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New Year’s Eve at Hotel Indigo-Athens

Don’t spend your New Year’s Eve sitting at home with a noisemaker. Instead, visit Athens’ favorite hotel for an evening you’ll never forget! Hotel Indigo-Athens is offering a very special $199 New Year’s Eve package featuring a one-night stay in a luxury guest room, exclusive tickets to a live concert in The Rialto Room (music provided by Bullet Proof), and a champagne toast at midnight! Only a few remain, so don’t waste time! Book your at!



The Last R.E.M. Release Parties

Are you an out-of-towner making the trip to Athens, Georgia for the Last R.E.M. Release Parties? Hotel Indigo-Athens wants to help make your trip the best it can be! Stay with us for the low rate of $119/night by simply calling us at (706)546-0430 or visiting and using the booking code REM. 

For a full run-down of the R.E.M.-inspired events, click here



Mary Engel

You’ve already met Wingate Downs, now it is time to meet Mary Engel—the second featured artist in the latest Hotel Indigo-Athens Art exhibit, “Dawgs & Dogs”.

Mary Engel is known for her vibrant & unique animal sculptures. When asked about her artwork Mary states, “My sculptural goal is to capture an animal’s gesture or movement. The surfaces of the sculptures are rich in texture and refer to human creations, memory, and patterns. African grave markers and old Southern “Memory Jars” have inspired these exterior embellishments. The titles come from charm bracelets, pins, or other objects with names. Through my work, I aspire to create whimsical animated creatures that reveal a spiritual presence I feel animals possess.”

You can see Mary’s artwork in the Hotel Indigo-Athens Art Gallery right now! Join us on Thursday September 29, 2011 from 6:30-8:30pm for the “Dawgs & Dawgs” Opening Reception. We’ll be serving complimentary appetizers, $2.50 beers, & $4 wine! Come celebrate the work of two very talented Athenian artists.

Find out more about Mary at

Find out more about the Sept. 29th Opening Reception at



Wingate Downs

Meet Wingate Downs, the man Athens, Georgia has voted their “Best Photographer”! Wingate Downs’ work is currently featured in the Hotel Indigo-Athens Art Gallery. Join us to celebrate his work, as well as fellow local artist Mary Engel, at the opening reception for our latest exhibit “Dawgs & Dogs” on Thursday September 29, 2011. Enjoy an evening of fine art, fellowship, complimentary appetizers, and discounted drinks! RSVP here:

  1. Why are you an artist? I don’t consider myself an artist per se, as I am a documentary photographer, who perhaps uses artistic elements in so capturing life. I am a photographer because I fell in love with the medium when my photographer-father introduced me to it and bought my first camera, a Leicaflex. I have not stopped to look back since!
  2. When did you first take up photography? My Dad let me shoot photos with his Kodak Brownie camera when I was only 13, but I actually started in the field of photography when I was a sophomore in high school. I took classes from Auburn University at that time, then took them at LaGrange College, then UGA. My father and I built a darkroom in my bedroom when I was taking that first class.
  3. What does your art mean to you? My life revolves around photography. Since my children have grown and either graduated or still attending UGA, I have spent my professional and personal time working with my photography business and my personal photographic endeavors.
  4. What inspires you to take photos and how do you stay motivated when things get tough? Since I take photographs for a living, there is great inspiration to do that! Staying motivated to do personal work and to continue to pursuing personal images is easy…I’m still a kid who can’t wait to see what I can create with my camera (and now computer…)!
  5. What artists have influenced you and how? I am influenced by photojournalists, from the most recognized to the least. The truth is, capturing life in a meaningful way with still images can be done by anyone. The pursuit is the difference, and one doesn’t have to work for a major international photo service to capture wonderful, real images.  The National Press Photographers Association  (NPPA) has a wonderful annual publication called Pictures of the Year, and each year it is filled with incredible images-99% from shooters not well known, but great at their craft! (I am not a fan of photo-shopped, fantasia-type images…sorry. I like images to be real).
  6. If you could describe your artwork in two words, what would they be? Real Life.
  7. What other interests do you have, besides photography? Exercise. I love being active, which is important to my craft. I enjoy cycling, running, working on my mini-farm, etc.
  8. What is your favorite photo you have ever taken? The favorite photo I’ve ever taken is in this show-the Lindsay Scott-Buck Belue hug. It was one of my most successful attempts as a photojournalist to capture a “story” in one of the toughest environments, with SO much invested in it. I flew to the game and back in a private jet, shot with hundreds of other shooters, and didn’t put on the wire until long after everyone else had posted their best stuff…and I alone had that image. UGA ended up winning the national title because of this pivotal play, and it rated the #1 play in UGA football history by the fans…when you do your best, and luck comes in to do her part, it is satisfying!
  9. What is your favorite sort of subject to photograph? As I get older, it seems my favorite photos are of people…from babies to old people. I just like documenting life and how happy (and even sad) it is, reflected in the faces of people. I shoot a  lot of weddings, and relish the opportunities to shoot the fun and excitement of those special days for my clients. I know it means so much to them, so I take great pleasure in being there and capturing it all! Sounds corny, but I truly get as much out of my weddings as I put into them!
  10. What advice would you give to a photographer just starting? Tough one. I get this question all the time. My advice is to be SURE you are passionate about it, and then hook up with someone who can teach you. Take all the classes you can (shooting is 60% technical these days), and find the niche you like…journalism, art, commercial…and pursue it with all your might. Times are much different than when I was starting out. Digital imaging allows anyone to attempt a living at photography, regardless of whether they understand exposure, light, etc. Being a professional means being able to understand how to create a certain image, and producing results consistently. There will always be a market for true professionals who take the time to learn the trade well!