The 2023-2024 Flagpole Guide To Athens, GA


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 weekly 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 in print and at  


675 Pulaski St., Suite 1500 •

Located inside of the historic Leathers Building, this new gallery was established in May 2022 by Jason Thrasher and Beth Hall Thrasher. The gallery looks forward to an exhibition of skateboarding photography by San Diego-based artist J. Grant Brittain in the fall of 2023. Exhibitions are accompanied by a limited edition of numbered and signed prints, the sales of which support the gallery as well as student arts organizations in the Southeast.  

The Athenaeum

287 W. Broad St. •

Much like the scholarly sanctuaries of ancient Greece, the newly opened Athenaeum of UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art is dedicated to creative engagement and education. Curated by Dodd Galleries director Katie Geha, the Athenaeum is a downtown contemporary art space focused on internationally and nationally acclaimed artists and cross-disciplinary conversation. For the fall season, the gallery will present an audio-visual installation created by Paul Pfeiffer in collaboration with the Georgia Redcoat Marching Band.

Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA)

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

ATHICA balances Athens-centric exhibitions with those of professional contemporary artists from across the globe. A community hub for over 20 years, the all-volunteer organization successfully purchased its building in 2021. In addition to traditional opening receptions, exhibitions are often accompanied by educational workshops, performances and panel discussions with visiting artists. Artist-in-ATHICA residencies spotlight artists working in a variety of disciplines.

ATHICA@Ciné Gallery

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 the main entrance and is 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 enjoy opening receptions.

Aurum Studios

125 E. Clayton St. • 706-546-8826 •

With multiple in-house jewelers, Aurum specializes in custom jewelry. The shop also offers pottery, painting, woodwork and metalwork, the majority of which was made by local artists. Aurum reopened under new ownership in 2022, and plans to continue hosting rotating displays of artwork.

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 in the Classic Galleries. 

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 exhibitions by students, faculty members and visiting artists that rotate year-round. Regular events include receptions and lectures by artists and art historians.

Flicker Theatre and Bar 

263 W. Washington St. • 706-546-0039 •

In addition to a jam-packed calendar of concerts, film screenings and trivia nights, Flicker showcases a different local artist along its iconic orange wall every month. Upcoming highlights include Andersen Rodriguez, Caitlyn Riesinger, Mark Dalling, Marisa Mustard and Jill Carnes.

Georgia Museum of Art

90 Carlton St. • 706-542-4662 •

Georgia’s official art museum, located on UGA’s East Campus, houses a large permanent collection of paintings, prints, decorative arts, sculpture and more. This season’s diverse lineup includes “Southern/Modern,” Jim Fiscus’ “Where Shadows Cross,” “Nancy Baker Cahill: Through Lines” and “Kei Ito: Staring at the Face of the Sun.” Admission is free, as are almost all of its many events: gallery tours, lectures, films, workshops for teens and family activities. The museum is celebrating its 75th anniversary with associated programming running through November. 

Hotel Indigo Athens 

500 College Ave. • 706-546-0430 •

ArtWall@Hotel Indigo presents rotating shows of small scale works with thematic focuses. Located outdoors and viewable 24/7, GlassCube@Hotel Indigo is a literal glass cube housing creative installations. The hotel also features a handful of local artists such as Mark Steinmetz, Brittany Lauback, Alex Murawski and Rebecca Kreisler in its permanent collection. 

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, handcrafted 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. In between huge biannual craft fairs, Indie South hosts creative classes and pop-up markets.

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 classes instructed by professional artists, summer camps and the occasional festival, the center serves as meeting grounds for local craft groups. This year’s programming spotlights artists including Jackie Dorsey, Mary Engel, Charmaine Minniefield, Margaret Morrison, Brandon Narsing, Charles Pinckney, Lois Thomas-Ewings, Kristin Roberts and Cheryl Washburn.

Madison-Morgan Cultural Center

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

The nonprofit is outside of Athens in a beautifully restored 1895 Romanesque Revival building. Programming ranges from visual art exhibitions to performing arts, and annual events include an antiques show, chamber music festival and tour of homes. Permanent exhibitions include a 1895 schoolroom, a gallery of original furnishings from the Arts and Crafts Period, a museum of Piedmont history and a series of portraits by George Andrews aka “The Dot Man.”

