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Curated and photographed by Melissa Alexander, this series of portraits celebrates creative movers and shakers that make us proud to brew beer for the Reformer in everyone.

 

Georgia’s Gold

Atlanta Makers, Making Black History

Melissa Alexander

Photographer

Melissa Alexander is obsessed with the idea of celebrating the inherent dope of the Individual. Understandably, growth and vulnerability form the foundation of her work, giving her photography and film a sense of intimacy. She invites her subjects to open up, chancing a peek at their greatness.

In 2017, Melissa went full-time freelance, understanding that she had a special calling and, in order to fulfill it, she would have to take a leap of faith.

So, she leapt and has been flying ever since: mentoring students at Emory University, empowering pop-up photography sessions with Spelman College, producing live theater and short films, motivating students at local public schools, and more. Melissa lives with the spirit of community in her heart and seeks to align her skills with those who do positive work.

Melissa resides in Atlanta’s West End community with her daughter. She’s a big fan of A Tribe Called Quest, Hellboy, and Conan. Yes, the Barbarian. Currently, she is working on projects related to Black literature and gang culture of 1980s South Bronx.

“Give yourself permission to be free. Make space for you. So often, we hold back… everything.”

Lauren Jackson Harris

Indpt Curator + Arts Advocate

An Atlanta native and former manager of Zucot Gallery, one of the few black-owned galleries in the United States, Lauren attended Howard University and earned her MA from SCAD. Lauren champions the artists she works with, and believes that art is to be collected, not merely admired.

Since returning to Atlanta in 2010, Lauren has enjoyed using her seasoned networking experience with outreach and program management to activate the arts within Metro Atlanta communities. With an MA in Creative Business Leadership from SCAD, she uses her innovative strategies and progressive ideas to help ignite the arts community and create new avenues for artists. 

Aside from working with the AUC Art Collective, Lauren works to develop and support Artists of the Diaspora, curates art exhibitions and experiences, and attends art openings and events. By staying abreast of art market trends and the creative happenings of Atlanta, she hopes to be an advocate for the Atlanta arts community and engage students, Artists, and art enthusiasts and supporters for the further growth of the arts and cultural scene.

“Trust your passion and stay true to it. Have an idea? Take it to your truest supporter.”

Lynsey Weatherspoon

Photographer

Lynsey is a commercial, portrait and editorial photographer based in both Atlanta and Birmingham. Her client base is the person next door, the startup still in incubation, the established brand or business, and media. Capturing heritage is important to her and evident in such personal projects as portraits of former members of the Negro Baseball League, Ronnie the shoe repairman, the Gullah Geechee culture of the Sea Islands, and Birmingham’s historic Ensley neighborhood.

Her editorial tearsheet includes The New York Times, NPR, AFAR Magazine, The NationalSierra magazine, ESPN The Undefeated, The Bitter Southerner, and Birmingham’s B-Metro magazine as well as a number of trade publications. Commercial projects include Cox Communications, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Google, Blue Cross Blue Shield Alabama, and Wells Fargo.

As a portraitist, Lynsey can see where people sitting for her have come from, and where they are going. Using her experience as a public speaking instructor, Lynsey enjoys helping others face their fears to make presentations and tell their own stories.

“Trust your passion and stay true to it. Have an idea? Take it to your truest supporter.”

Fabian Williams

Contemporary Muralist

 

Fabian “Occasional Superstar” Williams is an Atlanta-based visual and performance artist best known for his fluorescent, symbolism-filled mural work depicting black cultural and civil rights leaders in modern and futuristic contexts. Williams is also known for his work depicting the seemingly state-sanctioned violence perpetrated against black men.

Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Williams studied fine art at East Carolina University. After working for 13 years in the advertising industry with a long list of clients from Nike, Warner Bros to HBO, he decided to move to a purely expressive practice, where he had the freedom to express more political and socially relevant contemporary themes.

Through his formal education, Williams cultivated an interest in realism, particularly the work of Italian painter, Carvaggio. He also is stylistically inspired by the naturalistic works of Norman Rockwell. His series Rockingwell, an homage to Rockwell, re-imagines Rockwell’s depictions of America through a racial and pop-culturally informed lens. 

What sets me apart from others I’m thinking is the soul. I like to think my work is one part journalism and one part soul food.

Goldi Gold

Artist, Illustrator, Graphic Designer

Golden Aurelian, aka Goldi Gold, an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, and entrepreneur who’s wearable portraits shine a light on contemporary icons and heroes.

The New Jersey native, now a resident of Atlanta, has been involved in the cultivation and study of this substance for as far back as he can fathom, having spent his younger years trying to cajole life out of the flimsy pages of coloring books, utilizing crayons, trees, and even heat from an aged apartment radiator to perform feats of hued strength.

A humble, generous, and supportive part of the Atlanta art community who’s always giving back to his fellow creatives, he’s called Georgia home for 20 years, with a resume that includes work with Tree Haus Atlanta, Art Beats + Lyrics, Spike Lee, The High Museum, and others.

“I want people to feel good about the artwork, and not just because I created it. I want them to feel good about themselves when they see it.”

Flux

Freelance Graphic Designer, Illustrator, + Muralist

Craig “Flux” Singleton, a visual artist and MC known for his imaginative work, murals, and youth mentorship in Atlanta. Originally from Queens, NY, Flux has lived in Atlanta since attending Art Institute of Atlanta in the 90s, and worked with the team revamping Underground Atlanta.

The youngest of three children, Flux started drawing around 3 or 4 years old inspired by his brother’s illustrations as well as comic books, comic strips, cartoons, graffiti and ninjas. After graduating from The Art Institute of Atlanta with a B.A. in Visual Communications, he continued working as an artist and rapper in Atlanta and specializes in graphic design, illustration, and painting.

“Growth contains happiness and pain. Struggle and ease. Contrasts. With that in mind, we can grow where we choose.”

YOUR SUPPORT MEANS EVERYTHING

 

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