From Newsletter to Newspaper

Atlanta Art Workers Coalition staff members Julia Fenton and Dan Talley were particularly interested in expanding the coalition’s modest newsletter begun the previous year into a legitimate publication for the second volume. Thus the Atlanta Art Workers Coalition Newspaper was established in the bimonthly, tabloid-size format that the publication would maintain for the next 24 years. As Founding Editors, Fenton and Talley shared a mission to cover art in the Southeast region within a broader national or international context. They did so by running “Artist to Artist” interviews along with articles on the controversial “Artists in Georgia” exhibition at the High Museum of Art, the Arts Festival of Atlanta (see photo), and, less close to home, performance art in Southern California. The newspaper also expanded the information sections from the original newsletter, running an extensive listing of Atlanta gallery opportunities and a special issue on funding guest edited by Gary Sipe, which included an article on Jimmy Carter’s CETA employment program and the American Artists Congress. Also published were the first Artist’s Pages, in which chosen artists such as Marcia Cohen were given a page of the newspaper to turn into an original work of art, and a call for writers to accommodate the newspaper’s growing needs. Already active as a volunteer, future Associate Editor and current Surviving columnist Barbara Schreiber made her writing debut that year.