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. 

Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum

2450 S. Milledge Ave. • 706-542-1244 

Located at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, the Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum opened in 2021 to showcase the personal collection of Deen Day Sanders. The state-of-the-art facility blends conservation, botanicals, art and history.

The Quiet Gallery 

2025 Baxter St. • 706-613-3650 •

Nestled on the second floor of the Athens-Clarke County Library, the Quiet Gallery is a comfortable reading room with rotating exhibitions celebrating established local artists. 

Tif Sigfrid

393 N. Finley St. • •

Owner Tif Sigfrids first relocated her gallery from Los Angeles to downtown Athens, then moved further out to Comer, and is now back in Athens as well as New York City. 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 that rotate each month. Limited-capacity receptions and pop-up events are typically held on Thursdays. Upcoming artists include Manda McKay, Jim Barsness and Jesse Blalock, Will Eskridge, Kip Ramey and Elizabeth Hanes.

Twisted Moon Studios

2971 Monroe Hwy., Bogart • 678-661-0126 •

This art studio offers classes, camps and workshops for children and adults alike, as well as paint parties. In addition to public events, the space is also available to rent.

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.

Public Art Projects to Check Out  

Art Shelters

Serving transit riders while also injecting creativity into the built environment, many of Athens-Clarke County Transit’s bus shelters double as public art. The program produced 11 art shelters between two phases in 2005 and 2011 as a partnership between ACC Transit and the Athens Area Arts Council called “You, Me and the Bus.” Under the guidance of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission, ACC Transit added a new round of 13 art shelters and an additional 20 artist-designed laser cut shelters in 2020. Look out for Joni Younkins-Herzog’s giant pillbug on Lexington Road and Richard Herzog’s larger-than-life gingko leaves on North Avenue.

Athens Creative Directory

Organized by the Athens-Clarke County Economic Development Department and CREATE Athens (a division of Envision Athens), the Athens Creative Directory serves as a hub for finding and interacting with creatives working in a variety of disciplines. Visit to search through profiles. 

Cobbham Triangle Park 

Occupying the slice of land nestled between Prince Avenue, Cobb and Harris streets, the Cobbham Triangle Park is a neighborhood gathering spot accentuated by public art. Highlights include an entranceway designed by St. Udio, a mosaic sitting wall called “Flow” by Krysia Ara, a towering sculpture called “Spirit of Inspiration” by Harold Rittenberry, a new “Venus Flower of Love” sculpture by Steve Sweetser and granite sculptures by Stan Mullins for games of chess and ping pong.

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, Ashley Crain, Megan Reeves, Lilli Sams and Dan Smith. 


Debuted in December of 2022, Maryland-based artist Eric Leskinsky’s “Frequency” is a 14-piece installation of three-dimensional blue “squiggles” that run along Clayton Street from Thomas to Lumpkin streets. A trained architect and planner, Leskinsky’s work encourages viewers to consider how the forms interact with objects along the path.


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

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

Rainbow Forest 

Visible from Martin Luther King Parkway on the North Oconee River Greenway, “Rainbow Forest” is a new public art installation by Los Angeles-based designer Andrew Kovacs, who worked alongside local artist assistants Eli Saragoussi and Patrick Sprague. Supported by the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission and unveiled in August 2021, the outdoor installation consists of a grid of 36 brightly colored columns. 

Sculptures and Murals 

Athens’ most recognizable sculptures are a series of giant bulldogs painted in colorful designs. To check out more sculptures, visit Steve Sweetser’s kinetic “Tree of Oneta” near the historic Southern Mill complex or Abbot Pattison’s infamous “Iron Horse” visible from Highway 15 N. in Greensboro. Popular murals include Taylor Shaw’s ATHENS Mural near Classic City Cycling, Dave Jenkins’ at Last Resort Grill, Anthony Wislar at Creature Comforts Brewery, Jamie Calkin at Flowerland and Michael Ross on Hawthorne Avenue. 

Art Classes  

ARTini’s Art Studio, Gallery & Lounge  337 Prince Ave.  • 706-353-8530 •  

Learn to paint while enjoying an adult beverage.

Community  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, 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, plus an open studio membership program.  

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  585 Barber St., Unit D • 706-850-1354 •  

Knit and crochet classes.

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

Oil painting, botanical sketching and more.