The PATH expands the area’s art offerings.
Buckhead offers a plethora of entertainment offerings, but museums, particularly art museums, are in short supply. Mark Karelson, owner of Mason Fine Art on Miami Circle, has always wanted to see a broader scope of arts and culture in the area where he grew up. In summer 2023, Karelson’s curatorial dreams came to fruition. He opened The PATH Museum on the ground floor of an office building next to Lenox Square.
“The PATH Museum is an attempt to enhance the cultural profile of Buckhead,” Karelson says. “In my opinion, museums aren’t entities that compete and instead enhance one another. More museums in Atlanta mean more people coming to see all of them.”
The name PATH has a double meaning. One part is for the museum’s location: It sits along the route of PATH400, a 5.2-mile walking and biking greenway running adjacent to Georgia 400 that will extend through Buckhead when completed. It also is an acronym for “Presenting Art That Heals.”
“Art heals by allowing you to look at things, acknowledge them and move forward. It’s a means of expression of the spirit. And for certain artists, it’s a way of overcoming great obstacles,” says Karelson, who has always been drawn to artists who prevail despite physical, financial and developmental hurdles.
The museum, which is free and open to the public Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will have rotating exhibitions curated by both Karelson and guest curators.
The broad vision is to “highlight artists with connections to Atlanta that deserve to be recognized.” The PATH’s initial exhibition displayed the diverse private collection of iconic artist and Georgia State professor emeritus Larry Walker. The second displayed works by internationally renowned visual artist Charly Palmer, who created John Legend’s last album cover and TIME magazine’s bold 2020 cover “America Must Change.” Last fall, the space highlighted a retrospective exhibit of the city’s history by Atlanta photographers Jim Alexander and Susan J. Ross (pictured above).
This year, visit The PATH to view “The Next 100 Years,” an exhibit curated by Tracy Murrell and Ren Dillard. The emerging Atlanta curators are addressing the topic of Afrofuturism, a cultural aesthetic that combines science fiction, history and fantasy to explore the African American experience.
Karelson hopes to use the museum as the jumping off point for another larger project he has in the works: a walking museum throughout Buckhead that is projected to launch later this year. This “trail of art” will feature privately owned sculptures and murals on loan for public consumption.
“I am returning to a vision that has been in the works for years. Between The PATH Museum and this new project, I want art to be accessible to everyone,” he says.
THE PATH MUSEUM
PHOTO: Erik Meadows
Managing Editor and Wellness Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Blogger at Badass + Healthy.