In a city like Atlanta you can’t go very far in any direction without running into someone doing some amazing thing. In the case of Beth Malone that thing is turning convention on it’s ear. Along with her business partner Courtney Hammond, Beth brings artists and their art work from around the US and places them in unlikely settings in even more unlikely neighborhoods. As was the case with their recent Boom City! exhibition. Boom City! was an installation of contemporary artwork from Atlanta, New York, and New Orleans in a building that began it’s life as a band almost 100 years ago in a neighborhood that is known more for it’s crime and terrible parking than it’s appetite for Art. According to their mission statement Dashboard Co-op activates raw space with radical contemporary art to inspire neighborhood development and cultural awareness. They most certainly hit that mark with Boom City! as they have done with every exhibition they have done.
Beth is one of those people who you feel energized just being around. She is at once incredibly formidable and incredibly approachable and while she could have done anything absolutely anywhere she chose to channel her talents into putting the Atlanta Art culture on the National Map. Beth epitomizes ambition and determination and we’re proud to know her and to have been the go-to printer for Dashboard. That is why Beth Malone is the subject of this month’s Straight and Arrow.
Fallen Arrows: Which neighborhood do you call home? Beth: Reynoldstown, ATL
FA: What song/album do you have playing on repeat right now? Beth: This is gonna sound over the top — recently, Santiago Paramo created the soundtrack for dance created by Helen Hale. In a series of misadventures, I was handed a CD of the soundtrack. I don’t have the music-genre-lingo to describe it but its damn good, all instrumental and cinematic.
FA: What inspired you to start your current venture? Beth: Artists, Atlanta, and my business partner Courtney Hammond.
FA: What challenges did you face/are you facing in getting your project off the ground? How have you/are you overcoming them? Beth:Time management. I’m not able to devote as much time to it as I need to. I’m asking for help. We have a lot of volunteers, a really supportive board, and a staff that never sleeps.
FA: What are some of the things you love about working in Atlanta? Beth: The change the art community makes to the city as a whole is in front of my face each day – I can see it everywhere. Atlanta lends itself well to change, I think she likes it.
FA: If someone handed you an open ended plane ticket to anywhere on earth if you left right now where would you be heading? Beth: Galapagos Islands or absolutely anywhere in Southeast Asia.
FA: Tell us a little about what inspires you or makes you tick? Beth: I’m inspired by big sky, dirty cities, art museums, galleries, slow movies, and a good rooftop. I’m inspired by people who ask lots of questions. I tick by being consistently productive, which is annoying because I need more quiet than sound. This has all taken me a long time to figure out.
FA: If you could pick any one person on earth you’d love to see wearing your merch who would it be? Why? Beth: Strong Women: Sarah Sze, Hilary Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi, The Coathangers and Ai Wei Wei
FA: What does the future look like for you and your venture? Beth: We’re planting roots. And we’re traveling. We’re doing big things this year that I can’t talk about yet…
FA: Tell people where they can find you and buy your gear? Beth: They can find us at our exhibitions in vacant properties around the city. To find out where those are and when they’re popping up, they can visit dashboardco-op.org