“We’re not an active exhibiting gallery, but we create that Web magic,” says Lumière gallery director Tony Casadonte. Lumière’s market was already built when Covid-19 forced many galleries to master technology and turn brick-and-mortar spaces into online ones.
The 13-year-old gallery, which specializes in classic and contemporary photography, held its last on-the-walls exhibit in March 2019. Its online presence — with videos and educational assets — was huge and Lumière’s appointment-only model worked.
Founder and longtime collector Bob Yellowlees opened Lumière in Buckhead’s Galleries of Peachtree Hills in 2007 with the Pirkle Jones and Friends exhibition. Collaborations are just as important as commercial sales. Lumière hosts lectures, educational programming and countless opportunities for college professors, high school teachers and students to learn about photography and its many masters.
Yellowlees is committed to creating a 21st-century model for galleries, museums and educational institutions, including partnerships with the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville. Lumière has showcased the work of 60 master artists in more than 50 physical and virtual exhibitions. Now online is A Jazz Memoir: Photography by Herb Snitzer, done in collaboration with the Breman Museum. It was supposed to open in April and coincide with the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Then, Covid. Lumière is “where photography is an experience . . . not just a location,” say Yellowlees and Casadonte.
LOCATION: Get the gallery experience online, organized by artist, exhibition and theme. Follow Lumière on Instagram and Facebook. Go to Vimeo for original artist videos. The physical space still exists at 425 Peachtree Hills Ave. If there’s something you’re interested in seeing up close, call 404.261.6100 or email tony.c@lumièregallery.net.
SPECIALTY: More than 2,000 significant photographs from the 20th and 21st centuries. Lumière has vintage work from Edward Weston (1886–1958), the architectural photography of Richard Pare, work by Berenice Abbott (1898–1991), Ansel Adams (1902–1984), Vivian Maier (1926–2009) and Paul Strand (1890–1976). It also has work from several Atlanta artists — Peter Essick’s landscapes, Diane Kirkland’s nature and environmental themes, and contemporary work by Mark Maio and Laura Noel. Check out Lumière’s full artist page.
MORE ON CASADONTE: He was born in Connecticut and raised in rural Maryland. He has a degree in photography from New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology and began working in computer graphics in 1982. He lived in South Florida before moving to Atlanta, working as general manager of E-6, Atlanta’s last commercial photography lab until it closed. He loved photography but never saw himself as a “gallery guy” until Lumière. He’s 60 but says he doesn’t feel it. He sold his car a few years ago, so if you see a guy riding an electric bike in Buckhead, it might be him.
VIRTUAL VIEWS: A Jazz Memoir, in partnership with the Breman Museum, includes striking images of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Nina Simone. There’s a 3-D tour now and a free virtual artist talk on Thursday (October 1). Art of Collecting . . . Art, part of Atlanta Celebrates Photography, features 100 classics from 50 artists — Imogen Cunningham, John Gutmann, Dorothea Lange and the late Mario DiGirolamo, a former Atlantan who shot in black and white, among them.
LOOKING AHEAD: Spring 2021 will feature an exhibit with Stephen Lawson, the Scottish-born sculptor turned environmental landscape conceptual photographer.
MEMORABLE: Programming and lectures stand out, says Casadonte, especially Dorothea Lange and Her Impact, a lecture with the High Museum of Art. Lange’s last son (now deceased) participated. Also The People’s China — Village Life with master photographer Zeng Li at the Carter Center.
QUOTE: “I hope people are finding release and relief online through art. I hope people are becoming inspired, but they should go beyond that. Sometimes photography’s mass participation (e.g. cellphones) makes it harder for individuals to rise up above. Vote with your dollars. Buy the work. It’s a way to show up and validate photographers. You can bring your inspiration home with you and live with it.”
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