Renowned United Talent Agency builds a new home in Atlanta

Arthur Lewis with his collection featuring: Titus Kaphar, Enough-About You 2016, Kenturah Davis, Untitled-2-2013, and-Wangari Mathenge, The Ascendants Now and Then, 2019. (Jeff McLane)

Last year, one of the largest talent agencies in Los Angeles announced it was opening an office here in Atlanta. The United Talent Agency represents elite professionals in the entertainment industry, from Will Ferrell to Wes Anderson. Two members of UTA are running the Atlanta office: Steve Cohen and Arthur Lewis. Lewis is partner and creative director of UTA Fine Arts and UTA Artist Space, and there are plans to open a gallery next year. He joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk more about UTA’s future in Atlanta. 

Interview highlights:

Why UTA built a new home in Atlanta:

“Atlanta’s one of those cities that breeds culture. It sets the tone for so much that happens in our country, and so many of our clients and production partners are actually in [Atlanta]. And this was a really simple thing. Let’s be where our clients are and find another outlet so that they can be where we are, um, so that we can be closer to them, work with them more intimately, and really pull ourselves into the Atlanta community, which I’m personally very excited about.”

“I love that [Atlanta] is so very entrepreneurial. I love that I visit artist studios, and they have built their own hubs, they’ve built their own atmospheres, they’ve built their own networks; I want to help make that bigger. I want to help amplify what’s already been done. I want to make sure that the entire world gets to see the extraordinary talent that exists in the city,” Lewis said. “I love that everyone in Atlanta is like, ‘We are culture leaders.’ It’s very true.”

On “connecting the dots” in a lively and diverse arts scene:

“There are so many people in this community who are amazing art collectors, amazing artists, and I wanna be in a place where I can introduce talent from UTA to some of these amazing artists and create new opportunities; that we could have great talent on the ground acting in an amazing show, and connect them with a sports figure, and then connect them with an artist. And you never know what’s going to come from those wonderful relationships,” said Lewis. “It’s something UTA is quite famous for, is building these amazing experiences around our clients, and I hope to do the same while we’re in Atlanta.”

“This is a full service office, so everything that’s offered in our Beverly Hills location will be offered in Atlanta. So entertainment, sports; our partner, Rich Paul, has a clutch division here focused on the NFL and some basketball, which, I know everyone’s big Hawks fans. And Trey Young is an amazing client of ours, so… we are a full service office in this city. So we are here to be on the ground and be in the community, create new adventures for people, make some dreams come true, and just connect the dots for clients who want to try and do different things.”

On the features of UTA’s new planned gallery space:

“I want it to be a place where people come together, and that is what we’ve built in LA and Beverly Hills, and it’s really very cool. It’s an equalizer, and art does just that,” Lewis said. “I love that at our openings that we’ve had so far in Atlanta, the entire community has shown up; and people from every walk of life, from doctors to sports figures, to actors, to artists, to young students who are at Morehouse and Spelman who just want to see what’s actually happening. We hope to keep that going. When we open this space in Midtown, I want people to feel that they’re seeing another slice of Atlanta, that they’re seeing the art scene in a way that’s presented a little differently, and done with a little, you know, Hollywood flair.”

“We have a two level space that will open in Midtown. So the top level is more of an entertainment space, and then what you will do is walk down a staircase that will float in the center of the room, and walk down into the gallery. So there is some natural light, but the natural light that faces Peachtree is really just our entertainment space. So there is a beautiful bar in an amazing lounge, so that people can come in fellowship and just be with each other. It’s what we’re quite famous for, in making sure that people have a very different experience, and I think that this space in Atlanta is going to amplify that.”

More on United Talent Agency’s new office and upcoming gallery space in Atlanta can be found here