Tag Archives: Art

The Tower

On the corner of a bustling Virginia-Highland intersection lies a set of worn stone steps. Trees line either side, masking all that lies beyond. The sight is mysterious, yet inviting. At the summit is an open lot enveloped with overgrown vines. It’s shady, with sunbeams peeking in through the canopy. Peaceful and still, there is no one in sight. But just beyond the vines and the brush, walls of gray stone and a dark wooden roof tower over the tallest of trees.

The Tower is not a house, but an art piece and work in progress. Jack Harich, a Georgia native, bought the lot in 1973 and began building two years later. Inspired by his motto “make it perpetually inspiring to live in,” Harich has been building the structure for the past four decades. He calls it a “design-as-you-go, pay-as-you-go, have fun type of art piece” — not a house.

“I just wanted to build something — build a house. Who’s to say why, but a lot of people build houses,” Harich says, reflecting on his motivation for beginning the project.

Harich sees his work as a craft, and for him, The Tower is a form of self- expression. The Tower has 100 tons of Cherokee marble and includes sections of White Oak and Yellow Pine. Each piece has been carefully integrated into the house to reflect Harich’s personality and creativity. The Tower’s form evolves as he does.

Harich’s first accomplishment was what he calls the stone circle. He originally designed it to be an outdoor accessory, but when he realized that it was a livable space, he continued to build around it. The stone circle now serves as stone pillars holding up the structure of the house. The stone circle, which now sits in the center of the lowest floor, is constructed of white marble for eight feet before it switches to wood. The structure is three stories high, shooting through the center of the house. At the top, Harich built the Crow’s Nest, a haven nestled away just beneath the roof. A wooden ladder ascends to a skylight that opens to the rooftop.

The base of the stone circle is now the core of the first floor – a space that Harich envisions to be his indoor workshop. It’s one of the largest open spaces in The Tower. And despite the Atlanta heat, the first floor will not contain air conditioning. The marble walls insulate the floor naturally through thermal mass, maintaining an average temperature of 56 degrees. The room will also have natural warming in the winter, retaining the heat. “You hardly have to heat it at all if you just bundle up a little in the winter,” Harich says. On the left is a section of the wall made entirely of thick translucent glass, allowing the sunshine to pour into the otherwise-dark lower level. Harich’s modern style incorporates two moon gates, which invite even more natural light to flow in, illuminating the room.

A wooden ladder from the outside leads upstairs. At the top, the light radiates through the windows constituting each of the main room’s walls. Harich says this room is meant to energize and inspire. The ceiling is awe-inspiring with grand arches and intricate carved designs. The wooden facade, sawed and nailed together by hand, took two years to complete. In 1995, Harich had twenty friends over for a weekend to help raise the timber frame. Six months later, Harich finished the joinery and decorative ceiling. Harich’s love for his wife, Martha, is palpable through the wooden carvings of hearts that crown each spectacular arch.

While the arched room is the most meaningful for Harich, the next room over, the guest room, is the most unique. Harich calls it the Tree Room. Built out of tree trunks, branches wind their way toward the ceiling. The tree trunks serve as a base to support the ceiling. With trees gracing outside the windows, the Tree Room becomes one with its surroundings.

And the artist? Jack is a jack of all trades. He’s as interesting as The Tower — maybe more so.

Meet Harich and find out the story behind The Tower here.


See the progress of the Tower over time:[timeline src=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AsOi4UlBn_w0dDFYSlhYRmdPRVFsc0EteFdPT1M4Z1E&output=html” width=”100%” height=”650″ font=”Bevan-PotanoSans” maptype=”toner” lang=”en” ]

Artists breathe life into the walls of Decatur


Scattered across Atlanta you can find beautiful paintings on walls of buildings. These murals are part of the the Living Walls Atlanta Conference, a collective effort between local and international artist to use street art “to promote, educate and change perspectives about public space,” according to the organization’s mission statement. Started in 2010, Living Walls has created public art in various corners of metro-Atlanta. You can currently find six living Walls murals on Decatur’s walls. Here they are!

1. 430 West Trinity Place
(Beacon Hill Complex)
by Michi and Adrian Barzaga 

Pumped up to see the first wall, I followed the GPS on my phone. When the GPS announced that I had arrived, I looked up to see this:

Suh_Decatur_Blog_2The construction workers at the site could not remember tearing down a mural on one of the walls, but numerous residents could confirm the construction site was formerly the Beacon Hill Recreation Center, where the mural had been previously. Living Walls creations have a history of being torn down or painted over for different reasons. As seen in the photo below, this wall seemed to have been demolished as a part of a larger remodeling project for the whole block.

