6 Atlanta-based Artists Who Explore Place, Belonging, and Heritage

Explore the High Museum of Art's exhibition 'Of Origins and Belonging'

Of Origins and Belonging Exhibition Space (2019)High Museum of Art

Of Origins and Belonging, Drawn from Atlanta

'Of Origins and Belonging, Drawn from Atlanta' is the third in a series of exhibitions at the High focused on work by Atlanta-based artists. The exhibition features six artists who address issues related to place, belonging, and heritage in their work: Jessica Caldas, Yehimi Cambrón, Xie Caomin, Wihro Kim, Dianna Settles and Cosmo Whyte. Compelled by the national debate and dialogue around immigration reform, this iteration of the High’s Atlanta drawings project features artists whose distinct voices, diverse perspectives, and personal experiences represent worldviews informed and enriched by their cultural heritage and the bond they share as members of a diverse creative community in Atlanta. Among the participating artists, Caomin and Whyte immigrated to the United States as adults, and Cambrón is a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient.

Family Portrait (2019) by Yehimi CambrónHigh Museum of Art

Yehimi Cambrón, Family, 2019

Yehimi Cambrón is a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient originally from México who works as an artist and educator in Atlanta. Known for the many public works projects she has produced in collaboration with Living Walls and WonderRoot, nonprofits that commission artists to paint public spaces, Cambrón often incorporates portraits of immigrants—most of them undocumented—into her work along with the monarch butterfly, a symbol of the immigrant’s journey. Her artwork elevates the resilience and humanity of immigrants through a combination of portraiture and text that creates a platform for people to share their personal narratives in empowering and uncensored ways.

Documented I (2019) by Yehimi CambrónHigh Museum of Art

EX EN UN AIR (2019) by Wihro KimHigh Museum of Art

Wihro Kim, EX EN UN AIR, 2019

Wihro Kim combines representational painting and abstraction to establish incidents of spatial disharmony and coalescence. Kim maps out transitions between interior and exterior spaces through the use of line work and patches of pigment, establishing a framework for the distribution of color and light and the modulation of form to describe unnamable but oddly familiar things. This fracturing of pictorial space characterizes a work’s structure but also functions similarly to perspective, foreshadowing, and dialogue. Kim’s description of the world, at once concurrent and disjointed, corresponds to emotional, social, and psychological frameworks through which people navigate the world.

What doze d horizon mean? (2019) by Wihro KimHigh Museum of Art

The Buddha on Elysium Beach (Baby Buddha with Tiger) (2019) by Xie CaominHigh Museum of Art

Xie Caomin, The Buddha on Elysium Beach (Baby Buddha with Tiger), 2019

Xie Caomin grew up in China but has been living and working in the United States since 1999. Caomin works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and digital media. Growing up under the strict Chinese Communist regime, Caomin was among the first generation of artists to touch upon contemporary topics and themes in his work. He frequently depicts Western and non-Western motifs to create multidimensional art. Caomin states that, “For me, art practice is to constantly enter the worlds of the others to see myself.” He teaches studio art at Clayton State University.

Jataka Tales—The Golden Deer (2019) by Xie CaominHigh Museum of Art

The Broken Other (2013) by Xie CaominHigh Museum of Art

A Play for Voices; Move Your Body A-Round (2019) by Dianna SettlesHigh Museum of Art

Dianna Settles, A Play for Voices; Move Your Body A-Round, 2019

Dianna Settles is a Vietnamese American artist, musician, and gallerist whose work focuses on everyday, commonplace settings to counter fetishized and passive images of women of color. Settles grew up in rural North Georgia and began making art with a realistic aesthetic. A trip to her father’s homeland of Vietnam helped Settles realize that she wanted to portray people who resemble her. She then developed the brightly colored Asian figures common in her work today. Settles operates Hi-Lo Gallery in midtown, Atlanta.

Full Moon Madness (2019) by Dianna SettlesHigh Museum of Art

Heaven is All Goodbyes (2019) by Dianna SettlesHigh Museum of Art

Fountain (2018) by Cosmo WhyteHigh Museum of Art

Cosmo Whyte, Fountain, 2018

Cosmo Whyte is both a multidisciplinary artist and educator. His art reflects on the legacy of colonialism and migration. This topic means a lot to Whyte, who moved from Jamaica to the United States in 2001, at age nineteen, to attend Bennington College and pursue a BFA in painting. Whyte uses his personal experiences to question constructs of masculinity, ethnicity, and belonging in his art. He works as a visual arts professor and program director at Morehouse College.

Sweet, Sweet, Back (2015) by Cosmo WhyteHigh Museum of Art

Keloid 1 (2015) by Cosmo WhyteHigh Museum of Art

acá o allá, yo no me quito, Los Caldos del sur (2019) by Jessica CaldasHigh Museum of Art

Jessica Caldas, acá o allá, yo no me quito,
Los Caldos del sur, 2019

Jessica Caldas is a multidisciplinary artist who works in painting, drawing, printmaking, installation, and sculpture. Central themes in her work are women’s relationships and experiences. Caldas delves into both positive and negative aspects of these subjects and covers a wide array of social topics, from social justice to abuse. She draws from her advocacy work with the YWCA Georgia Women’s Policy Institute and other nonprofit legal firms, lobbying for various bills to support the rights of sexual assault survivors. Caldas recently received her MFA in painting, drawing, and printmaking from Georgia State University.

Credits: Story

This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. This exhibition is made possible by:

Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor
Delta Airlines

Exhibition Series Sponsors
Northside Hospital, Warner Media

Premier Exhibition Series Supporters
The Antinori Foundation, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot, wish Foundation

Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter
Anne Cox Chambers Foundation

Ambassador Exhibition Supporters
Tom and Susan Wardell, Rod Westmoreland

Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
Lucinda W. Bunnen, Marcia and John Donnell
W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole, Peggy Foreman, Robin and Hilton Howell, Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones, Joel Knox and Joan Marmo, Margot and Danny McCaul, The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust

Generous support is also provided by
Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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