When talking about contemporary art in the South, there’s one name that consistently comes up in conversation: Fay Gold. Known as an art icon in Atlanta, this woman deftly shared the diverse work of contemporary artists in a region that hadn’t yet discovered this breadth of talent.
Born in South Carolina and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Fay graduated with a degree in theater and art history. She made her way back south in 1966, when her husband relocated his manufacturing plant to Georgia. Fay then began her career in the Atlanta art scene as an educator, teaching children in her backyard and eventually expanding to students of all ages. As she taught over the course of 15 years, she began to acquire a major private art collection, much of which was New York Pop Art.
“I created ‘Fay’s World’—a world of art, knowledge and history,” she says. “That little art shack in the backyard is where I spent time and changed people’s lives.” Eventually in 1980, she opened Fay Gold Gallery (and kept an art school in the back), with notable work from artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jean-Michel Basquiat. As Fay puts it, “I brought real contemporary art to the South; I had no competition.” And this did not go unnoticed. Global art dealers and collectors have always respected Fay, as her reputation exhibiting at international art fairs was bar none.
The 87-year-old continues to consult and help build private and corporate collections. And currently, she’s working on a memoir of her life titled “Basquiat’s Cat,” which will be published this year. This mother and grandmother isn’t letting her professional or personal life slow down any time soon. In January, she traveled to Antarctica with her son, and February includes a trip to Thailand with her sister-in-law.
Besides art, Fay has a passion for food and loves to cook with her daughter, Ames (their best dish is Chinese chicken salad). When dining outside her home, Fay’s favorite restaurants include Chops Lobster Bar and Aria. She also loves visiting Blue Ridge Grill with her “lovely boyfriend.”