Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cara Cummins - J. Neel Reid Prize Winner, 2001

Cara B. Cummins won the first J. Neel Reid Prize in 2001. (Read more about the prize and the winners.) Cara lives and works in Atlanta, a principal in TaC Studios. Her work is all over Atlanta and elsewhere too. The prize enabled Cara to spend nearly 2 weeks in Italy, observing and sketching. Per the terms of the prize, Cara presented her experience in a lecture to the Georgia Trust. Cara's lecture is the source for this post.

I'll let Cara "speak" for herself.
"Days after September 11, 2001, I arrived in Rome. Weary from an arduous journey, with the new world of heightened security. This security meant 8 hours within a single line to board an airplane, 3 security checks to enter the Vatican, constant replays of crashing buildings on Italian television. The path that I created through Rome was in pursuit of Caravaggio."

I visited Cara last week in her Old 4th Ward studio, hoping to see few pictures from her trip. She pulled out her leather clad sketchbook and a folio of renderings.

She started laying them out on the big table - stacked them up really there were so many. I was overwhelmed.

We shuffled them about so I could take pictures.

In Cara's world an itinerary can be a watercolor of the Colosseum.

"The Piazza del Popolo sets a dramatic entry for Rome. The three streets that converge upon the piazza create the Tridente. The romantic Baroque world is alive, with the geometrical perfection of the twin churches (Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria di Montesanto) from which fan the three most famous streets of Rome: Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso, and Via del Babuino."
"The sketches document the emotional experience of being in a place. So much of the success of architecture is about the experience of being 'there,' how it felt."

"Of all the places in Rome, this piazza is the most endearing to my sketchbook. It's image has always haunted me..."

I loved Cara's cafe people.


It was hard to miss Cara's wall-sized painting of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria di Montesanto.

P1020443-2010-06-05-Modern-Atlanta-10-Ashley-JOSE-TAVEL-and-CARA -CUMMINS-TaC-studios
I met Cara and her husband/partner Jose Tavel last June during Modern Atlanta 10. I took their picture in the Ashley Avenue house, their design that was featured in the MA 10 tour.

TaC Studio has just completed a new house in Piedmont Heights. We'll be able to see it on the Modern Atlanta 11 Tour.

As if that wasn't enough, Cara and Jose are blogging the design and construction of their new home/studio: "LEED 4 Ward."

To Cara, Thanks to showing us this great work. I'm pleased that you are working out of Atlanta.



  1. Incredible sketches and what a lovely space and couple.
    Thanks for leaving your comment and entering to win a pretty dress.

  2. These watercolor & ink drawings are absolutely delightful!

  3. Delightful is right.

    "Fecit" is Latin for "he did it"

  4. Cara is an old soul, it is indeed how spaces make you 'feel'.

    Seems simple.

    Achieved by few.

    Garden & Be Well, XO TAra

  5. These are soooooo beautiful. Thank you for the sneak peek. :)

  6. The linework is incredible!..The medium, ethereal...the overall impact: AMAZING!!! Totally reminds me of how much I love the look of vintage fashion illustrations when artists were all about capturing the emotion behind something completely inanimate...Love this collection, thanks for sharing such a great find!


    Haute Khuuture Blog


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