By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

If you live in Atlanta, you know that the art scene is bustling whether you are talking international exhibits or queer underground showings. Peach spoke to three local artists about what is moving in their creative space right now.

Art in Everything

Alli Royce Soble

Documentary Photographer and Mixed Media Artist

Alli has documented Atlanta’s nightlife, LGBTQ Community, and art scene for the last 25 years and is a self-represented artist as the House of Sobolovitz.

What is your creative expression?

I am a documentary-style photographer. I sit back and watch the entire space, or I am right in the middle of it. Seeking out energy and moments. I want to capture the pockets of time. I am also a Mixed Media Abstract Expressionist working with moods and energy; texture, movement, and fluidity on paper, canvas, and wood. 

Is there something/someone/somewhere we should be paying close attention to? 

It really depends on your mood. There are many variations of what is creative and art-driven in Atlanta. You can go to galleries and art spaces throughout the city. Walk along the Beltline and see amazing murals from all kinds of artists. Art is all around us. I recommend you check out these spaces: Go by Susan Bridge’s Whitespace on Edgewood Ave to see works by Suellen Parker, Shana Robbins, or Ruth Dusseault. Visit Sandler Hudson Gallery on the Westside of the city and ee works by William E. Downs or Rocío Rodríguez. Blue Mark Studios for various curated shows and cool event space down on Jefferson Street in Northwest part of town. 

How could the art scene in Atlanta become even better? 

I was really excited to be a part of the Mayor’s Inaugural LGBTQ Gallery at City Hall this year. I was honored that one of my works was selected by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to be represented as a queer artist living, but also born, in Atlanta. Exhibitions such as these bring opportunities to artists, that are not represented by galleries, to shine. I am self-represented, so I hustle hard to get exposure. 

What are you into artistically right now? 

I go through phases while working as a full-time artist. I went through a huge drawing surge of production over the last three years. This became a full body of work. I had a solo exhibition on a small portion of the series, but it is still growing. It continues to change because I continue to change and grow. The work evolves. I work based on experience and mood. Drawing and painting is ebb and flow for me. However, photography is something I can and will do every day of my entire life. I am and always will be taking photographs. I see art in everything; photography is my truest passion. 

Currently, I am in sales mode. Being a full-time artist is more than just making art. It is producing, the networking, the marketing. I wear many hats. Gotta sell that art, so I can continue to make the art. Art is my Job. I get to live doing what I love. 

Where can we see/buy your work? 

My new website just launched at www.alliroycesoble.com of House of Sobolovitz. Here you can see my various forms of art and the services I offer. You can sign up if you want to schedule a photography session or come by for a studio visit to see the work. 

Follow Alli on IG 

@roycesobolovitz 

Provoking Change Through Art

Cameron Lee

Artist, Photographer, Realtor, Art Creator and Enthusiast

What is your creative expression? 

My creative expression is about appreciating our surroundings, the balance between negative and positive energy, exploring the unknown, and tapping into our unconscious feelings. Through my artwork, I try to capture this by creating atmospheric scenes that allude to a physical space but are not completely identifiable. I celebrate the range of cultural, gender, and sexual statements that add vibrancy to our world and try to bring more acceptance through representation. 

How would you describe the Atlanta art scene right now? 

I believe the Atlanta art scene is on the rise. I’m seeing more and more collaboration of art in public spaces, local artists displaying their work at restaurants and cafes, interactive installations, and a broad spectrum of performance art happening daily. 

Is there something/someone/somewhere we should be paying close attention to? 

I tend to pay attention to artists that are undervalued or misrepresented in society because they have a unique perspective that is worth understanding and help to break our misconceptions and insecurities. Living Walls is a nonprofit that does a great job of creating inspiring public art that can provoke change, which recently unveiled a mural on the Westside Beltline trail that honors those living with HIV. The mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, had an LGBTQ art show that was hanging in her office that I was a part of, and is doing work to include this community in more ways. The Bakery is an artist collective that also puts on many shows/performances that are a safe space for queer/POC/allies to come together and appreciate fun, creative experiences in ATL. Wussy Mag and Southern Fried Queer Pride are a few other groups that I follow that tap into alternative communities that deserve recognition.

How could the art scene in Atlanta become even better? 

Atlanta could expand and better its art community by integrating more inclusive depictions of its society in public art, in my opinion. Atlanta is changing quickly as more people are moving here, and in these times, I think it is important to celebrate the diversity, history, and progress the city is experiencing. We need to invest in the voices of local artists by including them in venues and events at little to zero cost, buying their work so that the artists can afford to continue to make art and be able to live/thrive in the city. 

What are you into artistically right now?

I’m into the idea that art should be functional and not just something static we see on the wall. Art can be on rugs, tables, headboards, lamps, apparel, etc. I think we under-utilize a lot of space in our lives and I hope to explore more of this in my own work. I’m excited to be working on my first series with all ATL queer people that is set to be completed this fall and will be fun collages that hope to capture the diverse, vibrant community that this city has to offer. Stay tuned!

Where can we see/buy your work?

You can see my artwork on my website: www.cameronleeart.com and can purchase at Rigelgemini.Bigcartel.com

Follow Cameron on FB and Instagram at Cameron Lee Art

The Art of Visual Storytelling

Buzz Busbee

Owner/Creative Director – ABETTERBUZZ Brand & Experience Design, ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods. Founder of ABETTERBUZZ, a gay owned and operated brand design studio and apparel company based in ATL. 

What is your creative expression?

I am a trained art director, graphic designer, and printmaker. My design is expressed through visual storytelling and creative problem solving for clients and my personal work. My design style is bold and graphic through the use of color, composition, texture, and typography. I am a bit of a hybrid designer now; in 2016, I started ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods, an apparel brand that translates my designs and style onto garments and accessories to help people look and feel good. It’s been a rewarding challenge for me to learn how to source high-quality, comfortable garments and to shift my art direction skills that I typically used on press checks over to making custom hats and gear. It’s been a really fun, creative outlet for me, and I am having a blast doing it.

How would you describe the Atlanta art scene right now? 

To me, the Atlanta art scene is quickly expanding. Community access to art and exposure for artists is more noticeable than ever with new additions like the BeltLine, Living Walls, Forward Warrior, etc. Also, companies and corporations in Atlanta are investing in local artists to create and install art in the workplace, where in the past, they would purchase stock/generic art for workspaces. 

Is there something/someone/somewhere we should be paying close attention to?

Barry Lee is a local, queer artist/illustrator I’ve been following and inspired by lately. His work is a perfect combination of whimsical, colorful and weird. His own story and how he shares it openly and allows himself to be vulnerable inspires me to do the same with my story, my day-to-day struggles, and how that affects my creativity. 

How could the art scene in Atlanta become even better? 

I think we need spaces that foster artists, designers, small businesses, etc. and gives them space to experiment and collaborate to create new ideas, products, events, etc. Think incubator/lab type places for art and design. Also, keep expanding street art and murals around the city. When I have friends visit from out of town, they all tell me how cool it is that Atlanta has so much street art. It’s unique that you can see so much amazing art just by driving through the city.

What are you into artistically right now?

I’m obsessed with any and all things light-related. LED lighting has completely opened up a brand-new world where light integrates into and alters our surroundings. Lighting designers, engineers, and artists are doing really amazing things.

Where can we see/buy your work?

 View my design portfolio and find out how I can help your business with design/branding at abetterbuzz.net. View/buy products from my retail company, ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods at abetterbuzzbrandgoods.com.

Follow Buzz and ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods on IG

@abetterbuzzbrandgoods