UTA Artist Space, the contemporary art gallery of Hollywood powerhouse United Talent Agency (UTA), will open a second location on the other side of the US to augment its airy space in Beverly Hills. The new exhibition space, a three-storey venue in Atlanta, Georgia, will open in early January 2023.
The announcement comes at an interesting time: never has the crossover between the art market and the sports and entertainment worlds been so fluid. Musicians and actors are often seen roaming the halls of art fairs (and not just in Los Angeles) and NBA players are regularly among those buying and investing in art. Expanding to Atlanta is a bold but well thought out move for UTA Artist Space. The city has always had a thriving art and entertainment scene, but there are few major galleries to speak of, which means UTA Artist Space will be one of the biggest players in town.
With Atlanta native and former NBA G League player Virgil "Tony" Parker (formerly of the Iowa Wolves) taking on the role of sales director for the Atlanta space, the new gallery’s sports world bonafides will be firmly established. According to a UTA Artist Space press release, Parker already has working relationships, built during his time playing pro ball, with marquee figures and brands that have a known interest in the art world including Kevin Durant, Nike, James Whitner and A Ma Maniére.
"Being from Atlanta, I have a lot of great memories of growing up and playing basketball here," Parker says, "This city means so much to me and has played a significant part in who I am today. It is so impactful to play a role in opening up the UTA Artist Space in this incredibly vibrant city. It's a way to give back and give the people here more reach into the art world. Atlanta embraces art, sports, culture and entertainment, so I think there’s a lot of opportunity here for both UTA and the UTA Artist Space to grow."
The gallery will be managed by Bridgette Baldo, a longtime UTA employee who in the past has served as an executive in the fine arts division and helped orchestrate exhibitions in the Los Angeles gallery alongside that gallery’s director. Arthur Lewis, partner and creative director of UTA Fine Arts and the UTA Artist Space, who spent time living in Atlanta while studying at Morehouse College, will oversee operations and strategy for both UTA Artist Space galleries.
"I have seen [Atlanta's] culture change drastically over three decades, and from the incline I have seen I know there is no time like the present to invest in Atlanta’s arts community," Lewis says, "We are always searching for new talent to highlight, new careers to build, so I can’t wait for our new location to open and bring incredible opportunities to even more incredible artists.”