Doubling Down on Art, Hollywood’s United Talent Agency Plans to Open a New Gallery in Atlanta Helmed by an Ex-Basketball Star

“Whether you’re looking for art, music, sports, or business, Atlanta has so much to offer,” said UTA Fine Arts creative director Arthur Lewis.

Virgil Tony Parker, Bridgette Baldo, and Arthur Lewis. Courtesy of UTA.

The fine arts arm of United Talent Agency (UTA) is setting up shop in Atlanta. 

This week, the company announced plans to open up a second branch of its gallery, UTA Artist Space, in the Georgia city, which will join its inaugural Los Angeles location. Specifics about the new branch’s location have not yet been revealed, but the site is set to open in January 2023. 

Bridgette Baldo, a longtime UTA Fine Arts executive, will serve as director, while Virgil “Tony” Parker, a former professional basketball player, will take on a role as sales director.

“It has been remarkable to witness our department grow and evolve over the years, and I am delighted to be a part of this significant new chapter for UTA Artist Space and the flourishing creative community in Atlanta,” said Baldo, who began her UTA career in its mailroom.

Parker, an Atlanta native, was a high school basketball star and a top recruit for UCLA before going on to play a handful of games for the NBA’s minor league. Since then, he’s transitioned to becoming an art advisor, parlaying his relationships in the sports world into high-profile clients like Kevin Durant and Nike, according to UTA.

“Art is a common language of the people,” Parker said, “and UTA provides a unique opportunity for artists and collectors to connect with this growing community.”

UTA’s first gallery in Los Angeles. Courtesy of UTA.

UTA Fine Arts was founded in 2015 by Joshua Roth, a former lawyer who lured crossover art star clients such as Maurizio Cattelan and Steve McQueen. The following year, the division opened UTA Artist Space in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, inaugurating the site with exhibitions by Larry Clark and Petra Cortright, before upgrading to a new Ai Weiwei-designed gallery space in Beverly Hills in 2018. Later that year, Roth died at the age of 40.

Arthur Lewis, a prominent collector who sits on the boards of Prospect New Orleans and the Otis College Art and Design, was named creative director of UTA Fine Arts and Artist Space in 2019. He will oversee operations and strategy for both UTA galleries, the company said in its announcement. 

“Whether you’re looking for art, music, sports, or business, Atlanta has so much to offer,” said Lewis, who attended Morehouse College in the city. “I have seen this city’s culture change drastically over three decades, and from the incline I have seen I know there is no time like the present to invest in Atlanta’s arts community.”

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