It was five years ago at this time...Vaknin Schwartz was rocking...New York was noticing...when Carolan called and said that you and she had something to tell me and could I please come over. I knew it was something good. Y'all were on a roll. I entered the gallery from the back (did anyone use the front door?) and you were both there, at the table, smiling. Carolan broke the news: Kojo Griffin and Chris Verene were both selected for the 2000 Whitney Biennial. Vaknin Schwartz was making the art world take notice of Atlanta and now this: two artists in the Whitney Biennial! Its funny that we were all a little disappointed at the time to find out that it was actually four artists from Atlanta to make the Whiteny that year (Ruth Leitman and Robin Bernat were the others). It became a victory for Atlanta as much as for VS, but it was clear that VS was leading the way.
Everything seemed possible for Atlanta artists then. It was like the dot-com boom. Every Atlanta artist thought they were going to hit it big like Kojo and Chris and they all lined up at your feet. You were Atlanta's star maker.
Fast forward five years: its the fall of 2005. The art world still notices Kojo and Chris and since then Sarah Hobbs, Michael Scoggins and Angela West have gotten some national recognition. And there is Radcliffe too. He has a New York dealer. And that's it. In five years, Atlanta has managed to get a spread in Blind Spot (West), a solo at Yossi Milo (Hobbs), a NY dealer and MOMA acquisition (Scoggins) and that is about it. Uri, Atlanta is falling asleep again. No one is paying attention any more. We need your help. You had the magic. If there is any bad blood between you and the Atlanta art world, it has been forgiven.
Tell me Uri, what would it take to get Atlanta back on the map? There is a lot of talent here that wants to know. There is hope though...Atlanta galleries are going to the art fairs...even if its not Basel, its still a fair and thousands of people will see Atlanta dealers and Atlanta artists. And the High's new curatorial posse seems genuinely interested in what's going on here. Maybe the spark can be reignited without you. But with you, it would be so much more fun and success would be a foregone conclusion.