ATHICA Emerges X


Curated by Madeline Bates, assisted by Kayla King
Featuring works by Trevor Blake, Caty Coswert, Courtney McCracken, and Mariah Parker

ATHICA is proud to present ATHICA Emerges X, the gallery’s 10th annual exhibition of emerging local artists. Acknowledging this important anniversary, curator Madeline Bates envisions this exhibition as a return to ATHICA’s roots as a space for avant-garde experimentation, dialogue about contemporary socio-political issues, and site-specific installation. ATHICA Emerges X features Athens-based artists of diverse backgrounds who work to bring about positive social change through their creative practices. From photography to social practice, hip hop to protest posters, ATHICA Emerges X celebrates the power of young artists to create a more open, empathetic world.

About the artists:
Trevor Blake is a current undergraduate student of fashion merchandising and studio art at the University of Georgia. As an aspiring creative director with a focus on gender and race relations, Blake seeks to promote individual fashion experimentation and to challenge norms where they hinder full self-expression. Blake will premiere two series of collaborative photography in this exhibition.

Drew Huggins is currently moving into his third year at the University of Georgia as an undergraduate studio art major with an emphasis in photography and videography. Working primarily with 35mm film, Huggins explores contemporary social issues from the fluidity of gender and sexuality to evolving environmental regulations.

Caty Cowsert is a recent graduate of the Lamar Dodd School of Art, where she completed two BFAs in Ceramics and Printmaking and Book Arts. Rooted in her experience as a queer woman living in the South and spurred by the current socio-political climate, her recent work has focused on identity, political resistance, and societal acceptance of diversity. For ATHICA Emerges X, Cowsert will exhibit a new series of large-scale prints on birch panels as well as a series of political protest ceramic tiles– a more permanent symbol of resistance as an alternative to protest posters.

Courtney McCracken
is a sculptor, civic practitioner, and yoga instructor living in Athens, Georgia. Her work is community centered and hyper local. The broad nature of her practice pushes the boundaries of art making to include utilitarian improvisations, sustainable fashion, rope making, and co-directing Athens Free School, a free learning network by and for the community. Though the school, she has taught classes in mask making, sewing, power tools, and a reading club for revolutionary texts, just to name a few. She received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of North Florida and both an MFA and an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Creativity and Innovation at the University of Georgia. McCracken’s Emerges X installation will include a zine library, monthly calendar collages, class notes, and silkscreening unit named Splinky a created by and for the Athens Free School.

Mariah Parker is a social activist and hip hop artist best known by her stage name, Lingua Franca. By this exhibition’s opening date, Parker will have completed her Master of Arts in Linguistics at the University of Georgia, where her research has focused on discourse analysis in hip hop. Her music explores the topics of classism, racism, and the flux and formation of identity. Parker’s site-specific installation will feature her poetic lyrics, a listening station, and a rendering of her scholarly data analyses.

About the Curator and Curatorial Assistant:
Curator Madeline Bates (b. 1992, Birmingham, AL) is a writer, artist, and curator based in Athens, GA. Bates received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Georgia in 2015. Her work in Athens has focused on emerging artists and creating collaborative exhibition opportunities for the younger generation of artists in town. As the in-house curator for Creature Comforts Brewery in Athens, Bates has curated over forty short-term art exhibitions featuring both emerging and established local artists. ATHICA Emerges X is her first curatorial project in a formal gallery. Bates is an ATHICA Board Member (2017–2019) and has been the gallery’s Volunteer & Social Media Coordinator since August 2016.

Curatorial Assistant Kayla King (b. 1996, Savannah, GA) is a current undergraduate Art History student at the University of Georgia. Her main interests are in contemporary art and museum studies. King has volunteered with ATHICA since September 2016.

*Exhibition graphic designed by Madeline Bates, featuring a collage by Courtney McCracken for the Athens Free School.