We had the good fortune of connecting with Mimi Dukes and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mimi, what inspires you?
When you ask what inspires me, I think of several things. I am inspired in my artwork by images that have a story, an emotion. My latest drawing is of a homeless woman praying. When I saw the photograph of this woman, I was touched on many levels. I am a spiritual person who is also empathetic and compassionate… In the crazy times that we are experiencing, I was drawn to this image and had to recreate it. When I am commissioned to create a piece, I am inspired by the recipient’s story. In a recent commission, I was asked to paint a colorful abstract. I took that a step further and based the painting on my client’s wedding bouquet. I want to create something beautiful, but I also want that piece to mean something, to evoke an emotion. I am also inspired by wanting to make a difference in my community. I have been donating half of all my sales to benefit the less fortunate in the Atlanta area. This motivates me to get out there and sell some art!


Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I spend the vast majority of my time working in acrylic. I am honored to be the featured artist, supplying paintings available for sale at The Wells Hotel in Highlands, North Carolina. I received my BA in Studio Art and when I became an empty nester I started painting in all my free time. I began painting for fun, then accepting commissions, and now in addition to commissions, trying to fill up a hotel! I hope to keep the momentum going and to keep supporting those in need. I’m grateful to be able to donate half of all my proceeds to Hope Thru Soap.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Where do I start? Atlanta is full of fun, interesting and creative places to visit. Visiting Ponce City Market and the Beltline is a must. Shopping at Ponce City Market, drinks on the rooftop then a stroll on the Beltline makes for the perfect day. It’s always fun to spend time at Piedmont Park or take in a show at the Fox Theatre. The High Museum, Westside Market and Scott Antique Market are also some of my favorite spots. When someone is visiting from out of town, a meal at Mary Mac’s Tea Room should definitely be on the agenda…a historic restaurant serving southern cuisine. Given that I am Italian, another one of my favorite spots is Storico Fresco for authentic Italian food. If you want to group dinner and live music Venkman’s features eclectic live music and is always a good time!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I feel as though I have been called to do something to support the homeless population. In researching ways in which I can make a difference, I discovered Hope Thru Soap. They are an amazing organization that serves the homeless on a weekly basis on the streets of Atlanta, as well as children in Metro Atlanta area experiencing homelessness and poverty. They offer showers, haircuts, food and clothing to those less fortunate. Their motto is ‘Making someone’s day better than the day before’. Given recent circumstances, they have increased their efforts to accommodate the incredible need. In the past I have been donating clothing and hygiene items, but as of late, monetary donations have been more helpful. Donations can be made through their website – hopethrusoap.org

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