Nancy McCrary: Laura, I want to congratulate you on your relatively new gallery in Atlanta, Hathaway Contemporary. Tell us about your background, and what brought you to open a gallery.
Laura Hathaway: Thank you. It is interesting how I ended up opening a gallery. I’ll try to start from the beginning. I was inspired to study photography after growing up watching my grandfather as a photographer. He was a photographer in WWII and a photojournalist throughout his life, published in LIFE and National Geographic. He inspired me to find the joy in the art of photography and in all creative pursuits. Holding onto this love for the arts, I graduated college and spent over 10 years in sales and marketing in the pharmaceutical and real estate industries. After having children, I found time to follow my dreams and study art more intensely, taking courses specifically on photography and painting. I feel as if owning a gallery marries my more introverted love for art-making and my own studio practice with my more extroverted sales and marketing personality. I love being around people, and I am fortunate to be around artists, amazing coworkers and clients everyday!
NM: Your building is amazing. Would you tell us about the history, and the renovation process?
LH: As my children grew to be a little more independent, I was ready to find full time work that was inspiring and meaningful. I like being busy, and I like being around people. My husband mentioned to me that he may want an investment property that has rental income. I started looking for a building, and in every space I visited I could only see a gallery! I couldn’t get it out of my mind. This led to me looking for gallery space. I searched all over Atlanta with the hopes to buy or rent a building. I fell in love with the raw space of our current location on the west side behind Bocado. Right when I saw it, I knew it was the space. It was an empty building, vacant for numerous years, that simply had 4 walls and a roof – no lighting, no HVAC, no plumbing. The floor was simply raw concrete which is exactly what I wanted. The location was perfect for our programming. It is an edgy area of town that is easily accessed by many communities within Atlanta. It is really becoming a fantastic artistic and culinary district in Atlanta.
My husband is in the construction and development industry, so his company completed the build-out of the gallery. The interior walls were arranged to include the columns that were holding up the roof, plus the desire to break up the large space into smaller galleries. We left the raw feeling of an industrial space in the ceiling and the floors. The HVAC was constructed with spiral duct work to complete the look. The floors were a lucky accident. We knew we had to sand them down to get rid of large ruts and we simply planned to seal the floors. The sample I chose just happened to have amazing reflective qualities. I love how the art reflects onto the floors. This added an amazing doubling element to viewing the work. In the afternoon especially, the floors look like water. I was fortunate to have my husband as the contractor, because he finished the project in four months. The final product was better than we could have ever imagined!
NM: John Reuter and the 20×24 Polaroid camera are coming to Hathaway for portrait sessions October 27th, 28th, and 29th. This is timely, considering the 20×24 studio will be closing at the end of next year. Tell us about these three days and how to register for a session.
LH: We are extremely excited to be a part of this historical event! It’s an honor to bring the camera to Atlanta during its last year with usable film. The portrait sessions will take place in 30-minute blocks, running from morning until evening during the course of these three days, October 27-29. People can sign up for a session with John Reuter or Sheila Pree Bright, which includes one Polaroid. They can also buy up to 2 additional Polaroids per session. We’ve just launched an online reservation and payment platform to make the process easy for everyone. Please click on this link to secure your session: https://hathaway-contemporary-gallery.myshopify.com/
We will also have an artist talk with John Reuter, on Thursday, October 27th at 6 pm.
NM: Atlanta Celebrates Photography takes over the city of Atlanta in October. What are the plans for Hathaway during that month?
LH: We have three exhibitions in the gallery for Atlanta Celebrates Photography that will be on view from September 29, 2016 until November 4, 2016. The opening reception for these shows will be Thursday, September 29th, 6 pm – 9 pm.
In our main gallery we will have an exhibition titled, In the Real World, a nod to William Eggleston, which features works of known genre scenes including interiors, landscapes, and still lifes. Amanda Greene, Meg Griffiths, Sarah Hobbs, and Sheila Pree Bright use their photographic practices to explore how these images reveal intimacies of the human psyche and the world we live in.
We will have another exhibition, Objects of Thought, which is a two person exhibition featuring emerging artists Davion Alston and Jeffrey Paclipan. Alston’s Paper Bag Party series and Paclipan’s Radiantoys series employ the language of isolated objects to explore both personal and social narratives of identity, history, and memory.
Additionally, Mary Stanley Studio will present a solo exhibition of the Sweetheart Rolling Skating Rink. Yates shot theses photographs in 1972-1973. For nearly 40 years, the project lay untouched in a box. At his family’s urging, he began to show the work and was met with immediate success, becoming a top 50 winner for the prestigious 2013 PhotoLucida Critical Mass Award. His recent solo exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans was seen by more than 25,000 museum visitors.
We can’t forget to mention HATHAWAY Contemporary Gallery’s exhibition at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center featuring the work of gallery artist Deborah Llewellyn’s WATER series. This will also be on display starting October 11th with an artist talk that night at 6 pm located at ADAC in Atlanta.
NM: Can you give us a sneak peek into your future exhibition schedule? What do we have to look forward to?
LH: We’ve had numerous group shows during the first few months of opening the gallery. After the exhibitions we mount in conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography, we will move forward with a series of solo shows. The first two solo shows will be Whitney Wood Bailey from Brooklyn, NY, and our own amazing photographer and artist, John Folsom. We will continue with Fran O’Neill, Australia-born but working in Brooklyn, who is currently exhibiting at MOCA Jacksonville. Our plan is to mount photography exhibitions during ACP every year. We are excited that our space allows us the flexibility to exhibit many Atlanta-based artists, as well as other artists from around the country.
HATHAWAY | Contemporary Gallery
Monday – Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday: by appointment only