Location: Beep Beep Gallery
Date taken: January 26, 2013
In 2006, Mark Basehore and James McConnell put together their first art show with a few friends. The show, which doubled as an open house party for their friend’s new Oakhurst home, featured art of people they knew hung on the empty walls of the house.
“I remember receiving lots of feedback about that event,” said Mark. “But people didn’t tell us to host another party. They said ‘You guys should host another art show.”
Mark and James followed their advice. After a few more arts shows at the Oakhurst home and one at a restaurant, the two friends, who met while working together at Aurora Coffee, opened Beep Beep gallery in its present location on Charles Allen Drive in August 2006.
From the beginning, Mark’s and James’ vision for Beep Beep has been to focus not on the desire of customers, but on the needs and creativity of artists, specifically emerging artists.
“Beep Beep’s purpose has to do with providing a place for artists who might not be established to show fresh art,” said Mark., a native of Danielson, Conn., who moved to Atlanta in 2001 to attend graduate school. “Our shows give artists an opportunity to learn some of the basics of a show, what things look like on a wall or what sells.”
Their partnership has expanded from Beep Beep’s monthly art shows to Artlantis, an annual arts festival held the first weekend in June, and now, to opening a bar on Edgewood Avenue. Mark and James both recently resigned from their full-time jobs to focus on Beep Beep and opening the yet to be named bar this year.
“Our partnership works because we avoid talking about the stuff we aren’t actually going to do. We focus on the ideas that we want to see to completion,” said James, at native of Atlanta. “And, I think we balance each other well. The things one of us is good at … the other might not be.”
While both Mark and James grew up with an appreciation for art, Mark has spent a good deal of his adult life making art in some form and searching out new forums for creative expression, including hanging shows at Beep Beep. And, James talks passionately about the value of creating and managing their own projects and visions.
“There is something about being your own boss and creating something people like and respect,” said James. “We’ve created opportunities for ourselves because we could create them for ourselves. And now, with the bar, we are trying to add to it.”
Location: Atlanta Humane Society
Date taken: December 26, 2012
The numbers speak for themselves: 87 staff members, 800 volunteers, 7,500 adoptions a year. The Atlanta Humane Society is caring for Atlanta’s cats and dogs every day, and providing leadership to the organization’s dedicated staff and volunteers is William Shaheen, who served on the Society’s board for 12 years before becoming its president in 2011.
“Initially, when I was offered the position, I viewed it as life’s second half transition,” said Shaheen, who worked in industrial real estate before becoming the Society’s president. “But I love this organization, and I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. This is a mission-driven organization. You can see the good being done on a daily basis, whether it’s the rescue of an animal from a bad situation or a family walking out the door with a new pet.”
In the past year, the Atlanta Humane Society has made quite a few changes, including opening a new facility in Alpharetta, extending the low-cost neuter program to five days a week and getting rid of the cages in the puppy room.
“There are a lot of great non-profits in this city that serve people, but for some reason, maybe because they can’t speak for themselves, I feel drawn to take care of animals,” said William. “I want to be an advocate for their welfare.”
Williams’ first childhood pet was a Saint Bernard. As an adult, he fell in love with Rottweilers and has always owned at least one, including the three he has now – Hannah, Cane and Lilly. William’s friends often tell stories about his love of animals, including the fact that at social gatherings they are most likely to find William off somewhere playing with the host’s pets.
“There’s a lot of joy in owning a pet,” said William. “You can have a rough day and your dog is still glad to see you. The stress of the day melts away when you play with a pet. For me, my greatest clarity comes when I go run with my dogs. Without them, the clarity isn’t there. There is something about the connection you have with a pet that goes beyond words.”
Learn about the resources and services offered by the Atlanta Humane Society at www.atlantahumane.org.
Location: United States Post Office in Chamblee
Date taken: November 11, 2012
As a kid growing up in Chamblee, Ga., Sandi Solow got all her mail the traditional way – through the U.S. Post Office. She waited on things like birthday cards and college acceptance letters to show up in the mailbox at the end of her driveway. Now, a couple of decades later, a lot of things have changed. There’s still a mailbox at the end of Sandi’s driveway, but that’s no longer the primary way she receives information. And, Sandi, the founder of I Send Your Email, runs a business that would not have existed decades ago.
“You might remember when 6 p.m. was the dreaded time to answer the phone because of telemarketers,” said Sandi, a graduate of Dunwoody High School. “Now, companies are trying to figure out the best time of day to send e-mails and how they can best reach their audience when people are overloaded with digital information.”
