Atlanta Contemporary Invites Public Into Artist Studios

Veronica Kessenich and Sonya Yong James joined Lois Reitzes on today’s “City Lights.”

Summer Evans / WABE

An artist’s studio is a workplace, but it is also a refuge where works are created, ideas are attempted and where the artist can work in peace. This week, the Atlanta Contemporary is giving the public the opportunity to glimpse behind the studio doors.

The Contemporary’s Open Studios event is May 23 at 7 p.m. Open Studios spotlights the 14 artists in the Studio Artist Program.

“Studio space is actually really hard to find in Atlanta,” artist Sonya Yong James, who has been in the Contemporary’s studios for three years, tells “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes, “a place that’s centrally located and affordable, and at the Atlanta Contemporary, I’ve been able to have just that.”

The Contemporary was founded (originally as Nexus) by and for artists, so as Executive Director Veronica Kessenich explains, the studio artist program has always a mission of the organization.

“Having studio spaces that are subsidized, affordable, and readily available to create community,” she says, “it’s a valuable aspect that we have to give artists platform and space and place that is safe that can foster creative opportunities.”

James says that allowing the public in during the Open Studios events brings in “invaluable feedback.”

“The work is not complete until people see it,” she said.