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Archive for July, 2011

Culture notes: High to show South Carolinian’s bird carvings this fall; Fox’s August film slate announced

VISUAL ART
Avian art at High
A different kind of exhibit will take wing this fall at the High Museum of Art, a show of 34 naturalistic bird carvings by South Carolina artist Grainger McKoy, the museum has announced.

On view Sept. 25-Jan. 8, “The Sculpture of Grainger McKoy” also will also include a selection of models and color sketches and a film of the artist at work in his studio.

 McKoy’s sculpture is “finely rendered and artistically designed, challenging popular conceptions of wildlife art,” High director Michael Shapiro said in a release.

Distinct from many wildlife artists, McKoy hand carves individual feathers and inserts them into place — a technique he introduced at the beginning of his career more than four decades ago. Pulling from his college studies of architecture and zoology, he crafts complex compositions of birds taking flight that appear to defy gravity.

The High-organized exhibit is being curated by the museum’s American art curator Stephanie Heydt. …

Continue reading Culture notes: High to show South Carolinian’s bird carvings this fall; Fox’s August film slate announced »

Still digging out of debt, Actor’s Express to celebrate survival

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Actor’s Express, which declared itself in a “true life or death moment” in February when it launched a $200,000 drive to erase accumulated debt, will celebrate its survival and the launch of its 24th season with a bash on Sunday.

Having raised $162,000 from 600 individuals and two foundations, the troupe is throwing a private party for supporters, board members, actors and staff.

Managing director Lara Smith said leaders have been “blown away by the support.

“We’ve raised enough money to stabilize and start next season but will continue to fund-raise,” Smith said in an e-mail to the AJC.

The West Midtown company opens its 2011-12 season with “Spring Awakening” on Aug. 25.

Continue reading Still digging out of debt, Actor’s Express to celebrate survival »

Culture notes: Returning Georgia Boy Choir dined like ‘Harry Potter’ at Oxford; grants open for Atlanta artists

MUSIC
Georgia Boy Choir returns from England tour

The Georgia Boy Choir returns to Atlanta tonight after what sounds like an eventful 16-day tour of London, Oxford and Wells, England.

The 26 singers reportedly have won many new fans during London concerts, a one-week residency at Oxford’s Christ Church and a three-day residency at Wells Cathedral.

The group also found opportunities to sight-see, its stops including Westminster Abbey and Stonehenge. The boys also were guests at a reception by the newly elected Lord Mayor of Oxford, Elise Benjamin.

One of the tour highlights was getting to bunk at Oxford’s Christ Church Choir School, in the residence rooms of the Cathedral’s regular choristers who were on holiday. That meant that dinner was held in the college’s Great Hall, inspiration for Howart’s Hall in the “Harry Potter” films.

One in a series of tour diaries e-mailed to parents and supporters described the scene thusly: “The Hall is really a sight to behold. There are …

Continue reading Culture notes: Returning Georgia Boy Choir dined like ‘Harry Potter’ at Oxford; grants open for Atlanta artists »

Culture notes: Treasures coming in History Center’s Apollo Theater exhibit; Atlanta Shakespeare to restage 39-play canon

MUSEUM
Glittery details of History Center’s fall Apollo Theater exhibit

The Atlanta History Center has released details about its major fall exhibition, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment,” and it looks promising for anyone with even a passing interest in pop culture.

Presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in collaboration with the Apollo Theater Foundation, the touring show will make its only Southeastern stop at the Buckhead museum, Oct. 8-March 4. It’s billed as the first exhibit to examine the history and cultural significance of the legendary Harlem theater, from its origins as a segregated burlesque hall to its major role as a showcase of African-American entertainment and American popular culture.

Rarely displayed artifacts in the exhibit will include:

  • James Brown’s cape and jumpsuit
  • Michael Jackson’s fedora
  • The Supremes’ dresses
  • Cab Calloway’s …

Continue reading Culture notes: Treasures coming in History Center’s Apollo Theater exhibit; Atlanta Shakespeare to restage 39-play canon »

Atlanta Symphony taps Abrahamson as board chairman

Jim Abrahamson, president and chief operating officer of Interstate Hotels and Resorts, has been elected the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s new board chairman. Abrahamson succeeds attorney Ben Johnson, who held the post since 2008.

“I look forward to continuing the vision of this institution to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of people in this community through our art, artistry and education programs,” Abrahamson said in a statement.

