An Atlanta entrepreneur has created an art showcase that travels to various cities introducing audiences to the work of talented visual artists and musicians, and reconnecting them with icons within various art mediums.
Local festivals such as Many Rivers to Cross Festival and Afropunk emphasized the work of local visual artists and musicians earlier this year, but there’s an event that has been curating a show on a smaller scale for years now.
We spoke with Art, Beats + Lyrics producer Jabari Graham to learn about the history of the brand and the event they’re hosting this Friday:
The history of AB+L
Art Beats + Lyrics was created more than a decade ago when Graham was in his early 20s.
“It got started because I got laid off my job and I needed to find something to do with my life before my unemployment check ran out,” he said.
Graham had been to a couple of local art shows and felt a “void.” He hoped to fill that space by creating a show of his own and blending his love for visual art and music. AB+L came to life with the help of curator Dwayne “Dubelyoo” Wright.
A sponsorship with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey has allowed AB+L to become a curated show that travels to cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami, adding a piece of each city’s unique culture at each stop.
An extension of the curated show
Graham didn’t want AB+L to visit a city for an event and then disappear until the next show. In an effort to permanently embed the brand into the arts community in various cities, AB+L Radio was created.
Created in 2013, the 24-hour digital station allows AB+L to regularly showcase artists through playing their music or conducting interviews.
Each week AB+L Radio personalities host branded shows, interviewing popular and underground artists and discuss trending topics.
It's almost that time!!! JD Honey @artbeatsandlyrics Exploring Hip Hop and highlighting urban art forms expressed through photography, graffiti, paintings, multi-media, DJ'ing and live music. #ATLABL16. Be Fly. Drink Responsibly. Friday, Oct. 21st 7p – 12a Soho (Compound) text ATLABL to 68405 to #artist #sketch #sketchbook #paper #pen #pencil #artsy #instaart #beautiful #instagood #gallery #masterpiece #creative #photooftheday #instaartist #graphic #abl #artbeatsandlyrics #ablradio #atl #artatl
The next AB+L Atlanta event
This Friday, Oct. 21, AB+L will host a curated show at SOHO (Compound). The brand didn’t host a show last year in Atlanta, so the upcoming event serves as a homecoming of sorts.
Graham wouldn’t reveal the artists who will participate, but says there will be “four or more” visual artists and musicians.
You never know who might show up at an AB+L event, though. In previous years, a then up-and-coming rapper named Kendrick Lamar, legendary New Jack Swing producer Teddy Riley and No Limit Records founder and rapper Master P have performed at AB+L shows.
The show begins at 7 p.m.
RSVP by visiting jackhoneyabl.com.
Entry is free, but limited.