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ImageHey Everyone, we are super exited to announce this event! Sam Flax will be hosting a one-day calligraphy workshop with former White House Calligrapher, Rick Paulus!  We’d also like to thank Emily Canter and The Atlanta Friends of the Alphabet Calligraphy Guild for setting this up! For a supply list and more information, visit Here are some the details:

From Sam Flax and The Atlanta Friends of the Alphabet Calligraphy Guild
A One-Day Calligraphy Workshopwith Former White House Calligrapher, Rick Paulus
Calligraphy in the Digital Age
Where: Sam Flax Academy (upstairs)
When: Wednesday, January 29th
Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Cost: Only $65
To Reserve your place call Emily Canter at 678-463-7500 or email
Payment in advance to hold your spot – credit card, check, or cash
Rick Paulus explores calligraphy in the digital age by first taking us on a fascinating journey through time to creatively illustrate not only the shapes and mechanics of the letters of the Roman alphabet, but calligraphy’s significant role in the progress of man. As we enter the twentieth-century, we explore in more detail the significant changes that have taken place over the past century, and the work of those who have been instrumental in this transition. Drawing from his own experience transitioning from a conservative, classically-trained Washington, DC calligrapher to a computer-savvy graphic artist, then taking the next step to creating expressive, abstract calligraphy of the modern age, Rick gives a colorful first-hand account of the significant changes in calligraphy over the past century.

This presentation is part social history, part calligraphy-geek techno process-specific, and part philosophical inquiry, with quality historical and current images to accompany the discussion.
PLUS: FREE evening Lecture: FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO THE SEA: A Calligrapher’s Journey
Time: 6:00-7:00

In this colorful forty-five minute presentation, Paulus leads a unique journey from Cape Cod, to serving as the Chief Calligrapher of the White House, and back again to Cape Cod. Using calligraphy as the backdrop, He shares personal vignettes from working at the highest levels of government as a calligrapher, calligraphy’s role in diplomacy and entertaining, how a State Dinner is planned and executed and many insights into the operations of the White House Social Office. After our tour of the White House, I take you with
me back to Cape Cod, where I am confronted with the blank canvas, my greatest challenge being to create beautiful art of my own inspiration; to create art of a completely different nature than he had been asked to produce in Washington, DC. The presentation continues with slides of Paulus’ current work, and accompanying readings of the quotes and poems of the sea that have inspired him for so many years and have played a significant role in his ultimate return to the sea.


To Reserve your place or for more information, call Emily Canter at 678-463-7500 or email

For a supply list and more information, visit


Our own Trent Vann interviews June Hall.


Recently I visited with up and coming Atlanta artist, June Ann Hall. She shares a studio on the 13th floor of her apartment building with her partner, Zack. There’s a great view from up here, the busy intersection at tenth and Juniper, lots of green treetops and, in the distance, the hazy hump of Stone Mountain. Inside there’s more greenery—lots of plants sunning themselves in the windows, soft jazz streaming through the stereo speakers and, of course—lots of art.

Houseplants. Tea. Coffee. Jazz. Art. It’s a homey space, creative and comfortable. I could make some art here. “There’s a little something for everybody,” June says. “It’s a wonderful place to work in—our little getaway.” She offers me a seat and a cup of tea. Now that we’re comfortable, we can talk art. June is new to the art world—getting her professional start in 2006, she tells me; but already her creative output has been pretty prodigious. She works in watercolor, acrylic, digital and textiles; and the number of pieces she has created in the relatively short span of six years is impressive.


She pulls up one piece on her computer. It’s a work in progress—a digital painting—a foggy lake at night, a lighthouse in the distance, a grouping of strange lights in the dark sky. Her grandson inspired the piece. “Ever since he was a little guy, he’s been drawing his own species of aliens,” she tells me. “‘Do-a-alien,’ he tells me. ‘Nana,’—he calls me, ‘do-a-alien.’” So what could she do? She created the mystery laden scene, which she calls, “Visitors.” It was created using GIMP, which, “—is a computer program basically like Photoshop. It’s sophisticated enough for my needs and—it’s free,” she says. And free is good—especially when it comes to anything that helps you make art. And it takes some skill and persistence to use the program because in GIMP, you’re drawing with a mouse instead of a stylus—so you have to have a steady hand and a lot of patience. June has both.



