Artist and fashion designer Stuart McClean was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, where his lifelong devotion to creation began during childhood under the artistically trained eye of his mother. Today, after years of crisscrossing the United States, Stuart has left a multi-colored mark on Inman Park with the gallery that carries his name. Outfitted with a large collection of bright, feel-good pieces, including canvases, photography, and sculptures, the gallery reflects Stuart's Caribbean roots, alluring visitors to browse its vibrant gems amid an atmosphere that is warmer than a bear hug from a grizzly bear in a teddy-bear costume. Works from world-renowned artists snake along the walls and even lead to a second story, which is actually a dark, wooden balcony that wraps around the gallery and pours elevated views of the first floor into meandering eyes. In addition to general browsing, the gallery can also be rented out for weddings, parties, and fundraisers throughout the year.
Tell us about your museum.
The APEX offers a unique look at history from an African-American perspective. We do not begin our story with slavery, but rather with Africa and its rich splendor and glory. It is important to know that from this rich continent came medicine, math, architecture, science, and much more.
What are some of your unique exhibits that stand out from other museums?
The APEX has recreated scenes from Atlanta's Sweet Auburn, which Fortune Magazine in 1957 called "the richest Negro street in the world." Here you can see a replica of the Yates & Milton drug store, [which was] famous as a gathering place. You can also board the replica of a vintage trolley and watch a video called The Journey, narrated by Ossie Davis, and Sweet Auburn Street of Pride, narrated by Cicely Tyson.
Why is Black History Month important to you?
While Black History Month is important because it brings attention to a very important segment of our community, our theme here at the APEX is, "where every month is Black History Month."
What does being a black business owner mean to you?
Black business ownership is important because it symbolizes the strength and tenacity of a people who have endured hardships and emerged undaunted.
Where do you hope to see your museum and community in the next five years?
The APEX plans to build on its adjoining lot, a 90,000 square-foot facility with a complete "walk-through" [of] history in EPCOT Center fashion.
Why did you decide to work with Groupon again?
I have been so amazed and impressed with the results we have received from our association with Groupon. I did not know what to expect, but have been very pleased with having more than 2400 responses in only six months.
Anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
The APEX...was founded in 1978 by a veteran filmmaker from Philadelphia, Dan Moore, Sr. It was inspired by the life of Morehouse President, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, and remains a source of information and inspiration.
Founded by the city in 1850, Historic Oakland Cemetery is a reflective park with lush greenery and architectural monuments for its 70,000 burial sites. Knowledgeable tour guides share tidbits of Atlanta?s history during tours, paying visits to the gravesite of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta?s first African American mayor. Architecture in a variety of styles rises across the grounds, including mausoleums with Tiffany Studios stained-glass windows and gigantic bronze urns. The stone-hewn Lion of Atlanta marks the burial ground of 3,000 unknown Confederate soldiers. The hanging bows of oak, magnolia, and dogwood trees shade visitors, surrounded by the colorful, fragrant camellias.
Snuggled beside the Jimmy Carter Library, the museum explores the Carter administration through photographs, memorabilia, and multimedia installations. Museum guests are immersed in a modern American presidency as they peruse exhibits, watch videos, and re-enact their favorite executive orders in an exact replica of the Oval Office. Permanent exhibits display diplomatic gifts and detail the significant events of President Carter's life, political career, and little known stint as a ventriloquist. Rotating exhibits and special events explore American political history—the current special exhibit, Mixing Metaphors, displays more than 90 works of art from African American artists.
Shopping for groceries might sound like a chore, but it's actually one of the many fun, hands-on activities available at The Children's Museum of Atlanta. In the Fundamentally Food exhibit, kids can whip up tasty pretend meals in a playhouse kitchen and load fruits and veggies onto a delivery truck. Fundamentally Food is among the Children's Museum's year-round exhibits, whose interactive stations are geared toward children up to 8 years old. Children can mold sculptures from moon sand, create original paintings on the giant paint wall, or don raincoats before fishing in the stream of the Museum's magical forest.
The Children's Museum's troupe of professional actors and educators known as the Imaginators?considered "experts on entertaining children" by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution?specialize in performing original 20-minute musicals. Their other programs include Imaginator-led story-time, crafts, dancing, interactive music programming, and cooking activities based on Georgia produce. The Children's Museum also offers private birthday parties, summer camps, and family memberships.
College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience is a living, breathing, tackling experience?one that's different for every person that steps through its doors. As visitors explore the space, their custom all-access passes interact with the exhibits, bringing up the stats, players, and history of their favorite teams.
Crown Jewel: College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience, where records are enshrined and 10 augmented-reality displays show players from each visitor's favorite schools