Emerging Artists on View
The WonderRoot Gallery is dedicated to showcasing a broad spectrum of creative work by emerging and mid-career artists. With an emphasis on the local arts ecology, the Gallery highlights relationships and conversations that deepen artists’ processes and commitments. We show work ranging from traditional drawing and painting to site-specific installations and performances.
The Gallery is free and open during Art Center hours located on the bottom of the page. For more information about the current exhibition, please contact the gallery at 404.254.5955 or email Iman Person, who manages the WonderRoot Gallery. We are always looking to engage with new voices throughout the city and beyond; we'd love to hear your ideas!
Young Dreamer: The Work of Devyn Springer and Makeda Lewis
Devyn Springer’s work navigates the nonlinear nature of the world as a Black queer Muslim and how to cooperate within these differing identities that have been ascribed to him. Makeda Lewis’ work magnifies the mechanisms of how collective healing begins with radical honesty with and acceptance of the self.
Black Madonna and Child
Opening June 16th 6-9 PM
WonderRood is excited to announce the solos exhibition for artist Jess Hill entitled: Oasis of Otherness. Hill’s work explores aspects of herself and her family through other cultures as a way to fill the void of my estranged American culture. She is intrigued by cultures that are still connected to their historical traditions, customs, ancestors and original way of life as from her point of view, people of African descent were stripped of their cultural identity in an effort to demoralize and dehumanize. Her work gives back the power and right to identity through positive images of all humans as strong beings and serves to change common thinking from individuality to global similarity. Seeing “me” in “them” and “they” in “me”; Hill views as the first step to unity and peace between all.
About the Artist
Jess Hill received her BFA in Printmaking, with a minor in Art History, at the University of West Georgia and is a recipient of the 2017 Emerging Artist Residency from the Atlanta Printmakers Studio. She is currently living and working in Atlanta, Ga where she was also born and raised.
Growing up in the South, I learned about slavery very early in life and realized its affects have their hold on many cultures. I am Black and I am a woman; I am both all the time. No matter how much I may try, I cannot escape the remnants of slavery or being a woman, nor the harsh reality of living in an “imperialist-white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchal world” (term coined by bell hooks: author, feminist, and social activist); the remnants of slavery and sexism being divisiveness.
For the sake of capitalism, slavery sliced through unions. Poor whites and poor blacks were turned against each other. Mulatto Africans against dark skinned Africans. Man against woman. Kinky hair against straighter hair. Subsequently, the media has perpetuated these stereotypes and fears. So much so, that other countries now uphold the same ideals of beauty of whiteness and strength of masculinity that torments African descendants and genders as a whole.
These divisive labels/categories/stereotypes are simply distractions that keep us in the illusion of being separate. I search for things that unify the human race: we all are born and we all die. No one chooses what he or she is born into. Realizing that these groupings are uncontrollable, one can relinquish the notion that people must adhere to a specific ideology. The reverence of different cultures through the prisms of gender, race, religion and cultural history is essential.
art by Manty Dey
WonderRoot is proud to have hosted The Gathering, a show featuring eight Atlanta wom*n and non binary artists. Women’s Month brought recognition to the dynamic work that wom*n have and continue to accomplish in our lives through acknowledging the spirit of collaboration, communion, and activation.
The Gathering highlights the work of eight Atlanta artists and will also serve as a communal space for cis women, trans women and non-binary people to come together and create a safe-space for dialogue, creativity, and healing. In addition to the exhibition, WonderRoot hosted a series of events and workshops in conjunction with local filmmakers, artisans and healers to provide wellness and information for the women in our communities. We also created a Syllabus for this exhibit, with additional novels, poems, paintings and music that further and deepen the themes explored with this exhibit. We have copies of everything listed in our Community Library!
Opens January 13, 2017 from 6-9pm
About the Exhibition:
“Repetition is the essential aspect of life and the natural world, from the source codes of DNA to the seasons, ocean waves, and the life cycles of all beings. They differ in the individual details, but all of nature includes repetition as a shared characteristic. In my work, repetition leads to contemplation. The repeated gesture, reflected and embodied in the carefully worked and re-worked lines in my art, gives us access to the meaning of our existence. This body of work combines simplicity and discipline while eliminates everything that is not essential to the work in order to capture life’s most profound energy and rhythm.”
