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Archive for June, 2011

‘Reunion’ of folk art fans, makers this weekend in Dawsonville

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

One of the unvarnished pleasures of following folk art, as anyone who’s ever attended the sprawling summertime Folk Fest extravaganza at North Atlanta Trade Center would tell you, is meeting the self-taught makers behind the colorful creations.

The 6th Annual Folk Art Family Reunion, at the Around Back at Rocky’s Place gallery in Dawsonville this weekend, offers a similar opportunity but on a more intimate scale. It’s a backyard show featuring 20 artists from around the Southeast selling their paintings, drawings, pottery, constructions and a lot of things that defy easy categorization.

The big draw is John “Cornbread” Anderson, the former Dawson County sheriff’s deputy who’s made a national name for himself with whimsical depictions of the wildlife he grew up closely observing in rural North Georgia. But the reunion also offers the opportunity to meet emerging talents such as Douglasville assemblage artist Athlone Clarke; Alabama painters …

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Atlanta designer Cook has own ideas for D.C.’s Eisenhower Memorial

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The Atlanta impresario behind Atlantic Station’s 82-foot-high Millennium Gate and the designer of Midtown’s World Athletes Monument is back at it, encouraging classical design in favor of the modernist twists he scorns.

Rodney Cook Jr. was part of one of five winning teams in the Eisenhower Memorial Counterproposal Competition, initiated by the National Civic Art Society in Washington in collaboration with New York’s Institute of Classical Architecture and Art in response to architect Frank Gehry’s design proposal.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National Memorial Commission selected Gehry, whose signature work is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, as architect in 2009 and chose a preliminary design in March 2010.

Gehry’s design for the memorial to the 34th president, which is to be built on a four-acre site just south of the National Mall near the National Air and Space Museum, mixes traditional and contemporary elements and was seen as …

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Leader of Atlanta-based Dance Canvas receives national honor

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Angela Harris, founder and executive director of Dance Canvas, an Atlanta-based presenter of professional dance performances showcasing emerging choreographers, received a national honor from Americans for the Arts on Thursday.

Harris was recognized with the 2011 American Express Emerging Leader Award at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Diego. The award is bestowed annually to a young arts professional who demonstrates leadership, innovative thinking and a commitment to advancing the arts in his or her local, state or national communities.

According to a release from Americans for the Arts, a Washington and New York-based nonprofit that promotes access to the arts:

“After witnessing the difficult path and lack of professional opportunities for young choreographers, Ms. Harris conceived and founded Dance Canvas Inc. in 2008 to create relatable, professional dance experiences and develop new dance patrons in the greater …

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High Museum media arts curator Linda Dubler mourned

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

After a long illness, High Museum of Art curator of media arts Linda Dubler passed away Thursday of myelofibrosis, a form of bone marrow cancer.

Dubler worked industriously since 1985 to connect Atlanta with world cinema from countries such as China and Iran that otherwise would not have been represented on the city’s commercial screens, in the process building early bridges between the High and Atlanta’s growing international communities.

“In terms of film programming, she virtually single-handedly turned Atlanta into the international city it aspires to be,” former AJC and current artscriticatl.com film critic Steve Murray wrote in a moving tribute on that Web site.

“This is a huge loss for the High and Atlanta’s film community,” High director Michael Shapiro said in a prepared statement. “Linda worked tirelessly for 26 years to bring our audiences the best films from around the world, including many that would have never been seen in …

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Culture notes: Fox Theatre to host ‘Sound of Music’ sing-along; new works by Katz, Kapoor at High

MOVIES
Belting with Julie Andrews
Get those nun habits or white dresses with blue satin sashes ready, and by all means start the vocal exercises now. The Fox Theatre has announced it will present “The Sing-a-Long ‘Sound of Music’” on July 17, will tickets going on sale at 10 a.m. June 11. There have been more than 10,000 “Sound” sing-along events (complete with costume contests and other audience participation) since the phenomenon took wing in 1999. Tickets: $15 in advance (at the Fox box office or Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com), $20 day of show. Information: www.singalonga.net/usa.

