Widening its GPS coverage area, the High Museum of Art has announced it will present a sequel this summer to its popular 2013 exhibition of Atlanta-based artists “Drawing Inside the Perimeter.”
Backing comes from the foundation of an Atlanta couple who were so inspired by the sizable showcase of local talent they provided $60,000 in support so that the High could acquire the 100-plus works on paper that will comprise “Sprawl! Drawing Outside the Lines.”
While Atlantans again will be well represented in “Sprawl,” on view July 18 through Oct. 4, many of the more than 75 selected artists live beyond the metro area, in cities including Athens and Columbus.
The High acquired all of the works between June 2013 and May 2015, most through the grant from the Antinori Foundation. “Drawing Inside the Perimeter,” one of the High’s most ambitious showcases of local art in years, sparked the gift by Atlantans Susan and Ron Antinori.
“I walked into that exhibit and I felt that I hadn’t seen anything so fresh and vibrant in the High Museum in a very long time,” Susan Antinori said.
Others shared her feeling about “Drawing,” which received strong notices and positive museumgoer response.
In The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s review, critic Felicia Feaster wrote, “It’s hard to think of a moment in the past 20 years when the High offered such a profound, far-reaching and impressive celebration of Atlanta’s unique artistic achievements.”
The works in “Drawing” were collected by the High starting in 2010, through the Lambert Fund, established through a bequest of the late art dealer-collector Judith Alexander, a champion of Georgia artists. With those funds dispersed, the Antinoris established the Antinori Fund at the High to continue the museum’s drawings initiative.
“For all the years that we’ve lived in Atlanta, I’ve always been a bit bemused by the fact that there are many significant collectors here but they all either fly to New York or Miami or San Francisco to add to their collection,” said Susan Antinori, a four-decade resident who with her husband has been buying local art for nearly 15 years.
“And it seemed to me that as vibrant a city as we have gotten to be that there ought to be some way of encouraging a more vibrant arts scene,” she added. “So this is just a really small way of our trying to encourage that.”
Beyond their contribution, Susan Antinori has accompanied High curator of modern and contemporary art Michael Rooks on multiple artist studio visits, which she says “have certainly broadened my interest” in the local scene.
Said Rooks in the announcement: “Our acquisition of works produced by Georgia artists, representing a cross-section of the tremendous diversity and richness of contemporary art in our region, has made a significant impact among art students, teaching artists and gallerists throughout the Atlanta metro area. … I hope this initiative will continue to be a catalyst for contemporary art in the state for years to come.”
Like Rooks, Susan Antinori’s focus is on this summer’s exhibit. But when asked if she and her husband might extend their support to future High collecting and exhibits of Georgia artists, she thought for a second before offering, “I feel like it is very probable.”
GEORGIA ARTISTS INCLUDED IN “SPRAWL”
In Kyoung Chun
Kevin E. Cole
Katie Ridley Murphy
Charles H. Reinike III
Mimi Hart Silver
Christian Bradley West