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Arts At Oakland Cemetery Goes Home-Grown With ‘Illumine’

This year's featured artist at Oakland Cemetery is Cooper Sanchez, who is also the cemetery's head gardener.
This year's featured artist at Oakland Cemetery is Cooper Sanchez, who is also the cemetery's head gardener.
Credit Cooper Sanchez

 

In the spring of 2015, the Historic Oakland Foundation presented their first-ever “Arts at Oakland,” an annual event partnering local artists and the storied Oakland Cemetery with the aim of showcasing and interpreting the landmark’s history through art. The program debuted with “The Cryptophonic Tour,” a sound art installation with audio arts collective ROAMtransmissions.

This year’s event, “Illumine,” is quite different from last year’s “Cryptophonic Tour.” Pamela Henman, the Historic Oakland Foundation’s marketing and public relations manager, told “City Lights” that in addition to the smaller scale – from over a dozen local artists compared to this year’s four – this year’s event takes place in the evening. That’s because the cemetery’s Victorian-era gardens will transform into a sort of outdoor gallery, aglow with light installations.

This year’s featured artist is Cooper Sanchez, who is also the head gardener at Oakland Cemetery. Naturally then, his work will showcase the art of gardening as well as light boxes and backlit molds using natural elements like beeswax and pressed plants. Visitors will witness the cemetery grounds transition from day into night, revealing new ways to see Oakland’s history and architecture.

“Illumine” culminates at Oakland’s Beaumont Allan Greenhouse, a structure recently moved from the Atlanta History Center and owned by the Buckhead Men’s Garden Club. The greenhouse will serve as a gallery for painter Charles Ladson and designer Elizabeth Ingram, alongside musicians from The Shoal Creek Stranglers.

“Illumine: Art and Light in the Garden” is a one-night-only event taking place Saturday, April 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance. Proceeds benefit the Historic Oakland Foundation.