Walking Through Marietta’s Art Scene

Walking Through Marietta’s Art Scene

Strolling around the Marietta Square is a favorite pastime for locals as well as out-of-towners, but taking time to enjoy the vibrant art scene can make your next jaunt especially delightful. Marietta boasts a fabulous selection of visual art from the award-winning Marietta Cobb Museum of Art, to galleries, studios, and outdoor public art.

Art Walk

 One of my favorite happenings on the Marietta Square is the monthly Art Walk event, which takes place on the first Friday of each month, beginning at 5:00 pm. The galleries extend their hours, host a reception with music and snacks, and debut their new shows. Not only can you meet featured artists, but Art Walk is also a showcase for local craft-makers and artisans, set up on sidewalk tables all throughout the Square. With Marietta’s Open Container allowance, visitors can sip, stroll and enjoy sharing this wonderful art experience with friends and neighbors. Even if you can’t make it to an Art Walk event, be sure to take a gander at the galleries around the Square.

Galleries

 Marietta is home to numerous galleries on and around the Square. I have highlighted my favorites in a geographical order, starting at Church Street.

Robert Kent Galleries

(new address) 145 Church StreetRobert Kent Galleries has recently moved and renovated space previously housing a real estate business. The layout provides a unique opportunity to highlight artists within mini-gallery spaces and create an aesthetic with a nod to owner Robert’s interior design background. The colorful vibe is quite welcoming! Co-owner Holly Tuchman explained her affinity for art, “Art brings people together to experience emotion and bridge gaps that might otherwise keep us apart.” One area I especially love is the mini-gallery which showcases a different designer each quarter. The current display synchronizes fashion, furniture, accessories, color, and painted art in one fascinating presentation. Robert and Holly are also committed to investing in young talent and are featuring the work of Grace, a local 12-year-old, in her third studio show.

dk Gallery

25 West Park Squaredk Gallery represents artists from all over the US with a unique and fresh approach to their original works. Gallery manager Krista Moase shared that each month, the gallery curates a different theme to keep things fun and interesting and allow their artists to experiment with a variety of subject matters. The exhibit in May is called Bloom and offers a collaboration with The Garden Clubs of the Marietta Educational Garden Center. The works depict spring colors and scenes. A previous theme was Rock, Paper, Scissors and featured several unique pieces, including a 1300-piece collage of the Mona Lisa standing over 6-feet tall! Additional artists are featured in the Gallery’s lower levels, known as The Underground and The Vault. There is a lot to explore and enjoy! Another tidbit I picked up along my art tour was a shout out to dk Gallery co-founder, Donna Krueger who is credited among fellow gallery owners for bringing the arts together on the Square and being the impetus behind Art Walk and the vibrant local scene.

The Loft

120 South Park Square – Tucked away upstairs between shops and restaurants on South Park Square at the top of an indoor painted staircase, you’ll find a hidden treasure. The Loft gallery showcases paintings from about twenty mostly local artists. Curated into two-month shows, the May-June presentation is entitled Horizon, featuring landscapes. Gallery manager Ashleigh Lorenz reports that each show reflects the season when she designs it and the colors change from room to room. She and the new owner Shannon Schneider strive to display visuals which evoke emotions and start conversations – not just background decorations.

Muse & Co. Fine Art

26 Winters StreetMuse & Co. is an intimate fine art gallery representing the highest quality contemporary and transitional original fine art. It is located just off the main Square on Winters Street behind South Park Square. They work with both new and established collectors and offer in-home, corporate site, and art consultation services to find the perfect piece while also assisting the film and television industry seeking rentals with just the right touch.

Ahoy! There Be Dragons: A Whimsical Art Gallery

35 North Park Square – This interesting space is a creative venture spearheaded by artist Elizabeth Schick and husband Marshall. They currently showcase the works (painting, sculpture, crafts and more) of over 30 strictly local artists, mostly women. Manami, one of my favorite local festival artists, is prominently highlighted here. Be sure not to miss Elizabeth Schick’s delightful Alice in Wonderland inspired pottery! In this unique showroom, each artist rents their own space, controlling their individual displays and pricing. Bound by a penchant for pop culture event, Dragon Con, you’ll see whimsy and fantasy reflected all through the gallery. Guests can explore their own artistry joining in Elizabeth’s pottery and painting classes.

Marietta Art Collective

358 Roswell Street, Ste. 2150 – Coming together with a vision for a space where artists can create together in community, local artists Deb Rosenbury, Suzanne Dent, and Stephanie O’Neil have opened the Marietta Art Collective a few blocks east of the Square. This open and inviting location houses individual working studios and also serves as mini-galleries for each to display their latest masterpieces. The Marietta Art Collective is open for touring as well as hosting private events and art classes.

Museum

Marietta Cobb Museum of Art (MCMA)

30 Atlanta Street –  Art explorers will want to include the MCMA in their travels. This hometown favorite is the only Metro-Atlanta fine arts museum focusing solely on American Art. The permanent collection houses works dating from as early as the 18th century to present day. The museum features special exhibits throughout the year and hosts popular art gatherings, including quarterly Art of the Cocktail events celebrating new exhibits and tying in locally sourced themed beverages. Check out the next one on Friday, May 10, 2024. MCMA Executive Director Sally Macaulay definitely lives the mission of Building Community Through Art. Macaulay is the founder, brains, and creative soul behind the annual Chalktoberfest that has become a major festival in the Southeast US over the past eight years, attracting upwards of 100,000 visitors over the two-day event with an economic impact of $6.2 million to the City of Marietta.

Outdoor/ Public Art

Another distinguishing feature of Marietta’s art scene and overall welcoming vibe is the outdoor public art including professional murals sprucing up the architecture, select sculptures adorning local parks and courtyards, as well as the inspired Fence Gallery showcasing the works of local artists and students along the M2R Trail.  Learn more about the annual unveiling and TrailFest.

Something For Everyone

Sometimes art can be considered pretentious or overly pricey, but Marietta’s art scene is far from “stuffy!” Several gallery owners mentioned their intention to offer affordable pieces among their collections. Even if not in the market to buy today, spending time experiencing the variety of art showcased in Marietta will help expand awareness and appreciation of various visual modalities while deciding if you’d like to begin a collection or add to existing favorites. I definitely feel more joy and learn something new every time I visit with one of our friendly local gallery managers on the Square!

Kim Ellet is a free-lance writer, Marietta resident and enthusiast, and member of the Visit Marietta Board of Directors.