Meet Your Art on the Atlanta BeltLine Jurors

This year, we have made a lot of changes to Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, and will continue to make changes as we hear from the community about what is important to them in the art exhibition. One of the changes we implemented this year is transparency of the jury panel that will review proposals submitted to Art on the Atlanta BeltLine.

Approximately 100 applications were received after a solicitation based on outside nominations and feedback from community listening sessions held in late 2017. The aim was to create diverse and equitable panels of the most qualified individuals. The 2018 call for artists closed on Friday, March 16 and on Tuesday, March 20, the jurors got right to work.

So who are the folks reviewing the proposals this year?

Meet T. Lang

T. Lang is dedicated to exposing the arts and emerging communities to the creative impact and genius of dance. Lang earned her Bachelors and Masters of Fine Arts in performance and choreography from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts respectively.

In the early days of her career, Lang danced with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater. Lang relocated T. Lang Dance from New York City to Atlanta in 2008, continuing to develop, direct, and produce a high-impact blend of traditional and experimental contemporary movement. Acknowledge by Creative Loafing as Atlanta’s 2016 Best Choreographer as well as 2015 Best Collaboration with visual artist, Nick Cave,  Arts America calls Lang’s work  “powerfully thought provoking… masterfully blended work” of “unsettling genius.” With commissions from the High Museum of Art, Goat Farm Arts Center, Flux Projects and more Lang stays engaged with the next generation of movement artists through her summer dance intensive SWEATSHOP and as a faculty member at the American Dance Festival and the Staibdance Summer Intensive in Sorrento, Italy.  T. Lang is an Associate Professor and founding Department Chair of Dance Performance and Choreography at Spelman College.

Meet Tyree Smith

Tyree Smith is a father, creative, and lover of the Arts, with a vision to give visual artists and other creatives the platform and spaces they need to safely create, display, and grow as an artist. Since opening ARTlanta Gallery in 2015, Tyree has curated countless art shows including: the ARTlanta Art Stroll at Beer and Tacos at Phillips Arena, ARTlanta x A3C, ARTista All Women’s Show, Colours Interactive Art Experience and countless other Art shows, while simultaneously intimately aligning himself with the creatives and virgining art scene in Atlanta. In 2017, he was selected to become a member of the newly formed MARTA En Route Art Council. In that same year, he relocated his creative consulting company, the WOLF Idea Group, including ARTlanta Gallery, to the Old Fort McPherson where he’s serving as VP Chair on the Fort Mac Public Arts Council board and helping bring not only bringing attention and awareness to the property by creating small and large art experiences but also hoping to create an artistic hub in the Historic SW Atlanta.

Meet Denise McClendon

Visions of beautiful dancers illuminating a stage, giving a performance of a life time… Audiences roaring in anticipation of what is to come as each level of dancer from beginning to advance display their technical foundations of dance and performing arts.  Her motto is to “Dream it, see it, and take ownership”! Her quote: “Artist must touch the souls of their audiences whereby creating visuals of passion, creativity and joy with every movement of their bodies”. 

Visionary. Driven. Energetic. Neoteric. Instructive. Spiritual. Electrifying. Entrepreneur, Choreographer, Motivational Speaker, Artistic Director—all of these adjectives describe quite simply “Ms. Denise.”

Denise Smith McClendon, the founder of the McClendon School of Dance ,McClendon Performing Arts Institute is responsible for one of the oldest and most prestigious dance schools, owned by an African American woman in the state of Georgia, recently merging with her daughter Jai McClendon Jones visionary of AREA is magnifying.  Her passion, commitment and dedication to the development of students has over the years has gained her high praises and recognition in the dance community. Her recent merger with her daughter, has propelled her philosophies and techniques of teaching and developing artist to new levels. She saw the future of performing arts; whereby she joined the old and proven to the future establishing a performing arts organization which will far exceed any other in the Southern region.

Meet Alan Avery

Alan K. Avery is responsible for reviewing and recommending artist for long-term representation and career development. Over his 37 years as one of the leading art dealers in Atlanta, he is credited with forging relationships and placement of numerous works of art with many leading institutions and museums across the country.