LYNX Nguyen was born in Dong Thap, Vietnam in 1985. LYNX and his family moved to the United States in 1993 to escape persecution from the communist regime. As a young boy growing up in the Communist Country of Vietnam, LYNX experienced fear and hardship, and one way to find mental comfort was to take refuge in the teaching of the Enlightened Saints. LYNX graduated from Georgia State University in 2011 with a BFA in Studio Art with an interest in Eastern philosophy and Religion. In 2015, LYNX earned his MFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design, which he focuses most of his effort on drawing, especially marks making, as a tool for self-discipline.
This opening is free and open to the public.
The Imaginary Million
One Night Only
What is The Imaginary Million?
WonderRoot hosted The Imaginary Million 2016, at Le Fais do-do on December 9, 2016 from 8 pm-11 pm. The Imaginary Million curates an art auction + music show + dance party + cocktail party to empower Atlanta’s artists and engage with the art-loving community at a one-night event.
100 of Atlanta’s emerging and established artists was selected to participate in this auction. At the event, each artist was given $10,000 of imaginary “money” and were the exclusive bidders of the auction. This resulted in a competitive art trade between artists. At the end of the night an artist walks away with a work of their peer, with no real money exchanged.
Traditionally, art auctions are not very beneficial for artists. They are the producers but cannot participate as patrons. Auctions, along with the arts economy in general, do not offer a lot of accessibility for artists to collect work, themselves. This event is designed to subvert the traditional auction and to empower artists as both the producers and patrons in the arts economy.
The Imaginary Million focuses on accessibility for artists by inviting them to be both the creators and collectors of the art at this unique event. Guests will have the rare chance to experience such an extensive exhibition of Atlanta’s emerging and established artists in one space on one night. Check out the list of the amazing artists who participated here.
You can check out the artwork submitted for auction here.
Artwork that has been submitted for sale for the general public can be viewed here. 90% of all proceeds from sale of this artwork goes directly to the artist.
Parking on-site is $5.
WonderRoot needs volunteers for The Imaginary Million one-night event.
Check out the success of our first Imaginary Million Gala Event.
Purchase your tickets here.
Become a Sponsor.
Become a Sponsor
You’re an Integral Part
Hosts and Cash Sponsors are an integral part of making The Imaginary Million a success. All contributions are tax-deductible and come with associated benefits ranging in marketing and promotion to tickets and memberships. Please contact Elizabeth Poland to become a Sponsor.
Download the full Sponsor Guide here.
Check out the Benefits!
- Admission for 2 guests
- Invitation to VIP Cocktail Hour with Artists
- 2 drink tickets
- Acknowledgment on program
Ticket Cost: $100
Purchase tickets here.
We need Food, Beverage, and Printing Sponsors.
- Name & logo on communications
- Name & logo on program
- Name & logo on website
2012’s The Imaginary Million
The inaugural event in 2012 proved successful through the 600+ guests in attendance, $6,000+ raised for WonderRoot, widespread positive feedback, and earned media coverage. Because of this event’s past success and the current demand, we are resurrecting this event. We hope you will be a part of it!
We have been featured on Atlanta Business Chronicle, Creative Loafing, and BURNAWAY. Read about the success of 2012’s The Imaginary Million below.
Degrees of Visibility
Ashley Hunt, with Critical Resistance, Project South, Solutions Not Punishment Coalition (SNaP Co), and Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
Opening October 21,2016 from 6-9pm
94 boys and girls, ages 9 to 18 | Miami-Dade Juvenile Detention Center, Miami, Florida, on 13.5 acres, the third largest youth prison in the U.S.
Degrees of Visibility is a six-year survey of prison spaces in the US, studying the landscapes in which over 250 prisons, jails and detention centers sit throughout each of the fifty US states and territories, among different forms of land use, architecture, and with differing degrees of visibility to the public. It is presented here as a part of Profiles in Abolition, a national series of events initiated by Critical Resistance to reinvigorate a critical understanding of the prison industrial complex, its abolition, and creative and practical steps toward a liberated future.
