With the arrival of spring in Athens, there’s also so much unique, flourishing art to explore. One artist in particular to highlight is Courtney Khail. Living and working in Athens, Courtney is well known for her abstract floral pieces heavily influenced by themes of womanhood, femininity, mythology, and science. 

She’s been featured in magazines such as VoyageATL, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Creative Loafing Magazine, and Common Creativ ATL (among others). She was commissioned by the Georgia Council of the Arts, had exhibits in galleries and gardens alike, and spoke at the Young Collectors Contemporary. 

Courtney is originally from Augusta, Georgia. She attended John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School for 8 years then obtained her BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Scientific Illustration from the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art.


Check out our spotlight on talented local artist, Courtney Khail! Her work is heavily floral, colorful, and inspired by a variety of themes! 🌸 🌺

♬ original sound - athens


Working in Athens is a joy for Courtney. Having worked in Atlanta in the past, she enjoys the community aspect of doing art in Athens. She emphasizes that the welcoming spirit, accessibility to collaborations, and freedom of expression that exists really calls to her. “Athens has always felt like home… it’s always had this warm, homey feeling. There’s no place I’d really rather be.” 

A woman holding a pen in one hand and turning a page with another in an art studio


Courtney looks to nature for inspiration often, something that is clear in her nature of her work that often presents flowers, petals, and other floral elements. She also draws from women around her, including memories and childhood experiences. “That [inspiration] also is tied to my memories of how I feel about something or women that I was raised around, or raised by, how things might be different than they are now, or how they might be the same.” 

The exploration of color is another important element of Courtney’s art. Being able to play with color, something that is so naturally found in different environments, is part of her creative process as well.

Throughout her time as an artist, Courtney’s work has evolved and shifted in various ways. Over the years, she has begun to rely more on color, movement, and linework to tell stories, and create new pieces. She also states she’s been able to become bolder and more expressive over time. “I take more risks now and experiment more than I did before.”

A moodboard with space, flowers, and fashion imagery


Next year, Courtney has a solo show with Athica (Athens Institute for Contemporary Art) at Cine so she’ll be working on and developing that. Additionally, there is a new series in the works that’s still in the early stages. “Sometimes I used to get kind of afraid when I’d see blank paper, but now it’s just exciting.”

For seeing art, Courtney recommends Athica and the Georgia Museum of Art. “I wanted to give as much back to it [Georgia Museum] as I could. It gave so much to me. To be able to have a place that gets to collect art and share art and make sure it’s open for free, is a huge deal to me.” 

Lyndon House Arts Center is another recommendation, particularly for events and educational programming, which is good for artists trying to break into the field. 

To end things off, it would be prudent to showcase Courtney’s favorite piece as an artist: Matilda. It was one of her first big pieces, from when she first decided to pursue art as a career and it holds a special place in her heart. The piece is named after the book Matilda by Roald Dahl and the Matilda Effect, which refers to the idea of women’s contributions being credited to men (particularly within the world of science and academia). “I think femininity is really strong and you should embrace it, but it should be what it means to you… that [concept] goes into the Matilda Effect, the idea that, here are these women, even if they’re being told “you’re not even going to get credit for that”, they’re still doing it.”

An image of a flower painting hanging over a desk with a lamp and stack of books on the right

Courtney Khail's beautiful work and passion for art really shows how diverse, lively, and robust Athens’ art scene is. There’s always talent blooming, from spring through to winter.

To learn more about art in Athens, check out our Arts & Culture Page!!