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Art Exhibition at Oakland Cemetery Greenhouse Ruins - Oct 9, 7pm to 10pm

In the Greenhouse Ruins / Paintings and Garden Installation by Cooper Sanchez

Status: Archived  
Location: Historic Oakland Cemetery in the old greenhouse ruins by Potter's field
Parking: Behind and beside Six Feet Under and Ria's bluebird.
Time: 7PM - 10PM  Rain Date: TBA at

ARTIST COOPER SANCHEZ TO EXHIBIT AT HISTORIC OAKLAND CEMETERY IN THE RUINS OF ATLANTA'S FIRST PUBLIC GREENHOUSE His fifth body of artwork since 2004 features paintings and an installation inspired by gardening at Oakland Cemetery over the past year.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Cooper Sanchez presents his fifth Atlanta solo art show and third independently produced art event (one night only) at Historic Oakland Cemetery. After working in the cemetery over the past year as part of the tornado recovery and restoration gardening installation, Sanchez developed this body of work from an interest specifically in Oakland Cemetery but also from a general interest in things forgotten, past, and in a state of ruin.

The event will take place on Friday, October 9, 2009 from 7PM-10PM at Historic Oakland Cemetery in the old greenhouse ruins. The work will remain on display for one night only. In the event of inclement weather, a rain date will be announced at

The paintings depict carvings from the remnants / monuments of the cemetery in decline as echoes amongst the living objects (mostly plantlife) that inspired their symbology. In the setting of this traditional victorian garden cemetery, the two subjects often intertwine. In the context of this exhibit, these paintings are presented as sentiments or elegies to those who've passed before us. "This exhibit is meant to be a respectful nod to the victorian garden cemetery and the way people historically interacted with these plots" says Sanchez.

The fact that Oakland has survived many catastrophes through time makes it a beacon for perseverance and especially meaningful to Sanchez. "I'd like to help generate interest in this beautiful Atlanta space and all the history surrounding it. I had always thought Oakland was a nice cemetery, but working so closely in and amongst it's gardens and monuments really gave me a different perspective of the city's past. You can really see how it continues to grow and evolve to become better through time. The tornado of 2008 took down over 95 oak trees. Those cannot be replaced in our lifetime, but I'd like to help continue the garden tradition of the cemetery and make investments that our descendants can enjoy as we have. The tornado was devastating, but it certainly has raised public awareness about Oakland and it's restoration needs."

Sanchez is particularly interested in the beautification of Potter's Field. "I plan on donating a percentage of any profits from this show to plantings in this area of the cemetery which has so many unmarked graves that are gone but not forgotten. I'd like to honor the memory of those buried with flowers and gardens as the cemetery with it's functioning greenhouse was historically designed to do."

The Oakland greenhouse was Atlanta's first public greenhouse. It was leveled in the 1970's during a storm and was never restored. All that remains is the surrounding brick walls and toppled cement tables. Over the past six months, with the permission of Sam Reed, Oakland cemetery's sexton, Sanchez has been improving the site in preparation for his showing in October.

Cooper's involvement with Phase 1 and 2 restoration has been through Atlanta Fine Gardens and the Historic Oakland Foundation.

The event will feature live musical entertainment and Sponsors include Six Feet Under, Atlanta Fine Gardens, Ryan Gainey & Company, Bobo Intriguing Objects (TBA), and Greg Fricks Wine Provisions.

Influences for the work include Cy Twombly (a fellow alumnus of Darlington School in Rome, Georgia), Rothko, Monet, and Howard Finster.



Cooper Sanchez is a native Georgian currently living in Clarkston, an old farming community outside Decatur. Born in Rome, Georgia, he has also lived in Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and New York, NY. He moved to the Atlanta area after graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1999. He began his career as a collage artist and has since developed a painting style based on classical aesthetics with a raw/gut approach inspired by sentimental and nature themes. Over the past 5 years, and with the help of honey bees, he has cultivated a drought tolerant meadow and a small edible garden in his own yard.
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