​Born in Greenville, North Carolina, Alan left the public school system at an early age on the recommendation of academic advisors to attend The North Carolina School for the Arts in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He majored in visual arts and minored in classical ballet. After attending Parsons School of Design and Georgia State University, he settled in Atlanta and began his career as one of Atlanta leading fine art dealers. During his 30+ year career Alan has brought to the city major exhibitions of some of the most important artists of our time, including Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miro, Louis Nevelson, David Hockney, Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Fredrick Hart, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol.

Meet Elizabeth Jarrett

Elizabeth Jarrett is a curator, artist, and designer born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She graduated with a BA in Theater and Performance Studies from Kennesaw State University and continues to design and produce work around town. Past work seen at Synchronicity Theatre, The American Theatre of Actors in NYC, Serenbe Playhouse, Aurora Theatre and more. She is a 2017 Hambidge Fellow at the Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences. Elizabeth also works as Executive Director for Atlanta based arts non-profit, Deer Bear Wolf. Upcoming projects include directing, producing, and performing in Deer Bear Wolf’s immersive performance series, Transgression (March 22- 30), and a collaborative body of performance art works with artist Danielle Deadwyler (premiering this month). She is also preparing for a summer studying and creating new works at the Ionian Center for Arts and Culture on the Island of Kefelonia in Greece.

Meet Brandon Jones

As the Head of the Creative Placemaking Department at WonderRoot, Brandon Jones works to creatively align the built environment with the collective identities of the community it serves.  Under Brandon’s leadership, the Creative Placemaking department leverages cross-sector partnerships, civic engagement, and artistic strategies as tools for community development in the metro Atlanta region.

Deeply committed to fighting inequity in Atlanta, Brandon serves as the Co-Chair of the Creative Placemaking Committee for the TransFormation Alliance, a collaborative addressing equitable transit-oriented development and communities; on Advisory Board of Twin Radius, an organization connecting artists and faith-based communities; and is a member of the ARC Community Engagement Network. He also served as the Community Engagement Specialist for the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Public Art Grant program 2016-2017.

A notable project Brandon has led is En Route, a mural project at King Memorial, Oakland City, and Ashby MARTA Stations.

Meet Morgan Carlisle

Morgan Carlisle actively broadens and diversifies Atlanta’s cultural arts scene through her choreography, arts administration, dance education and curation work. Giving back is a passion, inspiring Carlisle to work for dance related nonprofits such as Beyond Our Boundaries (B.O.B), providing free and subsidized dance instruction for children of low income households. Carlisle graduated with a BA in Dance from Kennesaw State University. She later returned to KSU to set her own work as a guest artist. Carlisle has since shown her work at Emory University and assisted T. Lang in re-staging her work Post Up (In The House) at Middle Tennessee State and Spelman College. In 2014, she joined the board of Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery and created a committee dedicated to performance based art. After three years, she concluded her service with the title of Performance Committee Chair and Board Chair of the organization. Carlisle currently serves as Board Chair for Fly on a Wall (an Idea House that supports and presents innovative performance) and is honored to be one of the first elected members of the Marta Arts Council. As a 2016 WonderRoot Walthall Fellow, Carlisle presented her work Salt of the Earth at MOCA GA this past Summer of 2017. She and her husband Carlos Thompson, also received the first Idea Capitol Margaret Kargbo Activist as Artist grant for their ongoing show LEFT OUT, which officially premiered at the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ ELEVATE 2017.

Meet Steven L. Anderson

Steven L. Anderson is an exhibiting artist who lives and works in Atlanta. Anderson is co-director of Day & Night Projects, an artist-run gallery in Atlanta since 2016. Anderson is a recipient of the first annual TAR Project Therapeutic Artist Residency in 2016. He has been a Studio Artist at Atlanta Contemporary (2013–16), a 2015 Hambidge Center Distinguished Fellow, and a 2014–15 Walthall Artist Fellow. Anderson’s notebooks are in the permanent collection of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. Steven is a graduate of the University of Michigan and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago. More information at


