Emory to host panel discussion on history of Nexus Contemporary Art Center

Published 01-05-2016

by Maureen McGavin

Photo credit: Courtesy Atlanta Contemporary

Nexus, which was founded in 1973, leased an old elementary school on Forrest Avenue (now Ralph McGill Boulevard) in 1976 and began to expand its programs.

Alumni from the Nexus Contemporary Art Center will take part in a panel discussion on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, at 7 p.m. at the Robert W. Woodruff Library on the Emory University campus in Atlanta.

Presented by Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library and ArtsATL, “Memorial Drive: Nexus Contemporary Art Center” will examine the history of the organization (now the Atlanta Contemporary) and its role in the city’s cultural development. Founded in 1973 as a grassroots photography cooperative, the Nexus Contemporary Art Center became one of the strongest and most influential alternative art spaces in the Southeast.

Panelists include Michael Goodman, a founding member of the Nexus Photography Cooperative and first director of the Nexus Press; Mario Petrirena, studio program artist and member of the board of directors; Teresa Bramlette Reeves, former gallery director and curator for Nexus Contemporary Arts Center, and Louise Shaw, former executive director. Cathy Fox, former executive editor of ArtsATL.com and former art critic at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will provide the opening remarks.

The moderator will be Randy Gue, curator of modern political and historical collections at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. The Rose Library is home to the records of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Nexus Contemporary Art Center, and the Nexus Press.

“This panel will explore the history of one of the city’s seminal institutions, an organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, and advancement of contemporary art in Atlanta and the South,” Gue said.

“Conversations like this one offer a unique opportunity to connect the Rose Library’s distinctive collections to the people and the stories of a particular place and time,” he added. “I hope our audience members will walk away with a better understanding of the growth of the arts in Atlanta and a desire to explore this history in more depth through our collections.”

The event is in conjunction with “Artists’ Books and Archives from Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Nexus Contemporary Art Center, and Nexus Press,” an exhibit of materials from the collection on display until May 15, 2016, on Level 2 of the Woodruff Library.

The panel is the first in a series of programs called “Memorial Drive,” presented by ArtsATL and the Rose Library, which will explore the history of the arts in Atlanta. The title, “Memorial Drive,” comes from an ArtsATL series examining the history of the arts in Atlanta and represents an Atlanta-specific take on the phrase “memory lane.”

The panel will take place in the Jones Room on Level 3 of Emory’s Woodruff Library, which is located at 540 Asbury Circle in Atlanta, 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne deck.

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