North America

Georgia Dispatch, in collaboration with Burnaway

Georgia Dispatch: Living and Making in the American South
Suzanne Jackson, Yanique Norman, and Katya Tepper in conversation with Erin Jane Nelson, in collaboration with Burnaway

Long before Georgia surprised the world in two recent US elections, the Peach State was a vital cultural and political force, shaping everything from food and music to queer culture and Civil Rights activism. The fundamental underestimation of the power and agency of the South has long motivated people in the region to create their own networks of solidarity and support. Georgia Dispatch invites a leading, local organization, Burnaway, to convene four artists to discuss living and working in this diffuse and dynamic artistic landscape. 

This intergenerational roundtable includes visual artists Suzanne Jackson (Savannah), Yanique Norman (Atlanta), and Katya Tepper (Athens), and is led by Georgia native, KADIST collection artist, and Burnaway Director, Erin Jane Nelson. Primarily a digital magazine of contemporary art and criticism from the American South, Burnaway both documents and participates in the vibrant cultural landscape of the region and all panel artists are also contributors or collaborators. Their discussion addresses the circuitous paths that led to settling in the state, idiosyncratic studio approaches to materiality, commitment to the lyrical and poetical, the local versus global south, and engagement with large scale sculptural collage, among other mediums.


Suzanne Jackson is an artist, poet, scenic designer and dancer. Her paintings can be found in public and private collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent exhibitions include News! at Ortuzar Projects (2019); Five Decades, Jepson Center/Telfair Museums (2019); Life Model: Charles White and His Students, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2019); West by Midwest, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018–19); Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Brooklyn Museum (2018–19); Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980, Hammer Museum (2011–13).

Yanique Norman (b. 1981, Jamaica) is an Atlanta-based artist whose multimedia practice explores themes of alienation, identity, and Black embodiment operating under a mode of critique called Black fungibility. Norman defines Black fungibility as “an alternate ideological dream model” that tethers Black experience with scientific and technological actions of organic transmutation, multiplicity, reproduction, and shapeshifting. Norman attended Georgia State University for her BFA and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for her MFA. Norman is the recipient of the Artadia Award (2020), the National Museum of Women in the Arts of Georgia Grant (2020), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant (2019), Susan Antinori Visual Artist Grant (2019) and the Hughley Artist Fellowship (2016). Norman’s work can be found in the public collections of the High Museum, Hammonds House Museum and Clark Atlanta University Art Museum. In 2021 Norman will participate in the Atlanta Biennial.

Katya Tepper (b.1987, Florida) is an artist based in Georgia whose work explores interconnections between illness and landscape. Solo exhibitions of their work include White Columns, NY and Atlanta Contemporary, GA, and the group show Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying at Red Bull Arts, Detroit. Their work has been featured in Mousse Magazine, Art in America, Art Papers, Art Review, Burnaway, and others. Tepper is a recipient of the Wynn Newhouse Award and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. They earned a BFA from the Cooper Union and are currently an MFA candidate at Bard College.

Erin Jane Nelson is an Atlanta-based artist who received her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in 2011. Her work has recently been exhibited in Making Knowing: Craft in Art 1950-2019 and Between the Waters at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Other. Worldly at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, and Photography Today: Public Private Relations at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. She has had solo shows at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Chapter, and DOCUMENT. Nelson is a 2020 recipient of the Rabkin Award for Arts Journalism and a 2021 MOCA GA Working Artist Project Fellowship. She has been the Director of Burnaway since 2018 and co-founded the now dormant artist-run space, Species with her husband in Atlanta in 2016.

Burnaway is an Atlanta-based, artist-run organization with three core programs: a magazine of contemporary art and criticism; career training for aspiring arts writers and cultural journalists; and advocacy for artists and writers working in the southern United States. Since 2008, the organization has brought vital critical dialogue to one of the most politically polarized, historically fraught, ecologically threatened, and economically disadvantaged parts of the country. From Appalachia to Miami, Nashville to New Orleans, Burnaway both documents and participates in the vibrant cultural landscape of the region and continues to wonder, What is the South?