This presentation is not part of the Fox’s Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival, which screens the 2010 remake of “True Grit” at 7:30 June 10, and “Rango” at 2 p.m. and “To Kill a Mockingbird” at 7:30 p.m. June 11. Information: www.foxtheatre.org. HOWARD POUSNER

VISUAL ART
High’s contemporary additions
The High Museum of Art, which is showcasing the growth of its decorative arts and …

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“This Boy’s Faith: Notes From a Southern Baptist Upbringing” By Hamilton Cain

Book Review
Nonfiction
“This Boy’s Faith: Notes From a Southern Baptist Upbringing”
By Hamilton Cain
Crown Publishers, $25; 272 pages

By Gina Webb / For the AJC

cainIn 2003, Hamilton and Ellen Cain’s 2-month-old son, Owen, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a potentially deadly genetic disease. For the next seven months, the Cains would haunt the pediatric ICU of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan as their baby fought for his life and doctors offered little hope.

After a period of “weeping in the shower each morning, ” Ellen rallied, organizing their days around Owen’s care and the many doctors’ visits and medical challenges they faced.

But her husband felt useless, lost, depressed.

He sat for hours staring out the window, “stunned into a stasis, estranged from everything.”

Until he remembered that at times like this, he used to pray.

Before he fled his devout Baptist upbringing in Chattanooga, prayer infused the days of Cain’s childhood, a simpler time when it …

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Culture notes: Savannah, Dunwoody book fests list guests, Hudgens opens 4 shows, 2 theater troupes make funding push

LITERATURE
Savannah, Dunwoody fests announce featured authors

The Savannah Book Festival has announced Pat Conroy as the keynote speaker for its fifth annual gathering, set for Feb. 15-19. Information: www.savannahbookfestival.org.

Meanwhile, the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is partnering with the Decatur Book Festival on its Summer Book Club Bash, 7 p.m. June 27. Presenting authors Mary Kay Andrews (”Summer Rental”) and Patti Callahan Henry (”Coming Up for Air”) as well as book sales and information on local literature resources, the event will be at the MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. It’s free but reservations are recommended: 678-812-4002, www.atlantajcc.org.

By the way, the Decatur Book Festival plans to reveal its Labor Day weekend lineup on June 16. HOWARD POUSNER

VISUAL ART
Hudgens opens 4 shows

Those with an interest in prints and paper arts will find plenty to gaze at in the four exhibits opening June 9 with a 6-8 p.m. public …

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MothUp Atlanta storytelling group goes indie

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

MothUp Atlanta, the local affiliate of the Moth storytelling group, has flown free of its New York-based parent organization.

Renamed Carapace, the Atlanta nonprofit will continue holding story-as-performance events at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month at Manuel’s Tavern.

Atlanta founder Randy Osborne said the local group sought its independence to be able to operate without the restrictions of the national organization on matters such as publicity and event size and to make it an event that “belongs entirely to Atlanta.”

The Moth was founded in New York in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green, a native of St. Simons Island who was featured at last summer’s Decatur Book Festival.

“We expect to change nothing about the show except its name,” Osborne said in an e-mail to the AJC. “But we are planning to expand into the community, partner with other groups and offer special shows. Doing this was a complicated proposition …

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

VISUAL ART
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 & …

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Culture notes: Planetarium thrill ride at Tellus, ‘Found Paper’ exhibit at ART Station opening Saturday

MUSEUM
Rocking planetarium show, photo exhibit new at Tellus

It’s time for teeth-rattling amusement park rides, and Tellus Science Museum premieres a twist starting Saturday6/4 with “Planetary Thrill Rides,” a planetarium show that merges roller-coaster kicks with a rock soundtrack by the Cartersville band A Burning Century. Also new: “At the Controls,” an exhibit of 20 large-scale photos of famed plane and spacecraft cockpits. 100 Tellus Drive (Exit 293 off I-75), Cartersville. 770-606-5700, www.tellusmuseum.org. HOWARD POUSNER

VISUAL ART
Recycling colorfully

Look not only for artistic statements but eco ones as well as Stone Mountain’s ART Station opens the Atlanta Collage Society exhibit “Endangered Species: Found Paper” with a 6-9 p.m. reception Saturday night.6/4 “We are surrounded by ignored beauty,” said exhibit curator John Morse of the show in which artists were encouraged to rescue colorful paper from the recycling bin. Through Aug. 13. Free. 5384 Manor Drive. …

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