ArtsATL

Your Source For The Arts In Atlanta

UPDATED: 3:10 p.m. Friday, April 3. (Note date change for Virtual Art Tasting event).

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Every month ArtsATL’s spotlights one of the many, many, many galleries that metro Atlanta is lucky to have. Look for this column the last Monday of every month — even as the COVID-19 virus keeps us apart. Suggestions for future columns welcome. Please email kathy@artsatl.org. (Catch up on February’s visit to Camayuhs.)

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It’s all about perspective. You showcase your downtown gallery with giant, vibrant billboards just before a national emergency hits and Atlantans are ordered to stay at home. Will anyone see them? For the three problem-solving engineers behind ZuCot Gallery (Zoo-kaht), it’s a matter of  experiencing art differently — as one of their taglines says.

Connection and conversation have always been key at ZuCot, among the largest African American fine-art galleries in the Southeast. It does individual and corporate “art-tasting experiences” and youth field trips. Its “Try on a Painting” program uses digital imaging so clients can see a work of art in their own homes without having to go anywhere. In its own way, ZuCot Gallery was always prepared to make a pandemic-era pivot.

Here are a few more details, in case ZuCot Gallery — whose mantra is “Come. See. Collect” — is new to you.

LOCATION: Castleberry Hill historic district, 100 Centennial Olympic Park Drive SW (at the corner of Chapel Street.) GPS users, when the gallery can again accept visitors, should plug in 330 Chapel St. and access ZuCot’s free parking garage. Get in touch by emailing info@zucotgallery.com or calling 404-380-1040. ZuCot also has a great website (you could get lost in it).

SPECIALTY: Getting original sculptures, paintings, collages, mixed media and pottery by living African American artists into the hands of collectors, future collectors and anybody who’s interested. ZuCot’s roster of artists — from Atlanta, from Georgia and from across the nation — includes mixed-media collagist Georgette Baker, sculptor Kimmy Cantrell, oil-and-gouache specialist Aaron F. Henderson, abstract painter Julio Mejia, mixed-media artist Charly Palmer and illustrator/painter Charlotte Riley-Webb.

WHO’S IN CHARGE: The trio known as “The Art Brothers” — Troy Taylor and brothers Onaje Henderson and Omari Henderson (sons of artist Aaron F. Henderson). All three have engineering backgrounds — Taylor in the Fortune 500 world and the Hendersons, who both graduated from Tuskegee University. Even the gallery’s name has a kindred connection. It comes from Taylor’s grandmother, the first woman to sell her goods in a St. Kitts’ marketplace, earning a reputation for being as “tough as a ZOO CAT.” The gallery opened in 2008.

Brothers Onaje Henderson (left) and Omari Henderson select work for ZuCot’s first Virtual Art Tasting at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4. Watch the gallery’s Facebook or Instagram pages for updates.

ON HOLD: ZuCot had been preparing its first partner show with Hearne Fine Art, a gallery of African American art in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was supposed to open this week. Of course, it won’t.

NEXT: A Virtual Art Tasting sometime in April, with the date to be announced (the April 4 event is no longer happening). For details and updates, follow ZuCot on Facebook or Instagram.

PART OF THE PIVOT: Virtual gallery hours begin this week. The partners will use their cameras in a walk-and-talk through the artwork. Also planned: a new series in which collectors will share photos of themselves in front of their art and explain why they chose the piece. Again, keep up to date on Facebook or Instagram.

GET IN TOUCH: Email info@zucotgallery.com or call 404-380-1040.

QUOTE: “You have to continually figure out ways to connect and allow people to experience art the way they’re comfortable experiencing it,” says Onaje Henderson. “If there’s a client in California who really wants to see a piece and really understand the texture, then I’ve got to go to the gallery and FaceTime. It’s what we have to do. That’s how you sell work. That’s how you build that artist. There’s creativity in problem-solving.”

ZuCot Gallery billboard - March 2020

Just before COVID-19 shut down Atlanta, ZuCot Gallery had numerous billboards like this one installed to promote its downtown space. (Photo by Orange Barrel Media)

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In times like these, when we are separated by necessity, ArtsATL is needed more than ever. Please consider a donation so we can continue to highlight Atlanta’s creative community during this unprecedented time.

 

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