Disheartened, I continued my search for the murals.

2. 113 East Court Square
(Squash Blossom Building)
by Gaia and Nanook

Located in the middle of the courtyard, the second wall was the easiest to find.


The first picture didn’t capture the intricacy of the mural, so I tried to capture some of the details in a close-up picture.


3. 133 Sycamore Street
(Dancer’s Core Alley)
by Sam Parker

The third location was the most difficult to find. Although you can see the alley from the courtyard, a bolted gate blocks that entrance.


The second entrance is through a parking lot. it’s definitely not a location you’ll stumble across.


Then the narrow alley made it impossible to capture a single picture with the entire mural. Here is a portion of the mural.


4. 211 East Trinity Place 
(Back wall of Twain’s) 
by Doodles, Gaia and Clown Soldier 


There was another mural on the adjacent wall of the Living Walls mural. Twain’s garbage small deterred me from getting closer to the second mural (pictured right).


The last two murals can be found on opposing sides of a seemingly abandoned building right down the road from Twain’s.


5. 302 East Howard Avenue 
by Freddy Sam and Ever 

The larger of the two murals faces the west.


6. 308 East Howard Avenue 
by Jason Kofke

The final mural in Downtown Decatur can be found on the opposing side of the larger mural.


There is an additional wall in south Decatur, located at East Lake Drive in Oakhurst.

The highlight of my trip was that although I got lost numerous times, every single person I stumbled across went out of their way to answer my questions. Thank you residents of Decatur!

The Paintings of Peachtree

The Paintings of Peachtree

A glance at Midtown Atlanta’s art scene

  1. Known for its vibrant culture, Midtown is blossoming into one
    of Atlanta’s hottest neighborhoods. Midtown is Atlanta’s heart of the arts. From street art to esteemed museums, Midtown is home to some of the best artwork
    in the city. While there is no shortage of renowned artists featured in the museums,
    many of the galleries introduce up-and-coming talent.

  2. The High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 13,000 pieces of artwork, the collection houses everything from the classics to the contemporary.
  3. The Birthday Girl With Her Favorite Painting. Dragon (Drache) by Anslem Kiefer. @nicomeadows #modernart #highmuseum #anslemkiefer #vsco #vscocam
  4. High Museum of Art, Atlanta
  5. While the High Museum is the most famous in Atlanta, Midtown is lined with noteworthy museums and galleries. Just across the street, The Museum of Design Atlanta highlights creativity through design.
  6. Atlanta – Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
  7. MODA even curated a competition in the form of a museum exhibition. Emerging artists collaborated with interior and set designers to showcase unique, original designs.
  8. MODA | The South’s Next Wave Design Challenge
  9. #5ThingsToDoToday ‘Alchemy 3’ at Beep Beep Gallery, Dave Nelson and Marlon Patton at the Goat Farm  http://ow.ly/rSTsD 
  10. Midtown does not have a specific art district. The neighohood is peppered with numerous hidden gems. Beep Beep Gallery is one of them — tucked away on Charles Allen Drive, the gallery is home to eclectic artwork created by emerging Atlanta artists. Rumor has it that their exhibition openings, or parties, are the place to be if you’re one of the “cool kids.”
  11. Mentions and buzz for Beep Beep Gallery:  http://sch.mp/0jC0A  – RT @carolinecox All the cool kids will be at beep beep gallery tonight …
  12. Beep Beep Gallery always has something exciting to honk about.
  13. What it is my playurr partner art soldiers? We …
  14. “Gold Party” featuring 7 new artists opens this Saturday at Beep Beep!  http://fb.me/XdRj8B8t 
  15. Gold Party’s looking great on the walls. See y’all at the opening Saturday.
  16. The Robert Matre Gallery displays artist Robert Matre’s own photography and a collection of unique modern paintings and sculptures. The gallery is known for its “bold, vibrant and impactful works.” Rotating exhibitions feature both national and international, emerging, and established contemporary artists.
  17. In Midtown, art is not just in the galleries, but on the city’s walls, streets and bridges. The shots below are just a taste of how street art brings the neighborhood to life.
  18. Whattup Blood?? Got a quick shot as I was leaving the dog park today..Anybody wanna venture around Piedmont Park soon?
  19. Whether you set out for a day at the museum or are dashing between a tattoo shop and a bistro, keep you eyes open because you’ll be sure to experience some of Atlanta’s finest art.