Local atelier group grows artist community

Fountainhead Art Space relocates to Oak Street

Maura Roberts Photography
Fountainhead Art Space founder Rae Broyles.
Suzanne Pacey/NSW
Suzanne Pacey/NSW
Suzanne Pacey/NSW

It’s not just an art school, gallery or studio. Fountainhead Art Space is a modern-day atelier group created by Rae Broyles dedicated to supporting and mentoring a community of local artists.

“In older times, with oil painting specifically, there were painting studios that were led by one particular mentor that were called atelier groups,” Broyles said. “But in modern times, we set up people with mentorships between each other. We help each other.”

Broyles said she was inspired to create the group from her previous experiences in atelier programs. She and her artists friends used to belong to one such group in Atlanta, but Broyles had trouble finding one closer to home in North Fulton. Frustrated, she took matters into her own hands, and Fountainhead Art Space was born.

“There really isn’t anything else out here like that where you can commune with other artists and have mentoring relationships with other artists,” Broyles said. “This is really about building a community of artists in the area.”

Ayn Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead” inspired the group’s name.

“It is a story of an architect who will not be satisfied with the status quo and sheds light on the difficulties of maintaining integrity in the arts,” Broyles said. “We call it an ‘art space’ because it is a multi-use venue for our working studios, classes and occasional shows. We are not a gallery, and we are not a traditional art school. It is a place for artists to meet, connect and share with other artists.”

To help their fellow artists, Fountainhead Art Space offers workshops, figure drawing opportunities and critiques along with mentoring programs. The group also works with the artists to help them promote, sell and enter their artwork into galleries.

“Part of it is helping artists market their work: developing their websites, helping them get into galleries or find out what their niche is – what your goal is, really,” Broyles said. “Some artists just want to sell, while other artists want to dig deeper and basically do art for art’s sake. It’s to help guide people along their path as an artist.”

The artists in Fountainhead Art Space focus mainly on abstract works rather than realism. The workshops they offer teach and discuss subjects like encaustic painting, cold wax, gold leaf, alcohol inks, abstract techniques and color theory.

Interested artists can apply for membership by adding images of their work for review.

According to Broyles, they are more concerned about a desire to improve than raw talent or skill when considering new members.

“It is not a matter of technical skill necessarily, but rather a desire to progress in your painting practice and grow your knowledge of contemporary art and the market,” Broyles said.

The studio is open to anyone who wants to rent space or attend the workshops. They have seen people come from as far away as Minnesota to attend.

“We tend to attract mostly women due to the continuing limitations in the art world for female artists, but it is not for women only.” Broyles said. “It is still more challenging to be recognized and exhibited as a female artist than a male artist today.”

Broyles has had work shown in galleries all across the nation. She currently is exploring minimalism “as a response to the over consumption of our society today” in her works.

The group recently moved to a new art studio at 27 Oak St., Roswell and will continue services there.

To learn more about Fountainhead Art Space and to get involved, visit fountainheadartspace.com. ■


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