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Culture notes: Smithsonian’s Renwick taps 2 Atlanta artists; Harp Ensemble gets NEA grant; folk art at airport

Atlantans selected for Smithsonian show

Two metro Atlanta artists, wood turner Matt Moulthrop and book sculptor Brian Dettmer, have been selected for the exhibit “40 under 40: Craft Futures” opening next year at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington.

The exhibit, running July 20, 2012 through Feb. 3, 2013, will showcase works by 40 artists born since 1972, the year that the Renwick was established as the contemporary craft and decorative arts branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Renwick curator Nicholas R. Bell chose artists who represent evolving notions of craft within traditional media such as ceramics and metalwork, as well as in fields as varied as sculpture, industrial design, installation art, fashion design, sustainable manufacturing and mathematics. The museum plans to purchase a work by each artist to add to its permanent collection.

Both Atlantans appear to have significant career momentum.

Represented locally by the Signature Shop & Gallery, Matt Moulthrop’s gleaming vessels — along with works by his father Philip and late grandfather Ed — will be featured in a Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art exhibit opening Sept. 24, “Moulthrop: A Southern Legacy, Three Generations of Woodturning.”

In April, Dettmer was selected by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia for its Working Artists Project, an honor that includes a $12,000 stipend and a MOCA GA solo exhibit. Represented in Atlanta by Saltworks,cq he has a solo show of his intricately carved and transformed books at New York’s Kinz + Tillou Fine Art through June 11.

More on “40 Under 40″: (click Exhibitions, then Upcoming). HOWARD POUSNER

NEA grant is music to Harp Ensemble

The Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, based at the New Schools at Carver’s School of the Arts in Atlanta, has been given a $30,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to support instruction for the 45 students, ages 10-18, enrolled in the program.

“Our mission is simple, and our program is small: We teach kids to play the harp,” ensemble executive director Roselyn Lewis said in a statement. “By doing so, we expand their horizons and give them the opportunity to feel the joy of self-expression through music. This national recognition and financial support reinforces our belief that arts education matters.”

Then an Atlanta Public Schools music teacher, Lewis co-founded the ensemble in 2000 with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra principal harpist Elisabeth Remy Johnson. More about the group: HOWARD POUSNER

Folk art ‘Creatures’ inhabit Atlanta airport

Attention travelers (and animal lovers): A free folk art exhibit, “All Creatures Great and Small,” drawn from the Georgia Museum of Art’s permanent collection and the collection of Atlantans Carl and Marian Mullis, has opened at Hartsfield -Jackson Atlanta International Airport. On display at Concourse T until April 2012, the exhibit includes works by mainly Southeastern artists such as Mose Tolliver and Howard Finster. The museum also co-produced an accompanying short film narrated by Holly Hunter that can be viewed online at More on the exhibit: HOWARD POUSNER

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