Through I Send Your Email, Sandi helps companies of all sizes – golf instructors, a therapist, a trade journal for farmers, yoga instructors, a company that sells truck bed parts and one that is an online retailer of lobster related products – share relevant information with their customers. While the marketing results of snail mail might be harder to track, now Sandi can know if people opened their email and what they clicked.
Why does Sandi love her job? She loves learning about different businesses and helping small businesses reach out to their client base. She also enjoys being a part of basic information sharing – telling people something they didn’t know.
“I remember waiting every day for my college acceptance letters to arrive in the mailbox,” said Sandi, who now lives in Roswell. “There is something exciting about being the person who delivers news and important information people might be waiting for.”
Sandi’s number one piece of advice for sending e-mails – “be relevant.” Learn more about I Send Your Email at www.isendyouremail.com.
Location: Castleberry Hill
Date taken: December 14, 2012
Cameron Adams looks for things he hasn’t seen before and might not see again. The Atlanta fashion blogger and creator of Atlanta Street Fashion strolls the sidewalks of Atlanta looking for surprising pops of color, a good old fashion sense of taste, outfits carefully coordinated from head to toe and elements of a person’s wardrobe that show a unique sense of style. Most days of the week, Cameron heads to Atlanta’s most pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods in search of fashion — Little Five Points, Fairlie-Poplar, Virginia-Highlands (weekend afternoons), Midtown (weekday lunch hours) and even Oakland Cemetery.
“I’m really interested in people’s individual style, so I don’t know that I can place a value on Atlantans’ overall style,” said Cameron, who describes his own style as old fashion and full of layers. “But I have noticed that interesting patterns emerge. For example, on rainy days, I see lots of monochromatic. People seem to wear shades of grey because that’s what they saw outside.”
A full-time photojournalist for the past 13 years and an Atlanta resident for 15 years, the Richmond, Va., native says he has always had an appreciation for fashion. His family often notes one memorable childhood photo of Cameron where his hair is combed perfectly, a pair of sunglasses are tuck in his pocket and there’s a camera around his neck. Things have not changed all that much. He still loves fashion and photography.
“Fashion has a human element,” Cameron said. “People are practicing a creative art form when they leave their homes each day. They are well aware of what they are doing and that people might take notice of them. Through photographing fashion, I have the opportunity to get under the skins of people just for a few minutes and figure out their best selves. Then, I present that best self to the world.”
Check out Cameron’s Atlanta fashion blog Atlanta Street Fashion at http://www.atlantastreetfashion.blogspot.com.
Location: My Favorite Mechanic on Dekalb Ave.
Date taken: November 13, 2012
Flipping through a Marie Claire magazine one day, Bee Nguyen read an article about local organizations providing prom dresses to high school girls from disadvantaged families. Bee, whose mother made her long black and blue prom dress many years ago, thought to herself, “Atlanta needs an organization like that,” and then she went on to start one.
Athena’s Warehouse, which Bee started in 2009, not only provides prom dresses to high school girls in Atlanta (dresses are donated by Atlantans, and the girls complete three hours of community service before receiving a dress), the organization also provides programs focused on empowerment and building self-esteem.
“Women are inundated with the idea of being a princess and that someone – a prince – will come save them,” said Bee, who grew up in Augusta with four sisters. “It’s important for women, especially young women, to feel that they have personal power – to believe that they have the power to achieve and change things on their own.”
Athena’s Warehouse workshops are taught at Cross Keys High School, a Dekalb County School, where faculty sponsor Diane Gluck has been an important part of the organization’s work with students. Led by professionals who dontate their time, workshops focus on topics such as exercise and confidence, healthy eating, sex education and careers. Many of the girls are second generation immigrants, who face unique challenges of being a minority and often struggle to envision further education or a career for themselves.
“I don’t feel like I grew up wanting, but I was aware of the struggle my parents went through. They immigrated to the United States in 1979 and sacrificed so that their kids could succeed,” said Bee, a graduate of Georgia State University, who works full-time in public relations for the Georgia Budget Policy Institute. “I relate to many of the girls whose families have immigrated here. I can relate to some of the issues they struggle with and have a soft spot for the challenges they face.”
