Atlanta, Georgia 2021-06-19 14:24:35 –
Eugene V. Bird III He has curated art shows for decades. In the 90’s he remembered his first curated show, “Step into the Byrd Nest,” and has curated more than 20 shows ever since his career as an artist. Wichita, Kansas graduated from SCAD in 2002 and continued to work as a creative director for Fortune 500 companies. It wasn’t until 2016 that he decided to step up his faith and pursue his artistic career altogether.
This year, Bird held his own art exhibition in honor of Juneteenth. Signed the law this week as a federal holiday.. Self-liberation art exhibition This Saturday (June 19th) and next Saturday (June 26th) from 3pm to 7pm, it will be on display at the TCP Foot Locker Gallery on 1420 Moreland Avenue Southeast, featuring bird artwork. I will. Fabian Williams, Maryam Moma, George F. Baker III, Tracy Murrel, etc. We talked to Bird to learn more about the exhibition and his vision. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How is your exhibition tied to Juneteenth?
The exhibition is based on the spirit of Juneteenth, which is also known as the Day of Freedom and the Day of Liberation. I focused on the liberation part. I wanted to celebrate the pressure that enslaved blacks put on the country to free them. That’s what I wanted to focus on. Contributions to us are free and the exhibition speaks to artists and shows. Such artists are founded and liberated in their careers, in their lives, and in a kind of their own terms — a traditional kind of gallery system and just a kind of self-liberation. Work outside the people.
Why did you decide to curate this particular show?
Well, when the world paused in 2020, the art world paused, so I definitely wanted to have an art show, a period. [with it].. I felt like I was painting a lot in 2020, and I was ready to welcome the audience in front of the art, but when the audience is in front of me, the paintings come alive. I know that many artists in the show feel the same. Also, in 2020, there was a great deal of racial injustice. It’s really the first time to have an all-black exclusive artist show. I really wanted to show what we could do in our community.
You have been in Atlanta for a while. What changes have you seen in the art scene over the years?
Art in general has just begun to be appreciated by developers, businesses and municipalities. They are beginning to see the value of art. So that’s a good thing. There are more opportunities for public art projects and those of their nature than when I first came to A in 1996. I think it’s happening in Atlanta, but I think it’s happening a little nationwide. People are beginning to see how art and culture can actually increase asset value, and art also allows you to have healthy and unpleasant conversations and healthy dialogues, and I think people are starting to recognize it.
What are some of the hardships you faced as a black artist in your career?
It’s generally an artist struggle, and overall, I think some of the same struggles as we have are white artists as well. Because, in many cases, people don’t fully understand it. [art].. But if you’re a black artist, it’s double. Because our black-owned facility does not have adequate funding. Without the Separatist philosophy, it is almost impossible to raise money as a Black Gallery owner or a Black Art organization. Normally, if I adopted only Black’s approach, which I had never adopted, I wouldn’t actually raise money because only Black’s organization would raise money. I didn’t want to be a separatist. Because I always believed that the art community shouldn’t do that. The art community should be more open-minded and open-armed to everyone.
What can you advise aspiring artists and curators?
I believe in studying your technology. Don’t worry about monetizing your skill until you reach a certain point of acquisition. You definitely need to network. Atlanta is an open-armed city, but it’s small enough to know who actually supports other people’s shows. Therefore, if you want to participate in the Atlanta art scene, you need to participate. You need to let people know who you are. Certainly the artist says it out loud. Many Atlanta organizations, especially black ones, are grassroots, so there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer.
Well, I’ve been focusing on our collective internet artists for years. That’s what I keep going, but I’m starting to switch gears a bit. The gallery had to be closed in 2020. [so I’m] I switched things to focus on Eugene Byrd production, I became more prominent myself and put my name on the front line. Eugene Byrd Productions provides art advocacy, art leasing and art consulting. A sponsorship partnership with Maker’s Mark is approaching. And it keeps pushing the needle, giving opportunities, and bringing art and culture to poorly serviced areas.