A Black Woman Started An Annual Celebration Of Art In Atlanta

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Black art advisor Kendra Walker founded Atlanta Art Week last year as “a four-day event taking place at galleries, museums, and art studios across the city.”

This annual celebration includes a smorgasbord of activities, including tours, exhibitions, panels, artist discussions, and extended hours. The goal—increase participation in the diverse art scene Atlanta has to offer.  

A 2022 press release from Atlanta Art Week says that there were 2,000 attendees last year. Walker said, “It felt as though the whole of Atlanta’s art community came out to support in one way or another.”

“Everyone who visits says Atlanta is reminiscent of [Los Angeles] 10 years ago, but we’re different. There’s a certain flair, and we’re so excited that the city is finally starting to receive recognition for its contribution to the arts,” Walker continued.

The success of 2022 Atlanta Art Week inspired a New York-based company to have art fair in Atlanta in 2024

This year, Atlanta Art Week will be even larger and is even adding two more days. It will run from Monday October 2 to Sunday October 8.

Walker has lofty goals for after the week, stating “The mission, at least locally, is to get more people aware and engaged with the art ecosystem here aside from Atlanta Art Week so you’re going to these galleries after Oct. 8th.”

“My second year feels very much like foundation building,” Walker explained. “The first year was very much bootstrapping it. This year feels like, OK, now we’re getting the right people involved. Now we have pictures to show for it, and it’s not like the first year when I’m kind of just trying to sell an idea.”

Also new this year is a five-member advisory board, which includes Dough Shipman, Atlanta city Council President and Shane David Hall of the Fine Art Group.

“I was immediately impressed with her tenacity and persistence,” stated Hall. “Kendra’s focus of building community within the Atlanta art ecosystem resonated with me deeply. Atlanta is a world class city, and it deserves a world class art market event.”

“I believe that the Southeast — and Atlanta specifically — are on the verge of great change with increased interest in what it means to live here,” Hall added. “The truth is that arts and culture have always existed here, and collectors have always lived here, but this message was often overlooked by those in cities that consider themselves to be centers of the art world.”

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