Athena’s Warehouse is currently collecting gently worn formal and cocktail dresses, including bridesmaids’ dresses, through Dec. 21. Like Athena’s Warehouse on Facebook to learn about upcoming events or contact the organization to find out about opportunities to volunteer or provide financial support.
Location: Tribute Lofts
Date taken: November 11, 2012
When Hugh Malkin moved back to his hometown of Atlanta in 2010, his job with Philips had him working with the Atlanta BeltLine, figuring out how to light its trails and rails. Soon, Hugh started noticing all sorts of events popping up along the BeltLine – events that were spreading simply by word of mouth. Nicknamed “Huge” and the social coordinator among his friends since high school, Hugh saw an opportunity and contacted his long-time friend Adam Wilson.
“Hugh had gotten back in town and was interested in creating some sort of social event site for Atlanta,” said Adam. “He messaged me to see if I knew someone that he could talk to about building a website. I said, ‘You can talk to me.’ We went out for a drink, saw the Social Network and decided to start something. ”
Hugh and Adam have known each other since childhood – their families hung out together and the two Roswell natives became good friends when they were self-described “band nerds” at Roswell High School. With Hugh’s passion for Atlanta events, places and happenings and Adam’s knowledge of software, the two Georgia Tech grads created HUGEcity.us in January 2012 to help connect people with events in Atlanta.
The site, which utilizes Facebook’s public events to create calendar listings, has become one of the most popular places to find out what is happening in Atlanta and in cities around the world. Thousands of people are logging onto the site each day. Atlanta, where HUGE city started, is the only city (for now) with its own e-mail – events hand-picked by Hugh.
“This city has so much to offer, and most people don’t know about it,” said Hugh, who was born in Houston but moved to Atlanta as a child. “Atlanta might not have the best of anything, but we have a little of everything. HUGE city provides people with the opportunity to find out about events, celebrate where they live and share their experiences.”
Next up for HUGE city – creating a mobile app. Adam, a third generation Atlantan, works full-time for HUGE city and is focused on getting the app up and going sometime early next year.
“Imagine sitting at Dark Horse Tavern in the Virginia-Highlands and wanting to find out about events nearby. How do you find out? Facebook has all the events, but no discovery mechanism,” said Hugh. “An app will allow people to pull up all that information up on their phones easily. With all that is happening with technology, it’s exciting – the connections that are being made. Exciting things are happening to connect people.”
Location: East Atlanta Village
Date taken: November 10, 2012
The smell of t-shirts burning in the oven reminds Jesse Vogel and Jordan Shorthouse of their first attempt at silk screening. On a Saturday afternoon three years ago, the two friends and co-workers spent four hours in Jesse’s kitchen printing their design on 12 t-shirts. It was a slow beginning, but it was definitely the start of something.
Jesse and Jordan, founders of Rep Your Hood, worked together at Turner Broadcasting for several years before going into business together. Although they are assigned to different departments, through their work on graphics for Turner Sports they find themselves collaborating on projects almost every day.
In 2010, when Jesse got a silk screening kit and started brainstorming ideas for t-shirts, he ran the idea by Jordan. Jordan took Jesse’s photos of Atlanta street corners and created Rep Your Hood’s large design. Or, as Jesse says, “Jordan took my idea and made it dope.” Rep Your Hood’s first shirt featured a street corner in East Atlanta Village – Jesse’s neighborhood at the time. And, at the 2011 East Atlanta Strut, Rep Your Hood sold 50 of their newly designed shirts.
“It’s because of the East Atlanta neighborhood that we got started,” said Jesse, a native of Boston, who moved to Atlanta in 1997. “There is so much pride in this community. Even though I don’t live here anymore, this is still my favorite part of town. I even wrote a song for my brass band about East Atlanta – ‘Flat Shoals Rider.’”
Rep Your Hood now sells 12 designs, representing 10 Atlanta neighborhoods. Grant Park, where Jordan grew up and currently lives, is featured on two designs – one with Zoo Atlanta’s most famous resident, Willie B. At local festivals where they set up Rep Your Hood tents, Jesse and Jordan enjoy talking to fellow Atlantans who often start reminiscing about the Atlanta neighborhoods they love and have lived in.
“The minute this starts feeling like work, we won’t do it anymore,” said Jordan. “But I love working with Jesse, love doing this every day and it’s great to be able to meet people who are excited about the neighborhoods where they live.”
Rep Your Hood features t-shirts and prints of Atlanta neighborhoods. You can purchase online through the company’s website or look for their tent at local Atlanta festivals.