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Southern Rooted Perspectives on Place, History + Emergence



Echo Contemporary Art  |  Atlanta, Georgia

January 12 - February 17, 2024

"There is no way to hold memory singularly… and call that truth. … We have to do that in collaboration, we have to do it together. And that work is hard.”   ― Sue Mobley, Monument Lab


Collective Telling counters the political suppression of history across the United States by amplifying and connecting artists who examine the past to understand place, present belonging, and possible paths forward. The exhibition highlights 19 contemporary artists with roots in the Southeast whose work intersects with reparative history by subverting power dynamics and connecting narratives in search of truth. By unearthing stories held within ancestral fires, sacred waters, or the soil around Echo Street in Atlanta, Collective Telling visualizes emergent strategies that allow for new ways of being.

Through a wide range of experimental practices, the featured work touches on themes of environmental and cultural stewardship, placekeeping, and critical ecology. As seen through repurposed domestic fabrics, bricks cast in latex, and ancient symbols tattooed into the skin of young hands, each piece in Collective Telling can be seen as a palimpsest with traces of what came before, revealing the present by altering what was. Together, these artists reveal multiple perspectives of history and therefore a clearer picture. Collective Telling illustrates the South’s role as a fertile ground for imagined futures, seeded with stories that are blooming and becoming louder.


Heather Bird Harris

Jennifer Williams



Nic[o] Brierre Aziz

kai lumumba barrow

Ann Hill Bond

Hannah Chalew

Jeffery Darensbourg

Fernando López

Johnnie Diacon

Shana M. griffin

Coulter Fussell

Cheyenne Hendrickson

Jenny Fine

Hotvlkuce Harjo

Hannah Palmer

Sachi Rome

Renee Royale

Mariana Sheppard

Sergio Suarez

Carlie Trosclair

Harrison Wayne

This exhibition and community programming is made possible through the generosity of Alternate ROOTS, Georgia State University, Gene Kansas Real Estate, and Susan Brennan.

Preview + Artist Walkthrough
Thursday, January 11, 5:30 - 7 PM

Echo Contemporary Art
featuring artist talks by Johnnie Diacon, Nic[o] Brierre Aziz,
Hotvlkuce Harjo, & Mariana Sheppard


Opening Reception
Friday, January 12, 7 - 10 PM

Echo Contemporary Art

Experiential Learning in Two Parts
Tuesday, January 30, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Echo Contemporary Art
A Lesson on Destructive Art by Harrison Wayne
A Sound Walk led by Cheyenne Hendrickson


Artist Talk
Saturday, February 3, 12 - 1 PM
Echo Contemporary Art
Featuring Renee Royale in conversation with Heather Bird Harris

watch the recording

Artist Talk: Ecological Perspectives + Action
Saturday, February 3, 4 - 5 PM EST
Featuring Hannah Chalew, Shana M. griffin, 
Jeffery Darensbourg and Fernando López

watch the recording


Collective Telling Dinner 
Sunday, February 4, 6 - 8 PM
Echo Contemporary Art
A conceptual dinner with artists Renee Royale + Sachi Rome
$40 - $75 sliding scale

reservations required

Artist Talk: Material Repurposing + Palimpsest
Tuesday, February 6, 7 - 8 EST
Featuring Jenny Fine + Carlie Trosclair + Coulter Fussell

watch the recording


Artist Talk: Going Home 
Thursday, February 15, 6:30 - 8 PM

Echo Contemporary Art
Featuring Ann Hill Bond in conversation with Kiyomi Rollins 
Performance by actor Marlon Burnley as 1906 Atlanta Race

Massacre Victim “George Union Wilder”

Downtown Springs Walk 
Saturday, February 17, 10 - 11:30 AM
Meet at 66 Decatur St.
Led by Hannah Palmer and the Department of Urban Springs

registration link 


Artist Talk + Closing Reception
Saturday, February 17, 5 - 7 PM
Echo Contemporary Art
Featuring kai lumumba barrow and Shana M. griffin




Echo Contemporary Art



785 Echo Street NE

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Gallery Hours

Wednesday  - Friday: 11am - 6pm
​​Saturday: 12pm - 5pm
​Sunday - Tuesday:: Closed

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