R. Land loves this city almost as much as this city loves him right back. Walk around any intown neighborhood, open your eyes and almost like magic, either Ronnie or his art will most likely be there. That is, if you're looking for it. He's soulful, unique, visionary… all the personalities we pray for Atlanta to also embody. And even though he hardly needs an introduction, we would be delighted for you to meet R. Land, one of Atlanta’s most well-known and charming artists:
SCOUT: Greetings, Minister Land. How long have you been doing art in town?
R: It seems like I started just yesterday but it’s been at least as long as some of my favorite new artists have been alive.
SCOUT: Why did you decide to call ATL home?
R: I could write a book on why… but in the heart of Atlanta, in the connecting neighborhoods and villages, I feel this grand sense of community, like a big urban Mayberry. That is the real Atlanta. Soulful, charming in spite of itself and chock full of energetic people who seem for the most part happy to be here. It doesn’t hurt that it has such unique and vibrant music and art scenes and all the great food and night spots.
SCOUT: You paint and draw on wood, metal, wheatpaste and canvas. What is your favorite medium?
R: Song and dance. Seriously.
SCOUT: Oh, trust me, I’m convinced. If I can ask something so bold: what is your biggest goal in life?
R: To do my small part to help people understand that life is just too important to be taken so seriously and that love of community and respect for others around you is paramount to our experience here on earth.
SCOUT: That’s one helluva goal. What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?
R: The ones I can’t talk about for fear that it would undermine the nature of the projects.
SCOUT: Ooh, I like a man of mystery. Who are some local groups or organizations that inspire you?
R: That’s another reason to love on our city so hard. There are so many organizations to be inspired by and involved with, that work for everything from preserving historic landmarks to protecting water and wildlife habitat. Georgia Conservancy and Trees Atlanta for instance… what would the ATL be without ‘em? Plaza Theatre and Starlight Drive-In are two old school landmarks that continue to thrive thanks to local folks who dedicate their time to keeping them alive. East Atlanta Kids Club does incredible work with youngsters over in the EAV. I do projects with them from time to time. There’s also a new organization in the works, Local First ATL, whose mission is to promote local ATL businesses and push them into the forefront of people’s daily lives. Too many others to mention here, but I periodically promote via the channels at my disposal.
SCOUT: If it's possible, what is something people probably wouldn’t know about you.
R: A Florida marine park named a baby dolphin after me.
SCOUT: Officially amazing. I know you’re a man about town, got a favorite watering hole?
R: There are about 50 amazing ones within walking distance of the studio, but in good weather I instinctively head to any number of places where I can enjoy drinking and dining al fresco. After hours, though, my old stand-bys El Myr and The Euclid Avenue Yacht Club.
SCOUT: This might be a stretch, but what’s your favorite curious find in Atlanta?
R: For years in Reynoldstown, there was a little make-shift park with some broken down white benches and a worn out wooden sign that stood for years with simply the words "Yes Lord Yes Lord" with no apparent affiliation to anything. I looked forward to driving by it anytime I got a chance. It disappeared a while back
and the park has been repurposed and I assumed the sign was lost forever. Through nothing short of a miracle, not only did it reappear, I am now its proud owner.
SCOUT: You’ve been based out of ATL for a long time. What are some of your favorite spots that are resting in peace?
R: I really miss the late, great, once a month thrift/antique extravaganza that was The Lakewood Flea Market. It was a great place and event that Atlantans looked forward to. You never knew what you would find but you’d find a lot. Also, Oxford Books, Austin Ave. Buffet, my old favorite late-nite hang (formerly located in
what is now The Albert) and Pilgreens Restaurant in the West End.
SCOUT: Okay, back to the present. Throw out some dubya-dubya-dubyas and what not where people can know more about what you’re up to:
R: RLandArt.com, LossCat.com or send some love via the R. Land Facebook Page. I also
designed a print that was lovingly produced by Mindzai to benefit the Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief efforts and
will be available through a host of organizations such as Japanese Red
cross,Japan-America society, and becoming available on line next week the Japan Cat Network in conjunction with Jears.org (Japan
Earthquake Animal Relief). All proceeds from the sales of the posters go
to benefit these organizations.