In a time where many of us maintain our creative interests as “side hustles” or, on the contrary, struggle to know how to make time for or maintain our creative passions, DIY and Maker Spaces are more important than ever.
These sort of spaces are safe, inclusive catalysts for community and togetherness, and it’s crucial that we support them and make their resources known.
Today, we’re highlighting one of those spaces: The Bakery.
We’ll keep this series going, periodically putting the spotlight on places like this in our community. We’d love to hear from you about any organization that you’d like to spread the word about!
The Bakery, founded by Willow Goldstein and her mother, Olive, is a "multifaceted arts complex that focuses on community engagement, the environment, education, and new technologies." Their goal is to “uphold the ethics of DIY, championing people over profit and encouraging open-mindedness, safety, and self-sufficiency."
It’s worth noting that as certain parts of the creative scene in Atlanta begin to thrive, others suffer. Goldstein describes this “thriving” portion as often white-walled, conservative and catering to young, wealthy, straight people. Goldstein’s hope with The Bakery was to create a space that unites communities from every corner of the city and of all identities. The space upholds a code of conduct for all who enter, and does not tolerate hate of any kind.
The Bakery hosts everything from concerts to craft markets, puppet shows, art installations, workshops, panels and more. One exciting resource offered by the organization is their “Makeyspace” — an area with artistic resources of all kinds, offered to the public for a donation and often staffed by members of the community who specialize in things like screen printing. Not only does The Bakery host workshops where community members can learn new skills, they offer these resources to any member of the community that fits the bill of kindness and inclusivity, and has good intentions for the things they create in the Makeyspace. This is a unique offering in Atlanta, and part of what makes The Bakery a truly important part of the city and its burgeoning arts scene.
It’s the spookiest time of the year. No, we’re not talking about Halloween, but rather the upcoming midterm elections.
On Nov. 6, Georgia voters will weigh in on 14 U.S. House seats, eight state executive offices, all 56 state Senate seats, all 180 state House seats and, of course, the hotly contested gubernatorial race between former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D), Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) and Ted Metz (L).
Georgia Artists for Progress is a nonpartisan, not for profit organization focused on providing political resources to the community, and encouraging voting and political action through art-affiliated events. In the lead up to the midterm elections, GAP’s mission is to motivate voters and to maintain that motivation through November 6.
“I believe that the midterm elections matter because they will impact the direction of Georgia,” GAP Executive Director Nirvana Kelly says.
“If you want to have a say in the future of this state, then one of the most direct and powerful things you can do vote.”
By partnering with The Bakery, GAP has access to the DIY space and their diverse and growing following. The Bakery holds music, art, literary and social events, often in support of minority causes. In just over a year, they have become a hub and a safe space for creatives, activists and artists in the area.
“This election year has the potential to be so seismically historical and game-changing — if every single one of us participates, both in the ballot box and in every other way we know how,” Mariah Parker, better known by her emcee name Linqua Franqa, says. “For me, that’s sharing my election story, movement building through crowd moving, and getting people hyped as an emcee.”
By day, Parker serves as the Athens-Clarke County Commissioner; by night, she emcees under the name Linqua Franqa, a nod to her linguistic prowess. Parker is joined by Little Tybee — for whom GAP’s Kelly plays viola and violin — and LONER, two bands that have heavily contributed to the local community, both creatively and politically.
“I think there’s a diverse lineup, reflective of the Atlanta constituency...the constituency for Stacey Abrams. Linqua Franqa is on the bill, and she’s an elected politician. So her being there to lend her voice is obviously pretty important. Also, the fact that it’s happening at The Bakery is unique, because The Bakery does a ton of community outreach and they’re kind of like the hub. They’re the place you can go to activate young people,” LONER frontman Josh Loner says.
According to data from United States Elections Project, only 38.6 percent of Georgia’s voting eligible population participated in the 2014 midterm elections. With “Turn Up the Turn Out,” The Bakery and Georgia Artists for Progress hope to energize and encourage voters, especially those within the 18 to 24 year old demographic.
