In the life of an artist, finding a venue to display one’s artwork is something constantly on the agenda. Luckily for Athens artists, this city has a fabulous art scene and many businesses are always on the search for local artwork to display.
Last Resort Grill of downtown Athens happens to be one of these businesses.
Widely popular amongst Athenians, the upscale restaurant displays artwork done by local artists for four to six weeks at a time, with artists booked up to a year and a half ahead of time according to assistant manager of Last Resort, Julie Weiss.
Lily Harrington, a junior English and cognitive science major at University of Georgia, has her artwork hung throughout Last Resort. Harrington’s pieces include beautifully colored abstract oil paintings which can be seen in the restaurant until May 6.
Weiss discussed how she had chosen to display Harrington’s artwork because of her impressive portfolio of large canvas paintings and enough artwork to fill the walls throughout the restaurant.
“People get really excited to see our monthly shows and support local artists,” Weiss said.
When it comes to artists like Harrington, painting is practically in her blood. With the majority of her family being artists and her mother owning an art gallery, Harrington has been surrounded by paint brushes and canvases all of her life.
However, Harrington said she really got her start as an artist when she worked for an interior designer at the age of 16. One of the company’s clients wanted a large piece of artwork to go with a room design, and instead of spending thousands on a well-known artist’s work, she was commissioned to create the artwork.Harrington, for one, said she loves Last Resort.
“My sister is two years older than me and came to UGA before me and every time we would come visit her, we would always do family lunches or dinner at Last Resort, so it kind of holds a special place in my heart,” Harrington said.
Unlike many galleries, Last Resort is set apart in the fact it doesn’t take any portion of the profits made off the artwork the artists have displayed in the restaurant.
“I think it is very centered around the Athens community and I think it’s amazing that they choose to showcase local artists and they don’t take any cut from the artists transactions,” Harrington said. “It’s purely based on local artists showcasing their stuff to the Athens community, which I think is really cool.”
The art seen in Last Resort is all abstract oil paintings, and Harrington explained how she “graduated” on to oil painting from acrylic. It requires a certain discipline and skill due to the long drying process of the medium and Harrington wanted to show the heavy influx of daily customers at Last Resort that she’s able to work well with oil.
“I think it shows that I can do the same sort of work that I did in acrylic in this harder medium, and it sort of speaks to my progress,” Harrington said.