners of Elliott street pub so he shared some of the startup pictures of the place and then gifted me with a poster of the image they used for their t-shirts this year!  The image was printed at Danger Press, which is a neighbor to Atlanta Printmaker's Studio (where I'm doing my residency).  I think I got the print because I recognized the name but it doesn't really matter...I'm a huge fan of free prints!  I will probably be making my way back to the pub on a regular basis because apparently they do a lot of art events, including a photography night on Tuesdays with live models.  Also, the craziest stuff seems to happen at the end of the stroll here, although I didn't get to stay out too late last Friday since I'm babysitting the little brother and sister.

Laffargue, "Sous La Voilette"
Since my art stroll cohorts had yet to show up by 7:30 (the stroll runs from 7 to 10) I decided to begin on my own.  From the pub I managed to stumble across Zucot Gallery.  Right outside the gallery was an art auction for what I'm not quite sure but it featured artist working on paintings and some nice atmospheric music.  Personally, and not just because I'm a printmaker and I need a press which is often difficult to procure for public events, I don't like the idea of producing work in front of others.  I admire people who do sign up for that sort of thing since I'm sure it requires some sort of gusto.  Of the work inside the gallery I really liked the French artist Laffargue's large paintings.  I asked (what I think was) the curator about the work and he could really only tell me that it was a Parisian based artist and that the work was very feminine.  I think he actually thought I could afford to buy something, for some reason, because he asked if I was interested in any particular piece and tried selling me on their feminine qualities.  Of couse, 3000+ is a little out of my budget.

None of the work really stood out to me at the next few spaces which included the Emerging Art Scene Gallery and Besherat Contemporary.  The coolest part of the former was the DJ they had on the balcony and the latter the three storied space with lots of potential for really interesting and dynamic installations.

By far my favorite exhibit was the Sketchbook Project.  Featured in both The Granite Room and Big House Gallery the exhibit is one that has been/is travelling all over the states.  It has 10000 sketchbooks that they sent to anyone who signed up and received back filled with whatever each artist wanted to do in relation to one of the many (spectacular) themes.  I almost signed up for this and am kicking myself for not doing it.  I'll definitely be a part of the next round.  Sketchbooks ranged from basic drawings or written entires to complicated puzzles to little book sized installations.  It was really interesting to see the range of effort and creativity as well as the interpretations of the themes.  I think in total I saw about 10 different themes but there were probably closer to 25.

I really enjoyed the ink drawings of this book.
A whole story about love amongst coffee and cigarettes.

I Believe the name of the artist was Duncan Reid...this whole sketchbook was filled with insanely impressive paintings.

While sitting at the exhibit reading (I was there for close to an hour) my friends finally caught up to me and we made our way onward.  Along the way to Marcia Wood Gallery we stumbled in and out of smaller galleries, some of which doubled as homes I'm pretty sure.  I think that might be my favorite part of the neighborhood, is how obviously geared it is towards this stuff.  I suppose when I moved to Atlanta, this is where I should have looked first.

It was getting late and I needed to pick up my kid brother and sister (who I have been caring for the past two weeks...that's another long and strange story) so we made out back to Elliott Street Pub where the late night show often features fire, intense crowds, and who knows what else.  I think it might have been a little early because the show was still tame.  It's alright, I have something to look forward to next month when I have no obligation to getting myself home early.  Apparently as the weather gets warmer these strolls get rowdier which is what I'm all about.

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