In 2009 Atlanta Collage Society established its Mentor Program to identify individuals who would consult with the organization in defining its direction and growth. The program specified that Mentors would be selected from specialists in the art field: recognized artists, gallery directors, museum curators or marketing professionals. In lending their expertise and experience, ACS Mentors serve in an advisory role for the ACS board.

Our mentors share their many skills and generous spirit with our organization. Their knowledge and enthusiasm benefit the ACS membership on many levels through their participation.

John Morse

Mentor, Atlanta Collage Society

In John’s words:
“The one element consistent in every collage is glue: Something is glued to something else. After that, all bets off.

Scissors, straight edge, shredder, crimper, hole puncher? Maybe, but these tools are options, not necessities. For many collagists, hand torn paper works just fine.

Collagists might use pricey specialty papers or intricately laced doilies. Or perhaps they’ll slum it, finding their palette among the colors and shapes in the recycling bin (a remarkable trove that gives true meaning to the phrase “from trash to treasure”).

The work may be mounted on anything from museum board to a paper bag, from cold-pressed, heavyweight vellum to a square of vinyl cut from a tarp.

This breadth of choices in materials is only seconded by the techniques available to the collagist. The work may be painterly, using swatches of papers like so many brushstrokes. It may be photomontage, appropriating ready-made imagery such as stamps, family photos, magazine covers, envelope interiors or street leaflets and refashioning them until viewers see a common object like they’ve never seen it before. The paper may be found and used as is, or profoundly altered with paint, stress, mulching, smudging, heat — even fire! — or myriad other methods, including entirely handmade.

Or it may not be paper at all. Glittery foils, ripped cloth, smashed bottles, deconstructed plastic containers, sand, cotton balls, wood chips — the list is endless.

No other two-dimensional visual expression allows such variety, such freedom, such impossible-to-predict results. And it can be created on the barest of budgets. The desire to make art is something money cannot buy, something that cannot be taught, but something that must be encouraged.

This is what the Atlanta Collage Society offers its members: A collegial, open-minded environment that cultivates and encourages the love of art; knowledge of the history, practices and possibilities of collage; and the advancement of its members according to their individual visions of what a collage may be.

And when working within a medium that has virtually no rules, that individual vision, promises limitless explorations.”

Chery Baird

Mentor, Atlanta Collage Society

In Chery’s words:
“Memories play an important part in every human’s life. Each of us accumulates information in many different ways. We access our past memories to interpret the present and point a path to the future. We always stand in the present looking both directions.

The complexity of my surfaces allows for a shifting dialogue of contrasting structures, techniques and mediums. This multilayered approach changes the conversation with each painting and evokes new sets of memories, feelings and thoughts. This rich variety of mark-making creates forms that are suggestive of the mysterious and personal, as well as the gesture of the body marking in space and time. Surfaces fuse, overlap and intertwine, shaping and reshaping, creating order and forming a memory of the act itself.

The act of painting becomes a time of meditation. My work is a record of those moments.”