Art Around Town

Athens has a handful of interesting galleries, and even more eye-catching artwork can be found around town, adding bursts of color and character to the walls of coffee houses, restaurants, bars and shops. Check Flagpole’s Art Around Town for a list of current exhibitions. Organizations like the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission and Athens Area Arts Council continue to fund public art projects, while many working artists frequently show off their studios during open houses and seasonal sales. For info on receptions and events, check Flagpole’s Calendar. Note, of course, that exhibitions may be virtual or may admit limited numbers of viewers.

Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA)

675 Pulaski St., Ste. 1200 • 706-850-7770 •

ATHICA balances Athens-centric exhibitions with those of professional artists from across the country—the longstanding “Emerges” show highlights rising local artists, and an annual juried exhibition welcomes submissions from everywhere. In addition to traditional opening receptions, exhibitions are often accompanied by workshops, performances and talks with visiting artists.


234 W. Hancock Ave. • 706-353-3343 •

More than just an indie movie theater, Ciné is also a venue for visual art. The exhibit space runs down both walls leading from the entrance and is now curated through a partnership with ATHICA. Art can be viewed during the same hours as the theater, but you don’t have to buy movie tickets to check it out or to enjoy opening receptions.

The Circle Gallery

285 S. Jackson St. • 706-542-8292 •

Part of UGA’s College of Environment and Design, the Circle Gallery hosts several shows per year celebrating the relationship between fine art and themes of landscape architecture, historic preservation and, naturally, environmental design.

The Classic Center

300 N. Thomas St. • 706-208-0900 •

In addition to awarding grants and scholarships, the Classic Center Cultural Foundation exists to fund the purchase of local art, which adorns the large walls of the conference and events venue. Some art remains on view permanently, while even more changes biannually through exhibitions curated by Didi Dunphy.

Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

271 W. Hancock Ave. • 706-410-1043 •

Creature Comforts’ Get Artistic initiative aims to support art in its many forms: visual, performance, music and writing. In addition to exhibitions curated by Madeline Blankenship, the brewery hosts artist talks, craft workshops, art parties and other enrichment opportunities for the community.

The Dodd Galleries

270 River Road • 706-542-1511 •

UGA’s renowned art school neighbors the Georgia Museum of Art. In addition to the popular BFA exit shows, which showcase the works of graduating students near the end of each semester, galleries host year-round, rotating exhibitions by students, faculty and visiting artists. Regular events include receptions and lectures by artists and art historians.

Georgia Museum of Art

90 Carlton St. • 706-542-4662 •

Georgia’s official art museum, on UGA’s East Campus, houses a large permanent collection of paintings, prints, decorative arts, sculpture and more. This year’s diverse lineup includes “Emma Amos: Color Odyssey,” “Extra Ordinary: Magic, Mystery and Imagination in American Realism” and “Echoes from Abroad: American Art from the Collection of Barbara Guillaume.” Admission is free, as are almost all of the museum’s many events: gallery tours, lectures, films, workshops for teens and family activities.

Indie South

470 Hawthorne Ave. • 706-850-0644 •

After establishing itself as one of the largest handmade markets in the Southeast, Indie South opened a brick-and-mortar boutique full of artisan and vintage goods, rare plants, crystals and more. The space, which also houses its own screen-printing studio, now stocks several popular artists, including David Hale and Chris Hubbard.

The K.A. Artist Shop

127 N. Jackson St. • 706-850-1224 •

A one-stop shop for all artist supply needs, K.A. hosts occasional group exhibitions that are typically hung in eclectic salon-style arrangements. The shop also offers photography services and workshops for all ages.

Lyndon House Arts Center

211 Hoyt St. • 706-613-3623 •

Run by Athens-Clarke County, the arts center displays professional exhibitions in large, sunny galleries upstairs and down, while the Ware-Lyndon House museum offers a glimpse into Athens’ past through period decor and artifacts. In addition to offering summer camps, the occasional festival and classes instructed by professional artists, the center serves as meeting grounds for local craft groups. A gift shop features items created by regional artists.

Madison-Morgan Cultural Center

434 S. Main St., Madison • 706-342-4743 •

The nonprofit in nearby historic Madison, GA is housed in a beautifully restored 1895 Romanesque Revival school building. Programming ranges from visual art exhibitions to performing arts, and annual events include an antiques show, chamber music festival and tour of homes.

The Myers and Bertelsmann Galleries at Athens Academy

1281 Spartan Lane • 706-549-9225 •

Athens Academy’s large campus includes two galleries that are open to public viewing. Typically dedicated to displaying student masterpieces, the walls occasionally feature the work of local professional artists.

Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF)

34 School St., Watkinsville • 706-769-4565 •

Centered in a renovated turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, OCAF is a nonprofit that promotes performing, visual and literary arts through a range of exhibitions and classes for all ages. Longstanding annual events include “Southworks,” a national juried art exhibition; “Perspectives,” the Georgia pottery invitational; a members exhibition; and a holiday market. Smaller exhibitions are hosted in a converted classroom adjacent to the main gallery.

