Thursday, July 11th, 2013-Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Athica Emerges 6

Andy Giannakakis

Susan Hable

Manda McKay

Eric Simmons

Spirit Cat (Ciara + JT Bringardner)

Aja Steele

Tinker Lab Collective

w/ events + programming throughout the exhibition

Selected international video + sound artists from SLINGSHOT 2013 – curated by Eric Marty + Kai Riedl, 6-9PM; 

Athens, GA, USA – What factors contribute to a city of cultural production? Why does Athens, GA have such strong and inventive creativity? In the scheme of things we are a small town with a population that comes and goes, as is customary for a university town. Yet many artists make Athens home. Does a low cost of living contribute? A slower pace? A community that is already attracting makers and thinkers? On July 11, 2013, ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art introduces it’s 6th annual exhibition of emerging local artists, ATHICA EMERGES 6.

Presenting local artists that have never shown in any major ATHICA exhibition,ATHICA EMERGES 6 includes projects and mediums as diverse as fabric design, painting, installation, sound, mathematics, edible insects, as well as projects delving into social practice and generosity. Andy Giannakakis brings us paintings and drawings that definitely nod to some of the greats of art history but pack a punch with content exploring time, space, and society. Reflections on nature and pattern in ink are natural extensions in the work of Susan Hable, primarily known for her designs for NY-based Hable Construction in the textile industry. Aja Steele brings us into discomfort in the form of a common comfort, quilt-making. Each stitch of her white-on-white quilts make us want to inspect carefully, but upon close inspection we encounter words that are disruptive and jarring. True comfort, though, might be found in the fabric installation by Spirit Cat (Ciara + JT Bringardner). New to Athens, they are the founders of the Total Bummer festival in Florida, a convergence of music and art. The excitement grows with the inclusion of Manda McKay and Eric Simmons,who both include humor in their work. McKay’s pristine and realistic paintings of natural objects like fruit and bones make us wonder how she could be so new to making art, and as the layers unfold we experience her paintings as subtle innuendos of feminism, social issues, and sex. Simmons’ presents conceptual work based on his “job” as a mall photographer using Kandinsky backdrops that are showcased in the gallery as altered postcards. Lastly, Tinker Lab Collective brings us two projects with roots in exchange and generosity – both rooted in current Social Practice trends. Their opening night potluck is culled from an open call for recipes and dishes, with recipes the viewer is welcome to collect and take away.

Included among the art in the gallery are events and programming to open up the discussion about what makes a community creative and rich as the world shifts more and more toward capital as a model rather than culture. ATHICA addresses the challenge that Lucy Lippard set forth in her seminal 1997 book The Lure of the Local –by “establish[ing] more bonds radiating out from the art ‘community’ to marginalised artists, to participant communities and audiences, allowing the art idea to become finally part of the social multicenter rather than an elite enclave”, ATHICA EMERGES 6 includes art and artists from diverse backgrounds, from the self-taught to the academic, and we aim to exhibit what’s happening in Athens’ art scene in 2013 – something more vast and inclusive than we ever expected.