What a chill this past weekend! I had lots of plans to do a number of outdoor activities but most of those were put aside. I believe that Atlanta has had it’s last taste of cold weather and now we’re going into our regularly scheduled programming of warm, sunny days and time spent outdoors. Although a few of my plans came to a halt I was still able to attend the launch of the Arnika Dawkins Gallery. I was really looking forward to it. I knew that it was time to take a break from the norm and experience something new and this was the perfect opportunity.
The theme for the evening was “Canapé’s and Cocktails” and guests were invited to take a photographic journey of works by a group of talented photographers with a creative eye and lens perfecting wrists for capturing moments and images that just may escape the unyielding eye.
The event was from 6-8 pm and was located in the heart of southwest Atlanta in the Cascade area. Cascade is typically known for its affluent and cultural influence. I know because I’ve found myself frequenting this area for book events by local authors, theatrical plays directed by Jasmine Guy and now gallery openings. It’s definitely a nice area to visit. So imagine my surprise when I found myself driving in circles in search of the gallery. It wasn’t that it was actually difficult to find, it’s that the gallery is discreetly tucked off of the main road in a subtle and inviting home cropped with looming landscape. Driving in definitely set the tone for a mild, intriguing and yet cozy evening.
Once inside I was warmly greeted by the owner Arnika Dawkins and the hostess for the evening Tiffany Greene. I was excited because I could see the other guests mingling throughout the rooms all while admiring the pieces hanging on the walls. I decided I would mingle later and take a look at some of the works on display and what lovely pieces they were.
What immediately drew my attention were some of the pieces by Marlene Hawthorne. Her work featured miniature collections like tea sets, doll items and people and showed them in a way that made them appear large even though you knew you were staring at something the size of a human thumb. I stood engaged at the images for awhile. They had such a feminine and gentle touch to them. I ended up talking to her for awhile about how she came up with the idea and the inspiration for it. That was definitely one of the highlights of the event, having the opportunity to really connect with other artists and discover what motivates them.
Throughout the other rooms I had the opportunity to gaze at works by Builder Levy, Titus Heagins and Allen Cooley. It was in my passing from room to room that I became fixated on a visual of the late Malcom X. The interesting thing about the photo was that he was smiling and appeared to be so happy. It definitely wasn’t the depiction of him so often seen in the media. It’s here I was visited another opportunity to discuss my admiration for the work and this time with Arnika. She told me the story behind the photo and why Malcom X was seen smiling so brightly in the photograph. It’s a wonderful story but instead of giving it away, I believe it’s one you have to hear for yourself. Of course I took a photo of the work, but I’m not showing it in it’s entirety. That would not only spoil the story, but it would also spoil the greatness caught on the other side of the piece. (Excuse the blurry backgroud)
The rest of the evening was just as pleasant as viewing the works. True to the theme in between time we mingled amongst ourselves with glasses of champagne and tasteful hors d’oeuvres to comfort us. It was definitely a night well spent and something I recommend to anyone with a love for fine art and trying something new. To find out more about Arkins Dawkins and gallery hours visit www.adawkinsgallery.com. Below are a few of my favorite pieces. Still, go and see for yourself.