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Archive for July, 2009

Double the pleasure

Fulton County residents and students of Fulton County schools and colleges get in free to the High Museum tomorrow and every first Saturday of the month, so now’s the time to check out the “Monet Water Lilies” exhibition before it leaves town Aug. 23. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Proof of residency required. For details, see www.high.org.

While you’re there, check out the National Black Arts Festival’s International Market Place, featuring 120 artist booths and vendors. They’ll be located inside the Memorial Arts Building, around Callaway Plaza and along 15th Street, which will be closed. Hours are until 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For details, see www.nbaf.

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Hensley’s ‘Frankenstein’ to Atlanta?

It looks like Shuler Hensley, the Marietta-born Broadway A-lister, could be bringing his Frankenstein monster act to the Fox Theatre stage. Playbill.com reports that Hensley, who won a Tony Award for “Oklahoma!,” will reprise his comic monster role in the national tour of “Young Frankenstein.” According to Playbill, Hensley is appearing in the tour at least through the Baltimore engagement, Jan. 12-24, 2010. The Fox Theatre engagement is Jan. 26-31.
Broadway Across America’s Atlanta spokeswoman Jennifer Walker could not confirm that Hensley’s appearing here, saying casting for the Atlanta show is not official.
But surely Hensley wouldn’t skip Atlanta, would he? After all, the Westminster Schools graduate has his very own awards show here — the Shuler Hensley Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater.

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Flash mob meets Broadway

click here to see video

gloATL’s “Rapt” reminds me a lot of this popular YouTube video of what appears to be an impromptu case of commuters spontaneously breaking into choreographed song and dance in the middle of Central Station in Antwerp. It was, of course, carefully planned and beautifully executed. What a treat for unsuspecting commuters.

And let me add, as a completely gratuitous aside, that although I have passed the mid-century mark, I have never actually seen “The Sound of Music.” Because most people find that so shocking, I’m determined to not break my streak.

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High on dance

The dancers look kinda naked here, but I’m pretty sure they’re not. This clip from Tom Bell captures the vibe of gloATL’s modern dance performance of “Rapt” on the piazza of the High Museum last weekend. The site-specific work combined elements of dance, film, visual arts and music in a pretty splendiferous way. I can only imagine what unsuspecting passersby thought when it all went down.

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Litter box keeps it real for Karin Slaughter

There is an oft-perpetuated fallacy that big egos and buckets of despair make for great art. In some cases that may be true, but in the case of local author Karin Slaughter, it’s possible to be both grounded and a successful author.

In an article appearing in the Living & Arts section Aug. 2, Slaughter tells AJC freelance writer Gina Webb:

“I think of myself as two people. There’s the person who goes out and goes to book signings and does interviews. And then there’s the person who has to clean out the litter box. I’m real careful to keep them separate. I just keep reminding myself that the only reason I’m doing this is because I want to write. I want to be better with each book, and that’s something that helps me stay grounded… in addition to the litter box.”

Slaughter signs copies of her new crime thriller, “Undone,” 2 p.m. Aug. 8 at Border’s in east Cobb.

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Art auction to benefit ailing Eyedrum

Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery couldn’t be more radically different from your typical white box gallery space. For one thing, it’s located in something akin to a concrete bunker surrounded by an asphalt parking lot and cyclone fencing off Memorial Drive. For another, once inside you’re as likely to witness a concert by a pair of dueling theremin players and a catwalk show of garbage bag-inspired, post-apocalyptic fashions as you are an art exhibition. But that is part of the charm of this eclectic venue where pushing boundaries is the status quo. Sadly, money troubles have put the place in peril of closing. In an effort to be keep the wolves at bay, an art auction benefit will be held Aug. 14 at the space at 290 MLK Drive. The $10 admission gets you one free drink, some snacks and the chance to bid on artwork and art services. The event is co-sponsored by Stella Trattoria, Cabbagetown Market and Decatur Atlanta Printing. For details see www.eyedrum.org.

Indicative of the …

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Designer Vern Yip and Nancy Drew-inspired art

"The Secret Portal" by Holly Andres. Courtesy of the artist Jackson Fine Aart

I spoke with interior designer and TV host Vern Yip this week about his passion for collecting fine art photography and he turned me on to the work of Holly Andres, a young artist in Portland, Oregon, who is represented by Jackson Fine Art in Buckhead. Andres has done a series of moody, color-saturated photographs of adolescent girls clad in vintage frocks sleuthing around suburban interiors. Its not hard to figure out that her childhood love of Nancy Drew mysteries influenced this series. The image here is called “The Secret Portal” (courtesy of the artist and Jackson Fine Art). Her work is not on exhibit at the moment, but you if you stop by Jackson Fine Art, it can be seen for the asking.

Meanwhile, check out our First Person feature with Vern Yip in Living & Arts on Sunday to learn about his love of photography. He even shares a couple of his own images taken on his travels.

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Time to move – not close – the Georgia Music Hall of Fame?

Shocking news. The Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon is suffering from low revenues. But isn’t that what you get for building it in Macon in the first place? Need more visitors? Why not pack up the Hall and bring it to Atlanta? Put it in on Centennial Olympic Park. You could organize some joint concerts on the lawn and coordinate events with all the musicians who stop in Atlanta. Middle Georgia may grow a lot of musical talent, but if you need tourists to drive your bottom line, Atlanta might be the answer. At the very least, the spillover crowds from the Georgia Aquarium would keep it afloat for years.

Continue reading Time to move – not close – the Georgia Music Hall of Fame? »

Join the dialogue

Welcome to the AJC’s new arts blog. We hope you’ll visit often to keep up with what’s happening on metro Atlanta’s cultural scene. Check back for previews of upcoming events, our best picks for the weekend and our thoughts on some of the events we attend. And we hope to occasionally stir the pot by raising issues — sometimes controversial — that affect the arts. Primary contributors will be Tom Sabulis and Suzanne Van Atten, who together have 39 years experience covering the arts in Atlanta. But more importantly, we want your contributions. Tell us what you think of the High’s Monet exhibition, Theatre in the Square’s latest production of “Smoke on the Mountain,” this year’s lineup for the National Black Arts Festival. Please join us in the dialogue.

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