ASO president Stanley E. Romanstein praised Johnson’s leadership and dedication in the statement, adding of  successor Abrahamson: “I am confident Jim will bring his passion for this orchestra to the board room. … While we still face challenges in this economy, we continue look ahead with focus, confidence and excitement.” HOWARD POUSNER

Continue reading Atlanta Symphony taps Abrahamson as board chairman »

Culture notes: ‘Celtic Woman’ coming to Fox to tape Sept. 6-7; Sams is High Museum’s new board chair

MUSIC
‘Celtic’ coming to Fox

“Celtic Woman,” the series of Irish music shows that are a PBS fixture and producer of hit CDs and DVDs, is heading to the Fox Theatre on Sept. 6-7 to tape its first made-in-America special. Tickets, $30-$55, go on sale at 1o a.m. Aug. 1 at Ticketmaster outlets, 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com. More details: www.celticwoman.com. HOWARD POUSNER

VISUAL ART
High’s new board chair

Louise Sams, president of Turner Broadcasting System International, is the High Museum of Art’s new board chairwoman. Sams has served on the High’s board for eight years and succeeds James L. Henderson III, the High’s board chairman since 2007. She also is executive vice president and general counsel for TBS Inc., overseeing the company’s worldwide legal matters. HOWARD POUSNER

Continue reading Culture notes: ‘Celtic Woman’ coming to Fox to tape Sept. 6-7; Sams is High Museum’s new board chair »

‘The Night Train’ By Clyde Edgerton

Book Review
Fiction
“The Night Train”
By Clyde Edgerton
Little Brown and Co., 224 pages, $23.99.

Gina Webb

The_Night_TrainClyde Edgerton isn’t exactly known for a darkness at the edge of his towns. His rural South runs more toward warm and wryly funny, and he’s mined his own childhood in Durham, N.C., to create and people it with unforgettable, lovable characters like Raney, Mattie Rigsbee (”Walking Across Egypt”) and the Copeland Family (”The Floatplane Notebooks”).

On the face of it, “The Night Train, ” his 10th novel, is no different. It’s an upbeat story about the inhabitants of sleepy Starke, N.C., in the spring of 1963, told with Edgerton’s familiar affection and deadpan humor. Jokes, practical and otherwise, abound, and much of the action revolves around a dancing chicken and a dog food factory.

The story opens with 16-year-old Larry Lime — full name Larry Lime Beacon of Time Reckoning Breathe On Me Nolan — whose first appearance gives the impression of a negative, a cut-out in white …

Continue reading ‘The Night Train’ By Clyde Edgerton »

Culture notes: AJC Decatur Book Festival schedule now online; Atlanta Music Project seeking instruments

BOOKS
Decatur fest schedule online

With more than 300 authors appearing and events from two children’s book-themed parades to a poetry slam competing for attention, it’s a good idea to have a game plan in mind before attending the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day weekend. You can begin scoping out your preferences now that that the fest has posted its full schedule online at www.decaturbookfestival.com/2011/schedule. Almost the entire festival, including the keynote address by Decemberists leader Colin Meloy and his illustrator-wife Carson Ellis at 8 p.m. Sept. 2 at Agnes Scott College (reservations required), is free. HOWARD POUSNER

MUSIC
Giving is instrumental

Atlanta Music Project, an after-school, youth orchestra and choir program targeting disadvantaged metropolitan communities, is conducting an instrument donation drive through Aug. 6. Working-condition woodwind, percussion and string instruments may be donated at locations in Atlanta …

Continue reading Culture notes: AJC Decatur Book Festival schedule now online; Atlanta Music Project seeking instruments »

In Jan., Rialto’s ‘Off the Edge’ to unite a world of contemporary dance

Atlanta choreographer Lauri Stallings jumped in with both feet when Rialto Center for the Arts leader Leslie Gordon asked her to curate a contemporary dance event for Georgia State University’s downtown theater in January. But Stallings had one stipulation.

She didn’t want it to be billed as a dance festival.  She envisioned something more edgy, multi-platform, with a heart very much pounding in the present.

“I told Leslie I’d shoot myself before we have a dance festival,” Stallings said Thursday at the Rialto as “Off the Edge: A Celebration of Movement in Atlanta” was detailed. “There doesn’t need to be another dance festival. There needs to be a swarm of ideas, energy, activity.”

Call it what you will, the Rialto celebration has taken on a life of its own, expanding to six days, Jan. 23-28, and including performances, artist exchanges, educational outreach and more by Atlanta, national and international talent who will appear in multiple metro counties.

The centerpiece …

Continue reading In Jan., Rialto’s ‘Off the Edge’ to unite a world of contemporary dance »

Culture notes: High Museum’s 5 academic affiliations; MAACC offers class for cultural advocates

VISUAL ARTS
It’s academic at High

While the High Museum of Art has attracted attention in recent years via high-profile collaborations with glossy museums such as the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art, it has been striking partnerships with Georgia academic institutions.

This week the High announced  its fifth such affiliation, with Georgia College in Milledgeville. As part of the one-year arrangement, students and faculty will receive free admission to the High and attend lectures and experience behind-the-scenes programs. Students also will have the opportunity to participate in museum internships.

The High’s four other academic partners are Brenau University in Gainesville, Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, and the Lovett School and the Westminster Schools, both in Atlanta. HOWARD POUSNER

ARTS
A class for cultural advocates

Seeking to increase knowledge about and advocacy for the arts, the Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition (MAACC) is offering a …

Continue reading Culture notes: High Museum’s 5 academic affiliations; MAACC offers class for cultural advocates »