Vaughn D. Irons
Gallery Founder & Principal Director
"A gallery such as ours is rare in America and if we can do this, we can do anything else we set our minds to."
10 years ago...while a member of the Leadership DeKalb class of 2012 a couple of my classmates and I began to have serious discussions about the need to take our unincorporated farmland & rock quarries and transform it into its own city. A place, where we could be intentional about our growth instead of waiting for a group of people in another part of the County to decide what we could become. At the time our future was limited by the views of what others thought we deserved instead of being catapulted by our skills, character, resources, and dreams. We weren’t being defined by the community we potentially could become but by the perception of who people believed us to be.
Even more sinister, defined by what some would prefer for us to be. A handful of us believed we could be better off shaping our own future and we worked for 5 years to establish Stonecrest into its own city by 2017. Now we have a city… and as my dad would often say…”so what - now what?” The outcome of our effort to transform our 29 square miles is that leaders must come to the forefront and establish the culture, institutions, values, and reputation commensurate with the quality of residents and the spaces we traverse. Unfortunately, too often we don't have a meaningful idea or vision of what the world could be. We are intent to be superficial in a world designed by others. A world with rules we don't understand. Nor are we putting the work in to gain a command of these rules. We accept only receiving equity when it’s time to chip in but no demand for equity when it’s time for the pot to payout.
I decided to establish Priví Fine Art Gallery for the same reasons I participated in establishing the City of Stonecrest because we must be about the work of creating community. The arts share stories and experiences that connect people to a place that stimulates culture. Culture in turn generates social capital that attracts other needed resources that ultimately expands the capabilities of a community, ultimately defining its character.
Priví is a development that is designed not for selling products but for giving our patrons access to elevated experiences. In our nation today there’s an agenda to homogenize every experience so that it all feels the same. Every restaurant, every park, and every community is striving to set an expectation that your experience can be found within a set range. That way what you do in Atlanta is the same as what you can do in Charlotte, Dallas, or even Rochester, NY. All the same chain restaurants, with very similar entertainment options with people dressed in the same brands.
At Priví our goal is to turn that dial-up a couple of notches into an elevated experience that is continuously evolving. So that each time you visit you can see, hear, and taste something different and positively delightful. Our Art Gallery is curated very much in that same vein. Our exhibits will rotate, and each cycle we will create direct access to the artists, we will offer an educational platform that exposes our patrons to the world of art and doesn’t just leave them to figure it out on their own.
Due to the fact that the Gallery is inside of a Creatives Complex, the ability to cross-pollinate with artists of different artistic industries is endless. Filmmakers, authors, visual artists, dancers, comedians, photographers, graphic designers, musicians, fashion designers and the like will be frequenting our space to support and collaborate with each other. Part of what will make our Gallery experience unique is we don’t expect the artists to have to stand alone. We seek to foster innovation as we believe that every act of innovation happens through synthesis. That synthesis doesn’t only come from the practitioners but those of you who choose to support them.
Your presence isn’t just requested …it’s demanded. The patrons and their interaction are indeed a major part of our formula for success.
--Vaughn D. Irons