Each photograph in Degrees of Visibility is shot from a publicly available point of view, and is titled according to the number of people imprisoned and concealed within that view, as described by the system itself. In some, that language of the prison gives way to a history, a document or record that offers a different understanding of the space.
While the early modern prison went out of its way to make itself visible, the erasures of buildings and people shown here highlight one way that the US system has been able to grow to a globally unprecedented scale today, through an aesthetics of disappearance and concealment. Degrees of Visibility offers a literacy in this aesthetics, a chance to read what is otherwise withheld, so as to identify and be able to change it. For in each landscape from which the state conceals a prison lies the chance to imagine that landscape without the prison, and to ask collectively what else this space could be used for, how else it could be a resource to our communities.
Conceived in dialogue with members of Critical Resistance, Project South, SNaP Co, SONG and WonderRoot, this exhibition also serves as a platform for local organizing, using its display as a way to highlight the work of these organizations who challenge the prison industrial complex, and work to dismantle systems of policing and imprisonment while fostering community based resilience.
The space is available for local groups to host conversations or meetings, the following events are planned throughout:
Saturday October 29 – Social Change Screen Printing Workshop
Friday November 4, 6pm to 10pm – Cultural event. Featuring DJ, Performances, Interactive Art Exhibit, and Speakers. Free food, drinks for donation.
Saturday November 5, 10am to 3pm – Workshop on Atlanta campaigns and Southern history towards abolishing the prison industrial complex. Coffee and lunch provided. RSVP required.
One Sunny Day After Another: Ion Yamazaki Solo Exhibition (April 22 – May 30, 2016)
About Ion Yamazaki:
Ion Yamazaki, originally from Niigata, Japan, is a visual artist currently based in Atlanta, GA. He received his BFA in Sculpture at California State University Long Beach before moving to Atlanta to complete his MFA in Sculpture at Georgia State University in 2015. In addition to his frequent participation in various gallery exhibitions in Atlanta, Yamazaki was part of FLUX NIGHT 2013 and SOMA Summer 2014 in Mexico City. He is currently a part-time instructor at Georgia State University’s Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design.
Focusing specifically on the U.S./Mexico border, I interrogate the perception of borders as permanent structures and sites of division. Although the tall fortified steel walls are intended to divide the United States and Mexico, the border remains as much a place of exchange as it does a site of separation. Through naïve actions, I attempt to disrupt and subvert these structures which strive to isolate and dehumanize. Using performance and audience participation, involving both hand-made and manufactured consumer goods, I seek to expose ideological and material constructs while reconciling the pervading sense of disconnection by recovering moments of community.
A Bad Question: an Exhibition and Forum on Race + Feminism (June 3 – July 11, 2016)
A Bad Question: an Exhibition and Forum on Race + Feminism brings together members of the tART Collective and the Smoke School of Art for their first collaboration. The exhibition takes its title from the Mia McKenzie article “How Can White Women Include Women of Color in Feminism?” Is A Bad Question. Here’s Why. The article is one that the tART Collective read together in their current yearlong reading series on race + feminism.
This collaboration comes about from conversations between members of the two collectives on their overlapping interests, which include creating exhibition platforms for underrepresented women artists and artists of color. The artists in this exhibition may not necessarily categorize their work as “feminist artwork”. The goal is to provide support for women artists. This action of support is part of feminism. It is an action intended to allow women artists the freedom to make and exhibit the work they want to make and exhibit, not to conform to some kind of “theme” – a constriction too often placed upon artists who are women and/or members of other marginalized groups.
About Maury Gortemiller:
Maury Gortemiller is an Atlanta-based photographer and educator. His work has appeared in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Aperture Foundation Gallery in New York. Atlanta’s Fall Line Press published a signed, limited edition series of Gortemiller’s images as part of the Free Fall series. He also writes on photography and contemporary art issues, most recently in Art Papers, Perdiz Magazine and The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (University Press of Mississippi).
