Ringer: Contemporary Portraiture

Ringer: Contemporary Portraiture

February 21 – March 14, 2019

Exhibition and Events

  • Opening Reception: Thursday, February 21, 2019, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Listening in the Gallery III: An Interdisciplinary Concert Series Exploring Sound and Light, Saturday, February 23, 2019, 7:00 pm
  • Panel Discussion: Sunday, March 10, 2019, 4:00 pm with Participating Artists Jackie Dorsey, Noah Saunders, and Rich Panico and curator/moderator John English.
  • Movie Night / Closing Event: Portrait of Jason, the 1967 documentary film directed, produced and edited by Shirley Clarke and starring Jason Holliday: Thursday, March 14, 7:00 pm

The exhibition Ringer: Contemporary Portraiture opens on Thursday, February 21, 2019 and runs through March 14, 2019. The exhibition surveys the wide-ranging works of eighteen artists, including everything from traditional portraiture to works that some might not consider portraits at all. Visitors are invited to consider the attendant cultural shift in which what was once a prized personal status symbol is now the quotidian output of the cell phone camera. Curator John English muses, “When the Obamas commissioned their official portraits in 2017, their choices of artists (his by Kehinde Wiley and hers by Amy Sherald) drew national attention to just how fresh and bold interpretive likenesses could be in this Age of Selfies.”

English will be present at the opening reception on Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 6-9 to talk about the work, as will many of the artists. Additional events in conjunction with the exhibition include an experimental multi-media musical performance (Sahada Buckley’s Listening in the Gallery III, Saturday, February 23, 2019, 7:00 pm), a panel discussion with participating artists Jackie Dorsey, Noah Saunders, and Rich Panico, moderated by curator John English (Sunday, March 10, 2019, 4:00 pm) and the screening of a rediscovered and restored landmark of pre-Stonewall independent filmmaking (Portrait of Jason, the 1967 documentary film directed, produced and edited by Shirley Clarke and starring Jason Holliday,Thursday, March 14, 7:00 pm.)  All events are free and open to the public.

The exhibition features work by the artists Kim Truesdale, Mary Beth Garrett, Laurel Fulton, Ally Christmas, Justin Schmitz, Matthew J. Brown, Joshua Bienko, Tommy Kha, Katherine Schuber, Ray Lee, Stanley Bermudez, Jaquelynn Faass, Jackie Dorsey, Broderick Flanigan, Greg Harris, Noah James Saunders, Rich Panico, and Shawn Campbell.

About the Curator

John W. English creates works in a variety of media—conceptual pieces, installations, sculptures—that have been shown locally, in Atlanta, and elsewhere.  He has been active with ATHICA as an artist, board member, patron, and curator.  He curated a show centered on the photography of Jeremy Ayers as well as an exhibition of GIFs at the Georgia Museum of Art.  English is also a long-time journalist and critic focusing on the arts, was a professor of magazine and arts journalism at UGA’s Grady College from 1970 to 2000, and continues to teach part time.  He has been going to the Biennale in Venice since 1986, and drinks Lavazza espresso every morning.

About Portrait of Jason from Milestone Films by Shirley Clarke

“[Filmmaker] Shirley Clarke was brilliant, scandalous, bold, and incredibly talented. Had she been a man, film historians would have long ago placed her in the pantheon of great auteurs, alongside Orson Welles and John Cassavetes. Today, her triumph can be recognized in her ability to be herself— one of the great originals of her time. A true artist, Clarke combined her innate impishness and sense of adventure with a dancer’s aesthetic and her tremendous drive to battle injustice to make films that dazzle, challenge, and beguile the audience.” 1.

Milestone Film’s Project Shirley has been working to discover, restore, and make available the works of this important talent.

“[…] for decades, Shirley Clarke’s powerful and transgressive PORTRAIT OF JASON was unavailable and its original elements were thought to be lost. […] Milestone worked with the Academy Film Archive and Modern Video Film to create sparkling new 35mm prints and DCPs of PORTRAIT OF JASON. […] Now, almost fifty years after it was filmed, PORTRAIT OF JASON is also a potent reminder of what the world was like for black gay men in the heat of the Civil Rights movement and before the Stonewall Uprising. [Jason] Holliday talks about serving time at New York’s Riker’s Island jail after propositioning (or being propositioned by) an undercover cop. And his observations on the casual racism he experienced are funny, stinging, and painful.” 2.

Quoted material from Milestone Films:

1. https://milestonefilms.com/products/the-magic-box-project-shirley-volume-4-the-films-of-shirley-clarke

2. https://milestonefilms.com/collections/shirley-clarke/products/portrait-of-jason


Press Release with Images of Artwork and More Information about Artists and Curators: ATHICA_PressRelease_Ringer_February2019

Exhibition Catalog:  Ringer: Contemporary Portraiture

Press About the Exhibition:
Calendar Pick, Flagpole, 2/20/2019

‘Ringer’ at ATHICA Highlights Contemporary Portraiture .” Art Notes, Barbette Houser, Flagpole Magazine, February 22, 2019.