Eyedrum art space takes root in the West End


Noise rock. Performance art. Semi-professional wrestling matches in the middle of a gallery with white walls.

In its nearly 25 years of existence, Eyedrum, the volunteer-run space, gallery, and DIY art venue, has introduced countless Atlantans to countless genres.

  • After moving from its most recent space in the south of downtown in 2018 and choosing to produce events in established spaces, Eyedrum has a new home near the West End and a busy calendar of events ranging from appeasement from the soul to that of the eardrums.

Why is this important: Spaces like Eyedrum are a bridge between the experimental arts and the masses, giving sculptors, painters, musicians, writers – everyone – the opportunity to share their work.

  • The loss of spaces like the Mammal Gallery, Bakery, Beep Beep, and other spaces have only underscored the need for DIY spaces to keep Atlanta’s arts community vibrant – and frankly interesting.
  • Located in a mixed-use warehouse, the renovated 3,000-square-foot space can accommodate events like the Kirkwood Ballers Club experimental open-mic party and includes outdoor performance opportunities.

History lesson: Founded in 1998 by painter Woody Cornwell and journalist Marshall Avett, the art space originally known as Silver Ceiling has grown in and around the city center over the decades. It has been a refuge and a springboard for experimental artists like Oneida, Don Caballero and DJ Cut Chemist.

  • Today, Eyedrum veterans including Deisha Oliver, Grace Kim and Will Lawless join forces with artistic organizers like Willow Goldstein, co-founder of The Bakery.
  • The group plans to launch a fundraising campaign to buy a permanent home by 2028, the association’s 30th anniversary, ArtsATL reports.

On display: Ego Te Absolvo, a collection of video and sound installations curated by Atlanta artist Kirstin Mitchell that explores “tenderness, presence, healing, and the parasympathetic nervous system.”

  • Shown in a minimalist gallery setting, the exhibition features video works by artists such as Meredith Kooi, Shana Robbins, and Bjorn Veno.

This weekend: As part of ELEVATE, Eyedrum presents Sensuary, a three-day event that kicks off tonight with an outdoor dance party with DJ Taradactyl and live music by Gage Gilmore and video screening by Alberto Roman. On Saturday evening, cellist Deisha Oliver and film composer and music teacher Tom Hiel will team up for an improvisation performance.

  • Sunday afternoon, the space will host a sound meditation among the video works of Ego Te Absolvo and the “outdoor musical experience” produced by Roman.
  • On November 6, the space will host the 7 inch night out of Atlanta punk band Upchuck.

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