Tif Sigfrids

83 E. North Ave., Comer • •

Owner Tif Sigfrids first relocated her gallery from Los Angeles to Athens and then recently moved it farther out to Comer. Exhibitions primarily showcase the works of professional contemporary artists.

tiny ATH gallery

174 Cleveland Ave. • •

Athens’ smallest physical gallery space packs a punch with high-quality pop-up exhibitions each month. Artists coming this season include Dan Smith, Krysia Ara, Manda McKay and Penny Noah. Limited-capacity opening receptions are typically held the second Friday of the month, and private appointments can be reserved by email.

UGA Special Collections Libraries

300 S. Hull St. • 706-542-7123 •

The galleries feature items from the Hargrett, Russell and Brown Archives. Historical pieces include photographs, manuscripts, maps and memorabilia.

Winterville Center for Community and Culture

371 N. Church St., Winterville • 706-742-0823 •

Opened in spring 2016, this $1.3 million renovation project transformed the former Winterville High School into a regional enrichment center for adults. Rotating art exhibitions vary in theme and style. In addition to the exhibition hall, the facility includes a demonstration kitchen, dining and activity space and multiple classrooms for hosting lectures, workshops and other events.

Art Classes

ARTini’s Art Studio, Gallery & Lounge

337 Prince Ave.  • 706-353-8530 •

Learn to paint while enjoying an adult beverage. 


260 N. Jackson St. • 706-316-2067 •

Garment-making in beginner and intermediate sewing courses. 

Good Dirt

485 Macon Hwy. • 706-355-3161 •

Pottery classes for all ages in a variety of techniques.

Indie South

470 Hawthorne Ave. • 706-850-0644 •

Artist-led workshops in subjects such as soap making, wet felting, Tarot and dyeing.

The K.A. Artist Shop

127 N. Jackson St. • 706-850-1224 •

Photo-room rentals, workshops and art supplies.

Lyndon House Arts Center

211 Hoyt St. • 706-613-3623 •

Adult and youth classes in diverse media.

Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF)

34 School St., Watkinsville • 706-769-4565 •

A wide variety of art and craftwork programs.

The Pearl Girls

548 Hawthorne Ave. • 706-850-5296 •

Classes in pearl-stringing and wire-wrapping.

Revival Yarns

297 Prince Ave., No. 17 • 706-850-1354 •

Knit and crochet classes.

Intown Public Art Projects

Art Decko

Organized by the Athens Area Arts Council, Art Decko is a series of nine large-scale paintings installed on each floor of the Vertical Gallery, an unconventional stairwell-turned-art space in the College Avenue Parking Deck. Artists include Ashley Anderson, Jared Brown, Jeremy Kiran Fernandes, Ruth Allen, Jacob Wenzka, Hannah Betzel, Will Eskridge, Jeanne Whatley and Dorian Edwards.


Located in an alley off Clayton Street, former Athenian Taylor Shaw’s new mural resembles a vintage “Greetings from…” postcard and celebrates the Classic City as a musical mecca. Part of the new Athens Music Walk of Fame—and funded by the Athens Downtown Development Authority—the mural depicts a collage of local music references incorporated in the block letters: Pylon, Widespread Panic, The B-52’s and more. This summer, the Athens Mural Alley project will install a series of several paintings on panels by local artists.

Cobbham Triangle Park

Last year, the slice of land nestled between Prince Avenue, Cobb and Harris streets was transformed into a public art park. Highlights include a mosaic sitting wall by Krysia Ara, a towering sculpture by Harold Rittenberry and granite sculptures by Stan Mullins for games of chess and ping pong.


Located downtown on the exterior walls of Epiphany Athens and The Rook & Pawn, David Hale’s new mural, “Hope,” depicts barn swallows—a symbol of rebirth and hope—flying across a prismatic, rainbow-colored sky. “Hope” celebrates this year’s 25th anniversary of the AthFest Music and Arts Festival, replacing “BirdSong,” Hale’s mural of 20 species of native songbirds that was commissioned by AthFest Educates to commemorate the 20th anniversary.

Fire Up the Hydrants

A project of the Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department, Fire Up the Hydrants transformed 20 ordinary hydrants into functional, life-saving works of art. Spread across downtown, the hydrants were cleverly hand-painted by local artists—including Sarah Cook, Lilli Sams, Dan Smith and Jennifer Zwirn.

Hot Corner: An Athens Legacy

Located at the corner of Lumpkin and Washington streets, “Hot Corner: An Athens Legacy” is dedicated to the rich history of Hot Corner, a hub of African-American entrepreneurship. Organized by the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission with support from a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the mural was created by Miami-based muralist Elio Mercado and local artist Broderick Flanigan.

Project Ginkgo

Beautifying the concrete bases of light poles with intricate mosaics, Krysia Ara’s Project Ginkgo adds glittering charm and color to the downtown landscape. Funded by the Athens Downtown Development Authority, each design is unique and can be found outside Flicker Theatre and Bar, The World Famous, Morton Theatre, Epiphany, Creature Comforts, Musician’s Warehouse, Ciné, Chamber of Commerce, Post Office, Last Resort and Ted’s Most Best.