Anderson has several exhibitions coming up this year, including a Day & Night Projects group show at SOUP Experimental in Tallahassee, FL,  and is participating in this year’s Art Papers Art Auction. Day & Night Projects will put together 6-8 exhibitions this year, check soon at


TAYLOR ALXNDR (they/she) is a DIY multi-media artist, performance artist, drag queen, writer, community organizer, and curator based out of Atlanta, GA. TAYLOR ALXNDR is a DIY singer, songwriter, and producer. In 2014, TAYLOR co-founded Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP), a queer and trans arts & advocacy organization and festival uplifting Southern queer and trans artists, activists, and communities. SFQP has since developed from a annual festival to a regional organization with monthly events, two annual festivals, and has been experienced by thousands. ALXNDR also created, hosts, and curates SWEET TEA, a queer variety show showcasing queer and trans performance art, as well as AMEN, a monthly drag show held at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium every first Thursday. In addition to their organizing work, TAYLOR is also an established DIY artist, creating in the areas of graphic design, photography, music production, videography, and more.

Meet Karen Comer Lowe

Karen Comer Lowe is currently working as Manager and Curator of the Chastain Arts Center, the oldest art center in Atlanta. She began working with the center in August of 2010. Karen has a passion for the arts and has experience in museums, galleries, and arts institutions for over eighteen years.

She has worked in curatorial and educational positions in institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, City Gallery East/City Gallery Chastain and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has also worked as an independent Art Advisor and Appraiser where she developed relationships with public and private clients, actors and entertainers.

Over the years, Karen has built connections with artists and arts institutions nationwide. She curated a number of groundbreaking exhibitions, and has worked with artists such as Hank Willis Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Radcliffe Bailey and Elizabeth Catlett amongst others. Last year, she received the honor
of 2017 Best Curator in Creative Loafing.

She has given lectures on artists and art movements throughout the southeast. She has also given workshops on collecting art throughout the region. In addition she independently curates exhibitions of visual artists as well as teaches art history classes at Spelman College for undergraduate students.

Meet Dr. John Edgar Browning

John Edgar Browning (Ph.D., American Studies, SUNY-Buffalo) is currently a Visiting Lecturer in writing and communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His works include over a dozen academic and popular trade books and over 65 essays and reviews on subjects that cluster around Cultural Studies, critical media literacy, Dracula, vampires, zombies, horror, Monster Theory, Bram Stoker, and the Gothic. His research and scholarship have earned him peer respect across several disciplines, as well as media coverage from over 100 news outlets in 35 countries, including the BBC and BBC Radio, The Washington Post, El Huffington Post (Spain), The Atlantic, TIME, VICE (Broadly), Hack Circus, Discover Magazine’s “It’s Only Science” podcast, New York Daily News, The Guardian (US Edition), Fusion, ABC News (Australia), Louisiana Cultural Vistas (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities) The Daily Telegraph (Australia),, and The Express Tribune (Pakistan). Additionally, he’s made guest appearances as a vampire and horror expert on National Geographic’s Taboo USA (2013-), Discovery Channel’s William Shatner’s Weird or What? (2010-), and the upcoming AMC production AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror. His current projects include the new Norton Critical Edition of Dracula (with David J. Skal), as well as contracted books on vampires and queer horror cinema with Edinburgh University Press and the University of Wales Press.

Meet Tracy Murrell

Tracy Murrell is an Atlanta-based artists and curator. With a fluid approach to her curatorial practice, Murrell collaborates on public interventions that foster new ways of engaging the visual through in-depth interviews and multi-media presentations. She served as the curator for Hammonds House Museum (2012-2017) and continues to independently mount 3-4 exhibitions per year featuring emerging, significant mid-career and established artists, with artist talks, panel discussions, and workshops.  Atlanta Magazine honored Murrell as Best Rising Curator for 2017 in the Best of Atlanta issue.

As an artist, Murrell’s bold, minimal artwork explores the use of silhouettes by recontextualizing images from popular culture to use as entry points for deeper conversations on gender, race, and perceptions of beauty. Painted in high key color, her paintings are reminiscent of pop and post-pop masters such as Lichtenstein, Katz, and Hume, prompting the viewer to question their own beliefs about race and gender, as well as what is high and low art.


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