Since 2010, Poem88 represents emerging and mid-career artists, and presents thoughtful and innovative explorations in a new artistic frontier. Writer and filmmaker, Robin Bernat, is the owner and curator.
2018 ushered in the re-organization of our roster of artists. Our exhibitions and programs are focused on inclusion. In keeping with current social and political developments, we feel it is keenly urgent to insure that women and cultural and ethnic minorities are amply represented and that projects addressing pressing social and political concerns are presented as often as exhibitions of a strictly formal nature. Thus, 68% of the artists on the Poem 88 roster are women. Additionally, 42% of our artists are 50 years of age or over.
When Poem 88 began in 2010, this curatorial project was focused on excellence in craftsmanship and concept. Nine years in, it is imperative that the project of Poem 88 adds to these goals a sense of fairness. Women artists especially are overlooked for inclusion in the programs of the most visible arts institutions in our city; and they deserve to be promoted by those institutions to the broader, national art world. If we are bothered by a lack of fairness in the larger world, and in the communities where we live and work, it is only appropriate that we challenge institutions, intended to serve our community, to model fairness toward our community.
Perhaps it goes without saying that Poem 88 is committed to showcasing the incredible talent that resides in metropolitan Atlanta. An avant garde expression has persisted in Atlanta's contemporary art scene since the 1970s. Through Poem 88, we hope to connect these artists with life-long collectors and those institutions that value the beauty, rigor, and risk inherent in their works of art.
We promote and pursue intriguing collaborations in all creative disciplines. Since 2014, Poem 88 EDITIONS affords such collaborations a national and global reach. We present musical performances, literary readings, and film screenings that further investigate thematic concerns; finally, we especially encourage discourse on contemporary art and art-making.
Robin Bernat is an artist and writer, as well as the owner and curator of Poem 88 gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work has been exhibited locally, regionally, and nationally and has been collected by many important institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Kemper Museum of Art, The High Museum of Art, MOCA-GA, and The Weatherspoon Museum. Working primarily in film and video, Bernat’s work explores the fleeting and the provisional. She is represented locally by Whitespace gallery.
From 1992-2001, she was the proprietor of Circle B Press, a cooperative printmaking studio and publisher. From 2000-2005, Bernat was an instructor in the Atlanta Film Festival (formerly IMAGE Film and Video) Media program teaching filmmaking to under-served teens, and facilitating a discussion group on films of the avant-garde. From 2004-2006, she was the Manager of Youth and Family programs at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University creating educational programs, workshops, and publications focused on the museum's collections of antiquities.
In the Atlanta community, Bernat served for many years on the Board of Directors of Art Papers magazine initiating their public program Art Papers Live. She also served on the advisory board of Nexus Press and was vice chair of the Twentieth Century Art Society of the High Museum of Art.
She is a graduate of The University of Georgia and The Atlanta College of Art. In 1988-89, she completed coursework toward an MA in Art History at Emory University; in 2001, she was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. She has twice been an artist-in-residence at the Kemper Museum of Art.