10 Must-See Atlanta Art Galleries and Museums
Art world sensation Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrors" exhibition is in Atlanta. But don't forget to also check out these local art galleries, museums (and restaurants) while you're there.
Photo By: Cathy Carver ©Yayoi Kusama
Photo By: MODA
Photo By: Alan Avery Art Company
Photo By: Sandler Hudson
Photo By: Swan Coach House Gallery
Photo By: Hathaway Contemporary
Photo By: Tew Galleries
Photo By: Atlanta Contemporary
Photo By: Spalding Nix Fine Art
Photo By: Whitespace Gallery
Photo By: Heidi Geldhauser
Photo By: Marcel
Photo By: King+Duke
Photo By: Angie Mosier
Photo By: Andrew Thomas Lee
Yayoi Kusama at Atlanta's High Museum of Art
In town to tour the blockbuster "Infinity Mirrors" exhibition from heralded Japanese artist and cultural phenomenon Yayoi Kusama (on view through February 17) at the High Museum of Art? In addition to an impressive permanent collection (recently reinstalled to emphasize its depth and breadth), the High has a particular focus on photography and folk art. But Atlanta actually has an impressive contemporary art scene beyond the High, so why not make a day of exploring other galleries and museums not far from the High? Read on for Travel Channel's suggestions of places not to miss on your contemporary art tour.
Museum of Design Atlanta
Situated right across the street from the High Museum of Art, so you won't even need to re-park your car, the expansive Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) features rotating exhibitions focused on design. Past shows have centered on urban design, topography, wearable technology and design for social impact. On view through January 20: "Design for Good: Architecture for Everyone."
Alan Avery Art Company
Located in the Miami Circle design district home to restaurants and a variety of design shops, the blue chip Alan Avery Art Company features nationally and internationally known artists in a handsome space.
Sandler Hudson Gallery
Just minutes from the High Museum on Atlanta's happening Westside where there are countless shops and restaurants close by, small but mighty Sandler Hudson Gallery features rotating shows of both local and national contemporary artists.
Swan Coach House Gallery
Located in Atlanta's posh Buckhead neighborhood the Swan Coach House Gallery features regular shows of local artists working in photography, installation, painting and sculpture. A gift shop with local goods is a great place to pick up a souvenir of your time in Atlanta. And if you are up for a charmingly old-school meal, the Swan Coach House restaurant is a classic gentile, ladies-who-lunch spot with sublime chicken salad and other Southern staples served in pretty surroundings.
Hathaway Contemporary Gallery
Recently relocated to prime real estate on busy, trendy Howell Mill Road on Atlanta's booming, walkable Westside, the contemporary art gallery Hathaway features a lot of talented Atlanta-based artists including Tori Tinsley (whose work is shown here), spotlighted in a solo exhibition "Down in the Valley" at Hathaway through January 12.
This eponymous art gallery is one of the longest running Atlanta art spaces and is located in the Peachtree Hills neighborhood, where several galleries (Spalding Nix, Lumiere) and design shops as well as the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) are in close proximity. Tew Galleries features an array of traditional and conceptual contemporary art including artists like Charles Keiger and Kimo Minton who have been showing at the gallery for decades, as well as owner Timothy Tew's couture jewelry for sale.
An striking contemporary space often focused on group shows of artists drawn from Atlanta and around the country, the Atlanta Contemporary has an edgy, big city sensibility and is a great stop for fans of boundary-testing conceptual art.
Spalding Nix Fine Art
Just steps from Tew Galleries, the Peachtree Hills gallery Spalding Nix profits from the idiosyncratic eye of charming art advisor and owner Spalding Nix, who is as apt to show contemporary photography centered on Atlanta drag queens as he is to show more traditional painting, folk art and a refreshing mix of artists.
An utterly unconventional gallery space in Atlanta's leafy, residential Inman Park neighborhood, Whitespace Gallery occupies a carriage house behind owner Susan Bridges' handsome historic Victorian home. The space, which is open to the public, focuses largely on contemporary art by local and regional artists and is close to several notable restaurants in the modern food hall Krog Street Market, as well as the great Italian dinner spot BoccaLupo and the hard-to-come by reservations hot spot Staplehouse.
Looking for a fun spot for dinner (or Sunday brunch) after you've finished your Atlanta gallery crawl? The Tuscan-focused Italian spot Donetto, on the Westside is a handsome, buzzy industrial-style space with a great cocktail program and some memorable Italian dishes for either small plate sharing or a more substantial chow down. Don't leave without trying the frittelle (a kind of Venetian donut) appetizer accented with rosemary and honey, the silky burrata and spicy shishito peppers. The seasonal sweet potato ravioli is a delicious blend of sweet and savory and for fans of more vibrant flavors, the spaghetti with smoked bacon and egg yolk is a solid pick.
Focused on heady, delicious French fare, the grown-up fancy Continental-inspired steakhouse Marcel is a great choice for a memorable (and pricey) dinner close to the High Museum. The restaurant has also just added lunch during the week and you can't miss with local chef hero Ford Fry's always-inspired food.
King + Duke
Atlanta’s King + Duke restaurant in the swanky Buckhead neighborhood, named after characters in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, has been winning rave reviews for their locally sourced dishes and open fire cooking. The interior design and food at this Peachtree Road spot are both exceptional.
If you can snag a reservation, by all means head to Gunshow, one of Atlanta's most inventive and entertaining restaurants. Local celeb chef Kevin Gillespie and his team of talented chefs serve small bites dim sum style, bringing their offerings around to the table so guests can decide if they want a dish or not. The cocktail program is strong too and the open kitchen and interaction with the chefs all make for an evening you won't forget.
This popular, beautifully designed Westside seafood restaurant is always packed, so call ahead to make sure they can take you for lunch or dinner. You won't be disappointed by The Optimist's delicious chowders, salads and fresh seafood dishes and an attention to detail that marks all of chef Ford Fry's Atlanta restaurants.