Atlanta summer arts and a mansion’s history

Yesterday was almost too hot for an outdoor arts event, yet my friend Arthur (aka Theo) and I walked the full length of the Virginia Highland Summerfest. Secret to not melting in a swoon; go as early as possible and grab the free mini drinks at various juice and ‘smart’ water promotional booths. Early June and already 95 degrees? September seems far, far away in the distant future.

We then drove a few more blocks to see the last day for the exhibit of Cuban born, self-taught artist Rosenda Pita, at Barbara Archer Gallery on Elizabeth St. Archer’s gallery is in the Inman Park neighborhood and focuses on self-taught and contemporary artists. It’s a small, compact space  and the red exterior matches Archer’s elegant business card.

Pita’s estate is being handled by his nephew, and prices are shockingly reasonable. He used those little decoupage wooden display panels you can get at Michael’s for some of his small works, others were created on wooden trays and boxes. There is obvious glee in the double portraits of himself and his partner in dance poses with mantilla and hat. A fun show to see.

the interior of the space with an earlier exhibit:

All Pita photos courtesy the Barbara Archer Gallery:

The Price is Right was the latest exhibition at the Swan Coach House – all works under $1000. Another last day, I saw my Etsy pal Ande Cook’s flower paintings but missed a few sculptural works that had already been picked up. Few works sold, but the space is intimate and longtime Atlanta curator Marianne Lambert added some interesting pieces to the mix.

The 1928 Swan House, managed by the Atlanta History Center, has been nicely preserved and now offers guided tours of the interior. Designed by Phillip Trammell Shutze, a well known Atlanta architect and art collector, it has an Italian feel and sweeping terraced garden design based on the Villa Corsini in Rome. (this blog has the best photos I can find of Corsini)

I took my mother  here in the early 1980s for tea, but seem to recall that renovation was going on at the time of our visit, the interior was off limits.

someone liked romantic garden statues.

This is about as big as the new ‘small house’:

there was a wedding event being set up on the back lawn.

I’ll be returning for the tour of the interior and of the Smith Family Farm when I have more time.

Stay tuned for my next post about the Quinlan Arts Center’s ‘Sound Off’ exhibition, art inspired by music, including my painting Blues for Ravel. Looks like there’ll be music and everthang at the June 9th opening from 5:30 to 7:30.

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4 Responses to Atlanta summer arts and a mansion’s history

  1. Rachel Jones says:

    What a beautiful building! I really enjoy your pictures.

  2. laura says:

    what a special venue, just beautiful!

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