The University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art announces the opening of the Athenaeum, a contemporary art space located in downtown Athens at 287 W. Broad St.
The 5,000-square-foot space was recently renovated to accommodate art exhibitions, workshops, lectures and classes, as well as a Reading Room featuring curated texts and audio-visual materials thematically related to current exhibitions.
Katie Geha, director of the Dodd Galleries, will continue in her role at the art school while serving as director and chief curator of the Athenaeum, joined by Lindsey Reynolds, director of the Reading Room.
“The rich history of the Lamar Dodd School of Art and the art scene of Athens, Georgia, practically dictates the need for a vibrant contemporary space connecting the two and pushing the twin legacies forward,” Geha said. “The mission of the Athenaeum is to pursue art and ideas with rigor and to serve diverse communities through exposure to contemporary art.”
The Atheneum will host one exhibition per semester as well as the annual MFA exhibition. Building on themes presented in the works on display, a series of public programs will link them to research and thinking happening across the University and within the Athens community.
An exhibition of photographs and a video by internationally renowned artist Trevor Paglen opened Sept. 9 and remains on display through Dec. 1. “Trevor Paglen: Vision After Seeing” presents essential questions on the differences between vision and seeing. Exploring both the limits of human vision and the rise of automated vision technologies such as surveillance cameras and high-powered telescopes, Paglen’s work probes the long history of seeing, while also reflecting on the kind of “seeing” done mostly by machines.
“The limits of human vision are an integral theme for Paglen,” Geha said. “He has consistently trained his camera on things that evade detection by the human eye, sometimes deliberately, as in the case of remote military sites and caches of NSA-tapped fiber optic cables, and sometimes by virtue of the eye’s physiological limits, as with the artist’s photographs of satellites whose traces are visible only with the aid of enhanced photographic technologies.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events including a lecture by Lisa Saltzman, professor of art history at Bryn Mawr College; a roundtable on AI and Aesthetics with professors and researchers from across campus; and a performance by the New York-based artists FlucT.
“The Athenaeum is an ambitious and important undertaking—one grounded in the conviction that art is a form of inquiry in its own right, essential to the academic mission of the university and the production of knowledge,” said Marisa Pagnattaro, vice provost for academic affairs and chair of the UGA Arts Council. “Its location at the interface of North Campus and downtown underscores the inextricable links between the university and the Athens community.”