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Archive for August, 2010

A female artist colors a place for herself at Folk Fest

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

A good man is hard to find in Kimberly Dawn Clayton’s paintings. Heck, there isn’t even a good bad boy.

This painting by Kimberly Dawn Clayton was commissioned as the Valentine’s Day-inspired cover for Alternatives News Magazine in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

This painting by Kimberly Dawn Clayton was commissioned as the Valentine’s Day-inspired cover for Alternatives News Magazine in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The surfer girl in a bikini is a recurring motif for folk artist Kimberly Dawn Clayton, who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The surfer girl in a bikini is a recurring motif for folk artist Kimberly Dawn Clayton, who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

This painting of a bellydancer by Kimberly Dawn Clayton was inspired by the folk artist’s Tennessee grandmother, who, in her heyday, bellydanced, was a shoe model and played the banjo.

That’s on purpose. The art of the 39-year-old mother of three from Myrtle Beach, S.C., speaks to the strength and beauty of women on their own terms, not as refracted through the lens of any man.

In the fractured-in-a-thousand-different-directions, male-dominated world of folk art, the tropically colored, feminine creations of Kimberly …

Continue reading A female artist colors a place for herself at Folk Fest »

True Colors increases Jasmine Guy’s role behind the scenes

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

In addition to acting and directing for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, Jasmine Guy has been named producing director of the Atlanta troupe.

“We are fortunate to provide an artistic home for one of America’s great artists,” Leon said in a written announcement issued Monday. “We are looking forward to adding Jasmine’s collaborative nature, intellect, and vision to the True Colors team and we are sure that she will contribute to True Colors’ core values of boldness, respect, abundance and laughter.”

In recent months Leon, whose Broadway revival of August Wilson’s “Fences” won a Tony this year, has talked about seeking a successor as artistic director. With his services in high demand on Broadway, in regional theater and in Hollywood, Leon said he never intended to be artistic director of True Colors for life, though he would always remain involved with the company.

But on Tuesday, he said the hiring of Guy as managing …

Continue reading True Colors increases Jasmine Guy’s role behind the scenes »

Atlanta Opera names Arthur Fagen music director

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The Atlanta Opera has named Arthur Fagen, who has conducted frequently for the company, its new music director, it announced Monday.

Fagen will conduct up to two productions each season beginning in 2011-2012 and will be responsible for building and developing the Atlanta Opera Orchestra. His conducting credits for the company include “La Traviata,” “Turandot” and ”Cold Sassy Tree.”

“I am eager to be a part of this company as I believe it is poised for many more artistic triumphs,” said Fagen, an Indiana University professor of orchestral conducting, in a prepared statement.

Although the conductors and cast for the 2010-2011 season have already been selected, Fagen will work with general director Dennis Hanthorn in singer auditions, repertoire selection, and casting for future seasons.   

Fagen’s “vast experience as an opera and orchestral conductor combined with his leadership and artistic abilities will undoubtedly enhance the …

Continue reading Atlanta Opera names Arthur Fagen music director »

Emory seeks nominees for arts difference makers

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Nominees are being sought for the first Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts Award for Community Impact.

The award will honor an artist, administrator, educator, activist or supporter in any artistic discipline in DeKalb or Fulton counties who has made a “significant impact.”

The awards presentation will be Sept. 10 during the Emory Creativity & Arts Soiree, the university’s art season kickoff party, free to the community. To nominate: http://creativity.emory.edu/creativity-awards.shtml. Soiree info: www.creativity.emory.edu.

Continue reading Emory seeks nominees for arts difference makers »

‘Test drive’ seats at Cobb Energy on Aug. 22-23

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre’s is inviting performing arts lovers in for a free “test drive.”

No cars are involved, but during the Access the Arts event, noon-3 p.m. Aug. 22-23, but you can get information about the center’s three resident companies, Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Opera and Gas South Broadway Series (all offering special deals), and check out potential seats for subscriptions.

 There will be entertainment, giveaways, food and drink and venue tours. Free. 770-916-2800, www.cobbenergycentre.com.

Continue reading ‘Test drive’ seats at Cobb Energy on Aug. 22-23 »

Atlanta singer shoots for star(s) in ASO competition

Update: Rebekah Dossou won the “Atlanta Symphony Songster 2010″ competition Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park.

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Rebekah Dossou, one of three finalists in an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra amateur vocal competition, sings at weddings, the shower, her car and any other place where a vocalist can really cut loose.

