Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA)
ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art is an independent, non-profit gallery promoting and supporting innovative contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, education, and events. ATHICA is committed to the local art community and to bringing in national and international contemporary artists of all media.
The programming features rotating exhibitions of various themes and affiliated events (such as performances, lectures, workshops, children’s events, curated tours, and more). Calls for entry attract curators and artists from all over the world, resulting in four major exhibitions annually.
ATHICA has a unique role and mission in the Athens and Northeast Georgia community. No other similar venue offers an independent focus solely on contemporary art. As an independent and non-profit entity, support from our community and beyond has enabled us to fulfill our mission since our founding in 2001-2002. Thanks to the generosity and vision of FiveArt, Inc., a group of local developers and arts boosters, a 2,200 square foot space in a warehouse that is jointly owned by the Chase Street Park Condominium Association, was renovated in winter of 2001 to serve as an alternative, non-commercial art space dedicated to exhibiting challenging and innovative contemporary art. The board, made up of local artists, arts professionals and arts supporters, works to ensure the continuation of the organization as originally conceived through the efforts of Emeritus Director and founder Lizzie Zucker Saltz.
ATHICA registered as a non-profit organization in the state of Georgia in November 2001. ATHICA achieved advance ruling of Federal tax-exempt status (501 (c)(3)) in July 2002 and permanent confirmation after the 5-year period in 2006. ATHICA opened in March 2002 with its first exhibit, Raw Womyn. Since then, Chase Street Park Warehouses have emerged as a new urban arts district, with recording studios, internet businesses and numerous artists’ studios, all just a little over a mile from our thriving downtown in Athens, Georgia.
In summer 2008, ATHICA was awarded a prestigious three-year grant of $45,000 from The Andy Warhol Foundation for Contemporary Art, which allowed the organization to provide stipends for artists, curators, and a director who served as senior curator on all exhibits during that time. In 2010, ATHICA was awarded an equally prestigious one-year grant from The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation in support of the production of color catalogs. In 2015, ATHICA received the Favorite Place to See Local Art award from Flagpole Magazine’s annual poll for the fifth consecutive year and was awarded the Merit Award for Excellence in Public Art by the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission.
Over the past decade ATHICA has presented over 1149 regional, national, and international artists in 59 exhibitions and hundreds of affiliated events. ATHICA features four distinct exhibitions yearly, including the recent “J1” juried exhibition curated by Michael Rooks of the High Musuem.
Today ATHICA is primarily supported by numerous local businesses, individuals, and above all, artists, while continuing to seek new funding from foundations and grants.