By Patrick Dennis

I am an artist and I’ve been thinking…

How can fall possibly top this action packed summer we’ve had? Of course, the only way is by tantalizing us with cooler weather, autumn leaves and chimney smoke, nature’s way of anesthetizing our summer skin damage. Suddenly it feels right to be wearing shoes again, and we don’t mind a bit.

I must admit that summer usually wears me out (unless I’m lucky enough to be at the beach, drinking a Corona and Skyping my daughter in Mexico about her current boyfriend, whom I promised not to mention in print but seems to be on a strong romantic track with her which makes me very interested in “researching” him to be sure he doesn’t have any drug problems or an arrest record), but this summer I fully immersed myself in art, and it was almost better than salt water.

It seems like every week there was a fantastic new artist showing up at unexpected places all summer like the amazing Sandy Springs Artsapalooza in July and Marietta Art in the Park over Labor Day. I found myself wandering around with my mouth open a lot, and it wasn’t to talk or from panting. The zillions of visitors to Artsapalooza were actively buying and that put lots of smiles on the artists’ faces despite the 100-degree heat. I got a kick out of the diehard moms with their air-conditioned baby biodomes, otherwise known as very expensive strollers. There were some outsider artists there that really showed off, creating a lively “art in the street” atmosphere. If it had been cooler I think people may have burst into spontaneous dancing. Maybe that will happen next year since it will be held in the Spring.

And the Marietta festival?  Well, a big ‘tip of the hat’ to the organizers for putting on a very large, well organized show. I saw lots of favorite artists and bought a few things then headed to the farmers market for more. It was all pretty serene until I stumbled on the “Art Car” display of some really crazy autos transformed into works of art. I know that Art Car parades are popular in other cities like Austin and San Francisco, but my batteries are fully charged just thinking about the impact this could have in Atlanta. Let’s get rolling!

Before I get in trouble for spraying artistic graffiti on my old Rolls and joining the club, I want to explore the slowly expanding art community to keep summer’s momentum up.  So I’ll put down the spray paint and diligently continue to investigate new venues and artists that will keep us all awake and on the right kind of edge.


Upcoming Atlanta Art Events

Oct. 4

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

First Thursday Downtown ArtsWalk

The Rialto Center and nine galleries get together for a self-guided tour downtown.  Don’t miss the Rialto lobby and mezzanine spaces.  Organized by Karen Lowe. Free to attend.

Oct. 26

6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Gregg Irby Presents Michelle Armas

Greg Irby Fine Art

3725 Powers Ferry Road

This small gallery is tucked behind the historic Sardis Church and Cemetery in Buckhead. Free to attend preview party.


Oct. 27

10 a.m. – 5p.m.

Alpharetta Art in the Park

Old Milton Park, 35 Milton Ave.

Artist demonstrations and market held during the Saturday Farmers Market. Free to attend.


Patrick Dennis is an artist, gallery owner and President of the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces. Email him at

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.