My images are open-ended: scenes often resemble everyday places and occurrences with a dose of the uncanny. There is little distinction between images created spontaneously in situ and those that are staged or altered digitally. Questions take precedence over answers, and what the viewer might see or experience in an image is far more important than any meaning I might assign. A photograph is only a beginning, albeit a seductive, beguiling point of embarkation.
I think of my photographs as aesthetic occurrences which are symptomatic of an unidentifiable yearning. Scenes suffused with unrequited desire speak to the familiar world disintegrating into the surreal. It’s a craving that is recognizable but always just beyond description. A half-remembered face perhaps, the distant memory of a hazily-recalled conversation, or the simple but sobering realization of time unspooling behind us. The emotion is distinct, pungent and yet frustratingly ineffable.
A Year in Giving is an exhibit highlighting a yearlong collaboration between the lenspeace design and printmaking studio and Atlanta-based nonprofit organizations.
Injustice is apparent, a need for change is urgent, and governmental institutions are not always working in our collective interest. It’s these moments we have to realize that the real power to change the world starts with changing ourselves and extending a hand to our community. Lenspeace, Lennie Gray Mowris’ design and printmaking studio was made possible through the generosity and support of countless people. Building it taught Lennie the power in numbers and the need to pay it forward.
RSVP for the opening reception here.
A Year In Giving is about using what you have to do what you can. The project was started as an expression of how art creates community and serves community and is the collaboration of artists from various walks of life and non-profits whose mission it is to serve social justice, the environment, and culture. Posters were chosen to express this idea given their history in mass communications as a medium to raise public awareness. Each piece is created around a central word or idea pivotal to an organization’s identity. The construct is provided to the artist to create in their own style and vision the design they see as appropriate for the piece, creating an original work of art. The work is then donated to the organization to further their fundraising goals and to help support their community.
This project is generously supported by Mohawk Paper, A&A Dies, BlackRabbet Framing, and our community partners.
In 2015 the project served — and was designed by:
WeCycle Atlanta — Lennie Gray Mowris
The Atlanta Community Food Bank — Cherry Laurel Studio
Trees Atlanta — Lennie Gray Mowris
The Southern Center for Human Rights — Denise Brown
Plywood People — Lennie Gray Mowris
The Giving Kitchen — Angela Mitchell Aquino
WonderRoot — Matchstic
GreenLaw — Sarah H. Lawrence
Street Grace — Lennie Gray Mowris
Lost & Found Youth — poem: Theresa Davis & design: Angela Mitchell Aquino
Neighbor In Need — Lennie Gray Mowris
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE highlights the artistic talent of Atlanta Public School high school students. The WATTBA selection committee reviewed 200 artworks from 45 submissions from six APS high schools. The committee included Betsey Eppes (Fine Arts Coordinator for APS), Priscilla Smith (Executive Director of Eyedrum Gallery), Tyrus Lytton (local artist and Walthall Artist fellow), Tia Munley (WonderRoot volunteer), Matthew Rosenfeld (WonderRoot Program Manager), and Stephanie Kong (WonderRoot Programs Director).
WonderRoot’s first exhibit featuring APS high school students is meant to showcase the diverse range and perspectives of Atlanta’s emerging artists.
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE will feature 16 artists:
Telicia Arnold, Reilly Blum, Julia Borthwick, Tahira Bradley, Christopher O. Finley, Colin Forsyth, Kyndall Garlington, Walik Grace, James Hunt, Erin Jimison, India Mitchell, Kelly Scollard, Zuri Scott, Scott Semler, Claire Shea, and Zoë Spencer
The exhibition runs from December 18, 2015 to January 25, 2016. with an opening reception on December 18 from 6:30-8:30pm. Exhibition awards include:
Jury Selects Award: Tahira Bradley, South Atlanta High School, A Beautiful Mess
WonderRoot Selects Award: James Hunt, North Atlanta High School, Sa Belle
Audience Choice Award: Kelly Scollard, Grady High School, ATL Series
Questions? Please email Matthew Rosenfeld.
This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Zeist Foundation.
(In)ter, Divine Zamir’s solo exhibit, is on display in the WonderRoot Gallery October 9th – November 13th. Zamir’s work is bold and unapologetic and speaks gently to a healing place for so many and allows you to (In)ter here and experience her healing process and possibly your own. The opening reception is Friday, October 9, 7pm-9pm. Download the exhibition brochure here.
