Updated: May 24, 2021
When you walk around the historic Marietta Square, it's impossible not to be emersed in the arts. With murals painted on buildings, five galleries within walking distance and the M2R Fence Gallery to name a few, Marietta has created many opportunities for its citizens to enjoy the arts. I first learned about the vibrant art scene after participating in several local events like the yearly Art in the Park festival and the monthly Art Walks. Matter of fact, I recently got to participate in the first Art Walk since it was canceled over a year ago due to COVID. I thought this would be a fantastic chance to chat with Stephanie Coston who is the Director of the Historic Marietta Square Branding Project and runs the art walk.
Stephanie and I sat down at The Loft, a beautiful gallery on the Square where she spoke about how important it was to make art accessible to everyone. Events and public art installations like the murals championed by the Marietta Arts Council are just a few easy ways people can both experience and become more comfortable with art.
Hands down, the best way to experience the Marietta art scene is during the monthly art walks that occur on the first Friday of the month. That's when you can get a cocktail "to go" and see the openings for all of the new gallery shows. You'll also find musicians and artists set up along the sidewalk with a large variety of items for sale. Make a night of it by grabbing dinner at one of the many restaurants and stroll through the beautiful Glover Park in the middle of it all.
A big supporter of the arts, Stephanie and her husband recently started a new podcast called "Wild at Art." She explained, "In the early days of COVID, my husband, David, and I decided podcasting was a way to connect with artists across the country including local artists. Our goal is to tell the stories about what leads people to express their inner creativity. It’s harder for some and the stories along the way are compelling. We had no idea how much we would enjoy that process. Learn more about the podcast here and be sure to follow on Instagram for updates: @WildAtArtPodcast
I also got to chat with Bonnie Reavis, owner of The Loft Gallery, to learn about the Marietta art scene from a gallery's perspective. I was especially impressed with the very strong relationships the galleries have with each other. Although they are technically competitors, she explained that they (as well as the community) benefit so much more by being each others' cheerleaders. She also shared their unique solution of offering virtual art walks during COVID so that collectors could still enjoy art from their homes.
The Loft recently won the award for Best Art Gallery in Cobb County. Bonnie raved about the supportive community and how far they've come in just three years. Finally, she talked about how the unique architecture of the gallery combined with the beautiful surroundings of the artwork make it the perfect spot for hosting private events.
After I wrapped up my interview it was time to set-up for the art walk. That night I got to meet jewelry maker Katy Ruth Camp of Hide and Go Seek Jewelry. She showed me some of her work (I scored a new bracelet!) and she shared how excited she was to be back doing events again. Check out her work here and give her a follow on Insta: @hideandgoseekjewelry
If you find yourself near the Marietta area, especially on the first Friday of the month, I strongly encourage you to take advantage. Hot tip - stop into Mac's Chop House for a Lavender Blue Moon before you start the evening festivities. For art lovers, it's hard to go wrong spending a night on the square. Watch this week's interview and see for yourself. Cheers!