She shows me another piece also created using GIMP. It’s a night sea image—still waters beneath a full moon. The shore is lined with rocks. This is a glimpse of a silent world—a place of meditation, tranquility and reflection. The next piece we look at is a painting—autumn leaves, tenuously hanging from the branches of a tree. “I look at this one and I see change,” she says. “It’s the only certainty.” Verdant green colors turn to rust—summer fading to autumn, youth fading to old age. “A doctor bought the leaf painting,” she tells me. “He enshrined it in a deep frame.”


We look at others, too—a watercolor of a lighthouse on a rocky shore—symbolic of finding your path, perhaps. You travel a dusty, uncertain trail, catching a glimpse now and again of a light in the distance and in the end you find—your own deep, interior ocean. I’m starting to get a certain meditative vibe from June’s works. They’re symbolic—dreamlike—a little haunting. To me, these are outward expressions of interior states.


She’s fond of one painting she shows me—a charming country house on a quiet road. This one is a scene taken from life—almost. It’s a house June saw, once. But the house, as she saw it that day was, “—boarded up, run down and rotted. But I saw it and I thought, I like that house; I want to bring life back to it—real life. I saw it and it was run down—but here in my picture it’s renewed.” That’s the great thing about art—it can bring life to barren places.

June is also handy with a camera, trying her hand at photography from time to time. Photography provides its own set of challenges and rewards. “In a dark room,” she says, “there’s no Control-Alt-Delete. What you see is what you get. You might develop your photographs and end up right back in the dark room until you find something you like better.” Once, the Atlanta Housing Authority benefitted from her skills. “Their photographer was late,” June explains. “I happened to be on location where they were planning to shoot. I snapped away. ‘Can we use these?’ they asked. ‘Sure,’ I said.” She ends with a laugh. “They ended up using all of them.” June’s versatile, like I said.


Right now, June is working on a new project. It’s a satchel to hold your cell phone. She calls it, appropriately enough, “Hold My Calls.” It caters to the hearing impaired. June, herself, suffers from a hearing impairment and one problem she has been faced with is being able to hear her phone ringing when it’s in her purse. This challenge set her thinking about ways to overcome a longstanding difficulty. “It really inspired me to become an entrepreneur.” She designed a satchel for her phone, wore it and liked it. So did other people. They noticed the holder and started asking where they could get one. And so, “Hold My Calls” was born. “I’ve been getting a lot of calls for Hold My Calls,” she says, “and right now, I’m working on plans to introduce it to deaf agencies.”

What’s next for June? A lot. Besides painting and creating digital art and starting up a new business to market ‘Hold My Calls’—June is also working on designing websites for herself and her partner, Zack. She showed me some preliminaries for new works inspired by butterflies—another glimpse of the symbolic journey of the soul expressed through art. She’s also hoping to be involved in some gallery shows in the city. She recently had a joint show with Zack at Jason’s Deli. Now, they’re planning some things for next spring in Piedmont Park. She and Zack are also working on getting grants for their projects—with the idea of starting local and moving out. It’s a full plate, but, as she tells me, “—that’s better than an empty one.”


Eric Nine creating live work at Sam Flax. Be sure to bid on this piece, as well as all of the other fantastic art being created at Sam Flax on May 3rd at Kai Lin! Check out our calendar to see when other artists will be making their appearance!

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ISH_9272In the twenties, from the lawns of houses along Grandview Avenue, you could look out over fields and trees and get a—well, grand view of the city. Things have changed a bit. The woods and fields are long gone. But there’s still a grand view. You just have to step inside the yellow house at number 2979 to see it. The renovated bungalow is home to one of the city’s oldest arts organizations—the Atlanta Artists Center.


I’m welcomed to the gallery by Tom Quinn, the center’s education chairman. He’s had a long career in the arts. “I was in advertising and marketing by trade—art direction,” he tells me. Tom worked as a graphic designer and art director for several southeastern corporations and advertising services providing graphics to everyone from IBM to Coca Cola. But how did he end up at the AAC? “I had a heart attack—which I survived,” he adds with a laugh, “—as you can see—My doctor said, ‘Get out of advertising. Find something easier to do.’” What did he do that was easier? He taught college, of course. Easier?