But the Lilburn resident has never sung anywhere as large as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, where Saturday she’ll perform “Over the Rainbow” while being backed by the ASO.

“I can’t wait,” said the 29-year-old mother of two who works as an office manager for Maggie Lyon Chocolatiers, a Norcross gourmet chocolate factory. “I think my whole body is nervous except for my brain. My brain hasn’t registered anything about this yet.”

Dossou sang in various ensembles at Brookwood High School, is in the choir at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, and last year won the “Lilburn Idol” …

Continue reading Atlanta singer shoots for star(s) in ASO competition »

Casting isn’t official, but Halle Berry acting like she’s in MLK play

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Casting hasn’t been officially announced for Atlanta director Kenny Leon’s Broadway staging of the London hit “The Mountaintop.” But one of the rumored stars, Halle Berry, sure sounds like she expects to be in the drama, which imagines the last night of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.

In the cover story of September’s Vogue magazine, Berry, who hasn’t been onstage in more than 20 years, talks briefly about appearing in “Mountaintop.”

She allows that she’s nervous at the prospect of acting on the Great White Way.

“Terrified is putting it lightly,” she is quoted as saying.

Leon has committed to directing Katori Hall’s drama, and Samuel L. Jackson has read for the role of King, but nothing has been announced yet in terms of casting, run dates or even a venue.

Reached by e-mail by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Leon texted on Friday: “It’s pretty much confirmed that I will be directing Samuel L. Jackson …

Continue reading Casting isn’t official, but Halle Berry acting like she’s in MLK play »

Kennesaw State gets $2 million challenge to build art museum

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Growing Kennesaw State University is preparing to expand its profile in the arts.
The school has been given a $2 million pledge to build an art museum that would house its permanent collection numbering nearly 1,000 pieces. Retired carpet industry magnate Bernard A. Zuckerman made the pledge, which hinges on Kennesaw raising at least $1 million in the next 10 months, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned. The museum would be in a new building connected to the school’s Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center.
Zuckerman’s late wife, Ruth, was a noted Atlanta sculptor, and the new museum will house a collection of some 100 of her pieces donated by her husband after her 1997 death. The school also owns and will show pieces by N.C. Wyeth, Marc Chagall, Norman Rockwell, Howard Finster and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Essentially the museum will be phase two of the performance center, which included the Don Russell Clayton Gallery and …

Continue reading Kennesaw State gets $2 million challenge to build art museum »

$10.9 million new headquarters has Atlanta Ballet feeling kinetic

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Having spent last season celebrating its 80th anniversary and 50 years of dancing “Nutcracker,” Atlanta Ballet is about to make a momentous leap into the future.
This weekend the company will host a public grand opening of only its fifth headquarters in its eight decades, on the edge of Midtown West, the burgeoning gallery, restaurant and retail district west of downtown Atlanta.
The $10.9 million project, named the Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre in memory of the late Atlanta philanthropist, is a technologically up-to-the-moment renovation of a 1955 Hotpoint appliance plant.
Home to the ballet and its Centre for Dance Education, the facility was designed and constructed under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, becoming the country’s first arts headquarters to achieve LEED gold certification (the next-to-highest ranking for energy efficiency).
The spacious 54,000-square-foot building features five full-size dance …

Continue reading $10.9 million new headquarters has Atlanta Ballet feeling kinetic »

Review: ‘My Name Is Mary Sutter’ By Robin Oliveira

Book Review
Fiction
My Name Is Mary Sutter
By Robin Oliveira
Viking; 384 pages; $26.95

oliveira.0808by Gina Webb

At the center of Robin Oliveira’s enthralling and well-researched debut novel is an ambitious young woman who refuses to accept the limited roles women played in the field of medicine during the mid-19th century.

In her hometown of Albany, N.Y., 21-year-old Mary Sutter is a midwife of unsurpassed skill, so well-known that women ask for her by name. But for headstrong young Mary—whose bookshelves includes “Gray’s Anatomy, ” Florence Nightingale’s “Notes on Nursing” and “The Process of Parturition”—what she’s already good at isn’t enough.

She dreams of becoming a surgeon, something virtually unheard of in April 1861. So, despite being coldly rejected by the local medical college and turned down by a doctor as an apprentice, she keeps knocking on doors in hopes of finding her chance.

The door that finally opens is the Civil War. For Mary, it becomes the glorious, heartwrenching …

Continue reading Review: ‘My Name Is Mary Sutter’ By Robin Oliveira »