In 2012, WonderRoot saw the need for professional development programming for the Atlanta arts community. While historically artists' educational backgrounds succeed in equipping them with technical skills, there are often deficiencies in how artists are instructed to navigate the pragmatisms of their careers.
WonderRoot conducted numerous surveys and interviews with local artists and impactful arts organizations, including Creative Capitol and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), to identify critical concerns that would enable the professional advancement of artists and build a sustainable arts ecosystem in Atlanta. Of the responses collected, five key needs stood out: cultivation of a peer network; access to knowledge, skills, and tools for a professional practice; access to key decision makers; exhibition opportunities; and time for retreat and reflection. With the five areas of interest, the framework for the Walthall Artist Fellowship was developed.
The Walthall Artist Fellowship seeks to forever impact the participating artists by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, community-base and access to significantly advance and define their careers. Through a competitive application process, 12 artists who demonstrate both success and potential to have a working career as an artist in Atlanta will be selected for this year-long program.
Danielle Brutto is an artist working out of Atlanta. She attended Parsons the New School for Design where she received a Bachelors in Fine Art. While she indulges a variety of artistic ventures, her main medium of choice is paint. Whether it’s performance art, or experimenting with sound, her sensitivity to material and concept mirrors, often even directly references, her relationship to paint.
Manty Dey was born in Kumarghat, India and raised in Atlanta. She received a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Georgia State University in 2010 and an MFA from the University of Georgia in 2014. Dey has exhibited her work at the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences, Georgia Museum of Art, MOCA GA, Mint Gallery, and Lyndon House Art Center. In April 2015, she was awarded a full fellowship to Vermont Student Center for an artist residency.
Rachel K. Garceau is a studio artist currently living and working in Atlanta, and has been recognized as a 2015 Emerging Artist by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. She utilizes large slip-cast porcelain forms to construct site-specific installations. Her work is often born from a curiosity about an object or a place and a desire to come to a deeper understanding of it.
Margaret Hiden was born in Birmingham, Alabama where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in photography from Birmingham-Southern College. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta where she currently resides as an artist and educator. She serves as Part-Time Assistant Professor of Photography at Kennesaw State University and Adjunct Instructor at Atlanta Technical College
Rameses Jones is an independent artist. He received a BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA in 2009. He wants his work to be relevant to be both the scholar and the dilettante, the devoted fan and the committed collector. It is his belief that art is a cure-all and should be devised as such.
Tyrus Lytton won his first drawing award at age six, receiving an honorable mention for his crayon on newsprint piece entitled “Helicopter.” He received a BFA in Painting from the University of Georgia in 2006 and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013. He has exhibited with UnionDocs in New York, Fleisher/Ollman in Philadelphia, and Fay Gold in Atlanta. Tyrus’ work is in private and corporate collections such as the Ritz-Carlton, Chase Bank, Novartis, and Inoh Japan.
Nick Madden was born in 1978 and raised in Mableton, Georgia. He studied drawing and painting and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia in 2002. Since then he has been creating works of art, teaching art to elementary school students, and living in Decatur, Georgia with his wife and many animals.
Laura Noel is an Atlanta-based photographer and installation artist. Her work often addresses American cultural issues with an emphasis on how individuals navigate an increasingly homogeneous world. Recent projects include an extended portrait series called Smoke Break, about Americans who continue to smoke in the face of public bans and a shift in public tolerance for the act, and Withdrawn, a study of discarded library books and how technology has altered basic activities such as reading.
Yanique Norman (b. 1981 in Spanish Town, JA) is an artist based in Atlanta, Georgia whose multi-media work explores themes of alienation, identity and the Black psychological body. Since her first exhibition in 2005 she has exhibited her work at The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts, Agnes Scott College and Sandler Hudson Gallery. Her work is included in private and public collections throughout region which includes The High Museum, Hammonds House Museum and Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries.
Sara Santamaria is originally from Madrid, Spain. Earlier in her life she studied theater, linguistics and textile arts. More recently she has been exploring sculpture, mold making and ceramics techniques through studio assistant experiences in Canada and France. Sara is now pursuing a degree in 3D art studio in Atlanta where she is currently established. She likes to work with different materials such as metal, ceramics and wood.
Michael “MIKE” Stasny is an artist and musician who works in the sculptural realm. His most recent work utilizes raw building materials / broken furniture that take on the form of “creatures”. He received his BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2003 and was instrumental in creating “What What in the Butt” with Samwell soon after graduation. He has received commissions from Turner Broadcasting to install sculptures in the CNN Center in downtown Atlanta and has work in the City of Atlanta’s permanent collection.
Molly Rose Freeman
P. Seth Thompson
In Kyoung Chun
Roni Nicole Henderson
Hailey (Lowe) Fennell