“I taught at the Atlanta College of Art as an adjunct professor until they sold out to SCAD. In order to stay on, you had to have a Masters. Well, I only had a BFA… and forty years’ experience.” He holds up his hands, like the scales of justice, trying to determine if all the years of experience balance out against the hefty weight of a degree—not without a sense of amusement, I note. “Afterwards, I worked for American InterContinental University—until they sold out to the Career Education Corporation of Chicago. After that I got real, real bored—so I went to work for New South Associates—a commercial archaeological company. I did all types of graphics, artifact illustration and photography for them—as well as archaeological interpretation of the sites. Eventually, I retired. That was in 2011.”


That’s not the end of the story, of course. Tom smiles and I wait for him to admit it. “I got bored again,” he confesses with a laugh. So he came to the Atlanta Artists Center—where all of his years of art experience have been put to good use as the center’s education chairman. So he’s come full circle—back to the world of art instruction. As Tom puts it, “Wherever you go—there you are.”

The Atlanta Artists Center was founded in 1956 and the house on Grandview Avenue is the original home of the organization. It’s a welcoming space with hardwood floors and good lighting. It has a homey, inviting feel—conducive to making art. The ceilings have been raised and a studio space has been added on out back. Tom shows me the newest project underway—track lighting to be added in the studio. “It’s a nice, community gallery,” Tom tells me, “accessible to a variety of artists of every level. We’re nonprofit—we’re here to promote the arts community and our fine artists.”


Each month, the Atlanta Artists Center hosts a themed show. I take a look at the pieces hanging on the walls, trying to guess what the current theme might be. I see portraits, abstracts, still life pieces, digital photos. I’m nonplussed. “A dash of Red,” Tom says. “That’s the theme.” Now I see it—every piece has a red highlight of some kind—a red dress, a red barn, a red apple. For this show, 125 artists submitted pieces, seventy of which were picked to hang in the final exhibit. The judges for the shows are all picked from outside—artists, teachers, gallery owners.


Tom’s enthusiastic about the group. “Currently we’ve got 428 members—artists of every caliber.” The Atlanta Artists Center is home to watercolorists, oil and acrylic painters, photographers and sculptors. With that many artists in one place, it’s a beehive of creativity. A wide range of artistic opportunities are made available for its members. It’s a great place to meet other artists and share ideas. Members can show and sell their work in the juried exhibits at the Grandview gallery space and elsewhere around town—including three reception areas at Emory hospital, the Buckhead and Northside libraries and Basil’s restaurant. Throughout the year, the center hosts numerous professional artists who come to speak and teach on a wide variety of topics. Sketch groups are held every day of the week—classical nude studies, portraiture and life drawing with an open studio on Fridays. “Everybody comes in, pulls up tables and chairs and paints—It’s a paint fest,” Tom says. “Instead of a quilting bee, I like to tell people we have a painting bee.” Sometimes the workshops are all day affairs running from nine in the morning to four in the afternoon with a forty five minute lunch break—usually at Basil’s restaurant next door. “We start off in the morning painting,” Tom explains. “Then we go next door—eat, drink wine, talk about art—then come back and paint some more.” Good deal.


We finish our tour of the gallery and studio space at Grandview Avenue. I can tell Tom is really at home here in this gathering of artists—doing his work for the center—raising awareness of the arts in Atlanta. He agrees. “I get to promote the AAC with demos, workshops, studio drawing and painting sessions, sketch groups and anything else I can dream up.” He’s plenty busy, as you can guess. “I’ve had a great career,” he says with a smile. “I’ve done just about everything. Truth be told, I’m having more fun than I should be having at my age.”


To learn more about the Atlanta Artists Center and how to join, visit them online at


Amy Ashbaugh creating live work at Sam Flax. Be sure to bid on this piece, as well as all of the other fantastic art being created at Sam Flax on May 3rd at Kai Lin! Check out our calendar to see when other artists will be making their appearance!




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Jonny Warren creating live work at Sam Flax. Be sure to bid on this piece, as well as all of the other fantastic art being created at Sam Flax on May 3rd at Kai Lin! Check out our calendar to see when other artists will be making their appearance!




Olive47 creating live work at Sam Flax. Be sure to bid on this piece, as well as all of the other fantastic art being created at Sam Flax on May 3rd at Kai Lin! Check out our calendar to see when other artists will be making their appearance!