More about Divine Zamir:
Divine Zamir is a bold and empathic re- emerging abstract artist that is quietly finding a place for herself at the artist table. Albeit a newcomer to the world of art as an abstract artist, she has lived her entire life as a performing artist until a year ago. On May 31, 2014 while riding home from a friend’s house, she was struck by a car.
The accident left her with a broken knee that required two pins, two surgeries, several months of rehabilitation therapy and a lot of quiet and still time alone on the couch with her dog healing and rebuilding the supporting muscles in her right leg.
Through the year, she found her voice as an abstract artist and was able to effectively articulate her pain and transformation not only as an artist but as a woman learning to trust again – wholly. She quickly realized the power of this art form and began capturing her healing through it.
Divine has created a wonderfully telling and deeply inspiring body of work that is dedicated to the healing process, to the pins that support her knee, to the community who supported her body, to the family that supported her spirit and to other women who are looking for support.
Divine’s art has sparked a personal movement. Her work is bold and unapologetic and speaks gently to a healing place for so many and allows you to (In)ter here and experience her healing process and possibly your own.
Moment in Time, Chelsea Haines’ solo exhibit, will be on display in the WonderRoot Gallery November 19th – December 17th. Working with photography, alternative developing processes, and writing, Haines examines the relationships between humans, cultures, and the internal exchange that exists inside oneself.
More about Chelsea Haines:
Chelsea Haines earned her BA in Studio Art with a concentration in photography in 2014 and instantly fell in love with black and white film. After returning to her hometown of Atlanta, she has continued to expand her portfolio using techniques such as double exposures, toning, mixed media, and alternative processing. Chelsea currently teaches photography classes and workshops and manages the darkroom at WonderRoot Community Arts Center while simultaneously growing her practice and portfolio. Inspired by the great documentary photographers throughout history, she strives to capture and create images that tell a story of lives, culture, and humanity.
Bryce Speed was born in 1978 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In 1999, he earned a BFA in Painting and Drawing at the University of Mississippi and in 2005 he graduated with an MFA in Painting from the University of Alabama. Bryce has taught at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, NE, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Alabama where he teaches painting.
His work has been included in numerous exhibitions in several states over the past few years. In 2006 and 2011 his work was selected for publication in New American Paintings Southeastern and Western editions. In 2009, he exhibited new work in a show titled The Great Wave at PS 122 Gallery in New York, NY. In April 2011, Bryce has solo exhibits at the Nebraska Governor’s Mansion and the Walker Gallery at University of Nebraska at Kearney. In 2014, he held solo exhibitions at the Dinah Washington Cultural Center in Tuscaloosa, AL and at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. He will also have work included in an exhibition at HERE Art Center in New York, NY, titled Suburbia: Is Anyone There? Bryce’s work is represented commercially by Modern Arts Midwest in Omaha, NE.
Tori Tinsley solo exhibition, “Contact Comfort”, at WonderRoot
The exhibition “Contact Comfort” featured new paintings and sculptures by multi-media artist Tori Tinsley. Tinsley’s work simulates the slow erasure and uncertainty experienced in losing her mother to an incurable brain disease called fronto-temporal degeneration. An escape from finitude extends into the way she creates her work; hands, fingers, and bits of familiar imagery are apparent but are scuttled by marks and layers. From the love studies of psychologist Harry Harlow, she introduces the synthetic mother figure who comforts without connecting. Her work confronts guilt, fear, a nostalgic yearning for reconnection, and an attempt to find meaning through resilience.
The exhibition dates for this show were March 5, 2015 through April 21, 2015.
Tori Tinsley (b. 1980) received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Michigan, MAAT in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Painting and Drawing from Georgia State University. Over the past year she has served as research assistant for ART PAPERS magazine, artist assistant to Pam Longobardi in Greece, intern at BurnAway, and was a fellow resident at Hambidge last summer. Most recently she participated in both BurnAway’s Art Crush auction and ART PAPERS annual art auction. More information can be found at www.toritinsley.com