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10th Anniversary Letter from the Artistic Director
Spring 2012


                                                                                                                     photo credit John Gallagher
ATHICA's tenth birthday...it's hard to believe that an entire decade has
passed since we opened our first show, Raw Womyn. I still recall the
launch-day jitters I shared with bold developers Five Art, Inc., as if it
was yesterday; we were all nervous that the city building inspectors
would not approve the door frames in time for the opening!
 
                                                                                                                    photo credit Wayne Bellamy
In a few weeks, on Earth Day, ATHICA will open its 45th exhibit, Upcycle, our third dedicated to understanding a vital environmental issue. Serendipitously, former Athenian artist Joni Younkins-Herzog--now a Sculpture Professor in Sarasota--and whom I curated into Raw Womyn, has a large installation in Upcycle, like bookends of an era.

However, despite the many, many joys of this past decade, I have decided to transition out as ATHICA's Director for personal reasons during the next 6-9 months, handing over the reins by Sepetember 1, 2012.

Of course, I will continue to be associated as Founder, Artistic Director emerita, consultant and occasional curator.
 
                                                                                                                    photo credit Wayne Bellamy
I have much to look back on fondly, and many people to thank for our
achievements thus far. It has been such a wonderful journey of learning
and teaching, bringing some 13,000 visitors the kind of truly unique
encounters only provided by stimulating contemporary art. It has been a
real joy to introduce you to work by more than 900 innovative and
provocative artists and performers from all over the region, the nation
and the world-- and in many instances to introduce you to the artists,
experts and curators in person.

I would like to thank the wonderful community of Athens for its many
talented volunteers, the many UGA interns who have come forward, and the many local businesses that have contributed in-kind services, equipment, catering and financial support. I would especially like to thank those businesses that have generously given time and time again with amazing generosity and graciousness such as; Ashford Manor, who have provided artists with accommodations; TSAV, who have provided AV support; and caterers such as Trumps, Marti's at Midday, Mama's Boy, Heirloom Cafe and White Tiger Gourmet, who have fed us well. A special shout-out is due to media sponsors Flagpole Magazine and Athens Food & Culture for endless support, as well as website provider JHouse Media. Incredible graphic designers like Keith Rein, Amy Summers, Susan Beaubien, Darcy Reenis and Larry Forte have donated countless pro-bono hours, as have our 'in-house' photographer Wayne Bellamy (whose pictures grace this page), videographer Diana Lee, carpenter Jay Nackashi and the series of Volunteer Coordinators and Board Members who have made ATHICA tick. The list could go on and on...

Five Art, Inc., our initial backer, built our wonderful space and they
continue to lease it to us at well-below market value. I appreciate their
support.

The ATHICA board--see their letter--has taken up the call to find new people to bring energy to the space and to work to continue the vision I began a decade ago. I am pleased as punch that ATHICA will, with their help and yours, continue.

Over the next few months we will be letting you know about many fabulous and fun initiatives we are launching to celebrate our tenth year all year, to help ensure that the next decade in Northeast Georgia continues to be enriched by wondrous contemporary art and culture for all.

Sincerely,

Lizzie Zucker Saltz
March 22, 2012
 
 
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