WHAT WE DO & WHY WE DO IT
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) was founded in 2000 to fill a void felt in the Georgia art community--it lacked a museum solely dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary Georgia artists. Since its founding, MOCA GA has succeeded in raising awareness and opportunities for the artists working in our state while creating connections between these artists and the community. It is our goal to strengthen Georgia as a place where artists can live, work, and thrive and to serve as a platform to launch local artists and their works into the global artistic conversation.
MOCA GA’s mission is to collect and archive significant, contemporary works by the artists of the state of Georgia. To place our artists in a global context, the Museum's exhibitions include Georgia artists and artists from around the world. Our programs promote the visual arts by creating a forum for active interchange between artists and the community. The Museum fulfills this mission through an extensive program calendar of exhibitions, artist and curator talks, educational programming, and events.
HISTORY OF MOCA GA (2000-present)
MOCA GA was founded in 2000 by Annette Cone-Skelton and David S. Golden, out of recognition of the need for a major institution devoted to collecting and showcasing the contemporary arts of Georgia. Established with private funding, MOCA GA began with 250 works of art by 110 Georgia artists, consigned from the corporate collection of Atlanta-based CGR Advisors, a real estate advisory company, and from David S. Golden’s personal collection. The founding collection includes a variety of mediums—from a bold mixed medium painting by Radcliffe Bailey to the intimate black and white photographs by Harry Callahan—featuring paintings, prints, sculpture, photography, installations, and more.
Since opening with its very first exhibition in 2002, MOCA GA has become a leader in the arts of Atlanta - showcasing the best of contemporary visual art by Georgia's emerging, established, and legendary artists. With an average of 15 exhibitions each year and more than 120 exhibitions to date, MOCA GA presents work that is dynamic, challenging and innovative. MOCA GA also encourages engagement and exchange between the artists it features and the community it serves through regularly scheduled artist talks and other public programming. The Museum is now home to a permanent collection of more than 1,000 works of art which continues to grow in depth and breadth by 50-100 pieces per year. MOCA GA is central to the arts in Georgia - investing in the community by preserving the legacy of the past, present, and future of Georgia art.
The museum’s first location was at 1447 Peachtree Street in Atlanta (2002-2007). During that time MOCA GA also regularly exhibited off-site in the SunTrust Plaza at 303 Peachtree Street (2005-2007). In September 2007, the Museum relocated to the TULA Art Center at 75 Bennett Street, and remains there today. MOCA GA currently occupies half of the building with galleries for rotating exhibitions upstairs and the permanent collection and Education/Research Center (E/RC) downstairs. The building has been renamed the TULA/MOCA GA building.
The E/RC began in 2002 with funding from the Forward Arts Foundation in order to preserve and make available the rich legacy of the arts in Georgia. In 2014, a capital campaign was undertaken to expand the E/RC to a total of12,000 + square feet, creating exhibition space for the permanent collection, a computer bank for scholarly research, an expanded art library, video installation room, and increased space for the permanent collection and archive storage. This space is home to MOCA GA’s educational program, Draw@MOCA, and is available for community meetings of all types. It is the Museum’s vision that the E/RC continue to grow as a destination for students, scholars, and the community to experience and study the history of art in Georgia. In the coming months, MOCA GA will begin implementing a project to digitize and publish its historical archives on an online platform. The archives contain over 150,000 items documenting the history of Georgia artists and arts organizations through objects such as sketch books, correspondence, catalogs, exhibition announcements and much more.