WATCH: Curator Michael Rooks on Highlighting Atlanta Artists’ Perspectives on Immigration and Identity

Michael Rooks brought together artists whose intimate drawings explore the complexities of cultural identity in our city.

In our newest Curator Close-Up video, you’ll meet Michael Rooks, the High Museum of Art’s Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Hear from Rooks as he discusses his work with Atlanta artists over the years and his current exhibition at the High — Of Origins and Belonging, Drawn from Atlanta (on view through September 29, 2019).

Curator Michael Rooks smiles, standing with his hands in a prayer position in front of a large Mehretu artwork.
Curator Michael Rooks smiles, standing with his hands in a prayer position in front of a large Mehretu artwork.
As immigration issues captivate our country, curator Michael Rooks hopes to amplify the distinct voices of artists who speak to the topics on a personal level.

Of Origins is the third in a series of exhibitions at the High focused on work by Atlanta-based artists. The series began in 2013 with Drawing Inside the Perimeter, featuring all Atlanta-based artists, and continued in 2015 with Sprawl! Drawing Outside the Lines, highlighting artists from around the metro area and other Georgia cities.

Of Origins features six Atlanta-based 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.

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.

A colorful in-gallery mural by Wihro Kim.
A colorful in-gallery mural by Wihro Kim.
Wihro Kim, What doze d horizon mean?, 2019.

With the exhibition, Rooks hopes “to shed light on how art is a mode of exchange, mirroring the transnational exchange of people, ideas, and values that is at the heart of American immigration and that is so vital to our city.”

Don’t miss your opportunity to see the show for yourself, try on a different worldview, and connect with your fellow Atlantans.

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Stories from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta

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