An Appreciation: Tian Justman’s instinctive aesthetic beautified the world and community around her

Tian Justman. Image courtesy her cousin, Arno Hunter Myers.
Tian Justman. Image courtesy her cousin, Arno Hunter Myers.

On Sunday, April 24, Atlanta lost Tian Robin Justman, the fashion designer, stylist and creative talent that brought her expertise to influential projects and collectives including the Goat Farm Arts Center, gloATL and Eidé Magazine. Justman, who had been battling cancer since her adolescence, passed away of leukemia at the age of 33.

In homage to her sweeping talent and lasting influence, ArtsATL has assembled a photo-essay of images showcasing Justman’s work, accompanied by remarks from friends and collaborators from her time in Atlanta:

“As an artist, Tian was essential to have on our core team. Her biggest mark at the Goat Farm, other than everything being aesthetically pleasing and perfect, was getting people to collaborate and facilitating fusion. Before Tian, I had never heard of anyone having the title of “aesthetic director.” Her biggest legacy will be taking her design-thinking and taking it throughout Goat Farm and out into the world.” –Allie Bashuk, Goat Farm Arts Center and Brutal Studios

Tian, from all of us, time passes too swiftly. There are many reasons why saying goodbye to you is so hard and we all bow to those reasons. You’re now absent doubt and without misery. That is comforting. Wherever you are we miss you.” – Anthony Harper, co-founder of the Goat Farm Arts Center 

“Tian was one of the most graceful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She had an incredible gift with the ability to make every single thing she touched intentionally beautiful. Every idea became more beautiful and stunning than the last, and not only with design and her clothing, but in her personal relationships as well. She taught me how to congregate properly with people you care for, how to live (and feast) well and without inhibition, and most importantly the power and strength of the human spirit. She is a constant inspiration to a large number of Atlanta women, and her imprint will not soon wash away. ” – Elizabeth Jarrett, co-founder of the Downtown Players Club and Deer Bear Wolf

“There weren’t fittings with Tian, she got to know bodies, the moving artists, Spano, Sonic Generator, by listening and observing, often times around the corner, across the room. Then she would go away for long gestation periods, returning just 24-48 hours before an opening — much the same as putting on something familiar, the pieces would slip on, a new breadth in the space totally palpable. None of Tian’s fashion pieces for Glo were conventionally sewn. I think it was Tian’s self-will that held them together, some remarkable strength able to replace thread and needle.  The immensity of the human soul remains unknown.  By generously disclosing her dreams to us, Tian educated us on what that vastness might be by a relentless creative pursuit and consistently finding the promise of a new beginning  to do the unanticipated. ” – Lauri Stallings, founding artist and choreographer of gloATL

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