Only a few months after the Creative Arts Guild brought photography from some of the country's finest photographers to Dalton, locals can again ponder pieces from some of the art world's most preeminent names, courtesy of an exhibition guest curated by the Miranda family.
Banksy, Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger, Yoshitomo Nara and Mark Ryden are among those with works included in the pop art exhibition, which opened Friday night and will remain on display until June 25, said collector Eli Miranda. These are "highly desirable" pieces by artists one would typically need to visit a gallery or museum in a major metropolitan city to view.
"Banksy is a genius, I think, and (Ryden) is really whimsical, but his (paintings) look like antiques," Miranda said. Ryden, dubbed "the godfather of pop surrealism" by Interview Magazine, "has the talent to do something new and make it look old."
Haring's work has been exhibited in more than 200 shows around the world, including a 1997 retrospective at New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art, and Nara's artwork has been exhibited worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Kruger was honored with MOCA's Distinguished Women in the Arts award in 2001, and her 1985 work of a ventriloquist's dummy, "Untitled (When I hear the word culture I take out my checkbook)," was sold at Christie's for a then-record $902,500 in 2011.
"I've loved art since I was a (child), any kind of art," but Miranda gravitates to pop art more than any other because "it's more fun, more enjoyable, and easy to read," he said. "You see it, you love it, you enjoy it."
It's typically love-at-first-sight for him with any piece he opts to collect, he said. He's even sold pieces from his collection to generate funds to purchase new artwork he desires, if necessary, but "you don't have to invest a lot of money to enjoy art," either.
This exhibition includes art by his wife, Yannelly, who has contributed her own works to the Guild previously, including for the Guild's annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event, she said. "I love pop art and the colors."
She often works in acrylic and/or with markers, as well as spray paint, but "I cannot work by a concept," she said. "It just flows."
The family displays art all over their Dalton home, and those who view the collection have often said, "You should charge people, because this is like a museum," but "we never do, because it's just the way we live," Eli said. He also doesn't mind demonstrating to people who "don't expect us to be art collectors because we're Hispanic" that they are "really wrong," but even though "we are Hispanic, this (exhibit) is for everybody to (enjoy)."
Art, too often, can be "boring," but pop art is the opposite, he said. "Art doesn't have to be serious all the time," and the pieces in this exhibition are "eclectic."
That isn't to say some of the pieces on display aren't political, "provocative and controversial," because they most certainly are, he said. However, "you can be serious and fun."
The exhibition can lead people to "think in a different way," Yannelly said. "I really love all of them here and" can't choose a favorite.
When she looks at all the art, "I feel like this is us," she added. "This is home; this is who we are."
The exhibit is "meant to be playful, fresh and different," said Savannah Thomas, the Guild's director of galleries. "It's inspiring for me to see."
As part of the exhibition, the Miranda family will operate a pop-up shop out of the Gallery Five20 this Thursday and Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., as well as 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Everything will be priced $20 or less.
The pop-up sale will include clothing for anyone seeking "a different style," said Martinika Miranda, Eli and Yannelly's daughter. "You don't have to spend a lot to look good."
In Gallery One11, pieces created in clay, wood and fiber; oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings; and photography are on display until June 25. The pieces have been crafted in and around the mountainous region of Northern Georgia and reflect the area's diversity.
The artworks are courtesy of members of the Southern Appalachian Artists Group, which is based in Blue Ridge, but includes artists "all over this region" among its members, Thomas said.
"We're really excited to get some new blood in here."
The Guild's galleries are open 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday; 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, and by appointment on the weekend. Private tours can be arranged by emailing Thomas at email@example.com.
Among the main takeaways from the Gallery Five20 exhibition is the joy of collecting art, and if pieces in Gallery One11 "aren't your taste, there's also the" pop-up shop, Thomas said. "What better place to start (a collection) than here?"