“This event is special because it's a celebration of each citizen's right to vote, and we are so fortunate to have a say in who represents us. We should never take it for granted,” Kelly says.
Atlanta resident, artist and yoga teacher Adie Morton has been an artist as long as she can remember. Evolving from printer paper sketches to striking, emotive oil paintings, Adie weaves creativity into all aspects of her life.
We chatted with her about art, gender, beauty standards and yoga. Read on→
Sad Girl Collective: What mediums do you primarily work with?
Adie Morton: Usually oil paints. anything that can give me a texture.
SGC: How long have you been making art? How long have you been showing it?
AM: My parents always say they knew I was an artist before they knew anything else about me. I used to go through a whole stack of printer paper making drawings. They’re all still filed away somewhere. I went to a Waldorf school, so making art was the primary way of learning & communicating. So, I’d say my whole life, though I didn’t even consider showing [my art] until my third year of college.
SGC: As a female artist, do you find that gender heavily influences your art? If yes, how so?
AM: Certainly. A lot of my recent art deals with the frustration of beauty standards and gender inequality. I think the patriarchal structure of our society creates an unfair and even unsafe environment for non-male, non-white folks. My experience as a white woman only scratches at the surface of oppression, and could never begin to fathom other more prevalent, more violent forms of oppression (i.e. oppression faced by trans folk, people of color, etc.)
Our society is structured so that women have to work twice as hard to to get the same achievements as men. and then, people of color have to work 3 times as hard. And trans people 4. And trans people of color 5. I mean, the system of oppressions is so favorable towards men. For men, everywhere is a safe space. Creating space for non-male folks is so important, because they are not created naturally.
SGC: Being in the South and a female/feminist comes with its own challenges — do you agree? If so, what has your experience been?
AM: Atlanta is definitely a progressive little pocket of the south, but for the most part, the south is known for its “traditional” roles, gender stereotypes, and is structured in a way where fine art isn’t really taken seriously, especially by women. A man may do the same thing a women 10 feet away is doing, and get twice the recognition. I can feel that I have to work extra hard and market myself extra carefully to be seen and heard in the art world.
SGC: Tell me a bit about some of your pieces.
AM: My print “The Dancers” is a stone lithograph. It’s got 3 fat women in sensual positions, interconnected by a ribbon. A lot of my “work” this year has been educating myself on the privilege we can have as thin people, our language surrounding fat bodies & how the patriarchy has set up this deep rooted fat phobia in us. I wanted to display fat, femme bodies in a way that was beautiful and sensual and celebratory, without the fact that they are fat being the focus of the piece.
SGC: You’ve recently begun teaching yoga. Tell me about that, and how it plays into your artistic side.
AM: I started teaching yoga this past summer. For me, my yoga practice and my art are not separate. They both grow and change and ebb and flow at the same frequencies, both are reflections of what is going on in my life and in my brain, and I like to think that my yoga informs my creative process, and vice versa. Yoga is such a good way to process emotions and events, and so is painting. I feel like with both, I have a well-rounded creative toolkit.
SGC: Where can we find your paintings handing?
AM: Right now I have a couple paintings hanging in the yoga studio I work at, Dancing Dogs. I actually recently decided that while painting is ALWAYS going to be a big part of my life, I don't feel particularly attracted to the business of art, it feels like its a constant competition for who is "more serious" about art, who's been in what shows, etc. That stuff just doesn't make me come alive. I want my paintings to continue to be something I create for myself, something I connect with, not create with the sole intention of landing certain shows. I like to think I don't take anything too seriously. Except doing things that make me happy. Painting makes me happy. Explaining and justifying myself does not.
SGC: Describe the way your art is evolving, and the direction you see it going.
AM: Visually, my paintings have taken a bit more of an abstract turn. I rely a lot on my intuition when it comes to what i paint, so I don't think I have a super concise explanation for how this shift happened but I assume it's that the more I practice meditation and mindful movement, the less I feel like concrete words and ideas can accurately explain the going-ons of my brain.