City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Visual arts to dominate National Black Arts Festival’s opening weekend

The National Black Arts Festival officially launches July 7, but most of the performances fall over the closing July 15-17 weekend at Centennial Olympic Park, other downtown sites and at Midtown’s Woodruff Arts Center.

The main offerings the fest’s first weekend, scattered across the metro area, are in the visual arts, with an abundance of potent expressions to capture your attention. Here are some highlights:

  • Nationally noted artist Trenton Doyle Hancock is the subject of an ACA Gallery of SCAD exhibit “We Done All We Could and None of It’s Good.” The Houston multimedia artist is famed for works that pit good guys known as the “Mounds,” colorful half-animal-half plant creatures, against the evil black-and-white underground “Vegans.” Hancock and guest curator David Norr will speak in Rich Auditorium 5:30-6:30 p.m. July 7 with a reception following. Through Aug. 28. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta.
  • Atlanta artist Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier’s “Douglass’ Douglasville: A Journey Project,” on view starting July7 at Mercer University’s Douglas County Regional Academic Center, is a site-specific art installation that explores the history of Douglas County and the legacy of diversity of Frederick Douglass, for whom the county was named. The work grew out of an artist’s residency, sponsored by Mercer’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies, in which Marshall-Linnemeier collaborated with assistant history professor Melanie Pavich, her students and Douglas County residents. Opening reception: 3-6 p.m. July 9. Gallery talk and celebration, 6:30 p.m. July 15. Through Aug. 12. 975 Blairs Bridge Road, Lithia Springs.
  • “Mike Schreiber: True Hip Hop,” at Hagedorn Foundation Gallery starting July 9, is an exhibit of mainly black-and-white photographs by the self-taught New York photographer that shuns cliched depictions of the hip-hop music world (the money, the honeys …) in favor of more naturalistic pictures of the artists. Panel discussion and opening reception: 6-9 p.m. July 9. Through Aug. 27. 425 Peachtree Hills Ave., Atlanta.
  • Atlanta artist Fahamu Pecou, curator of “Home” at City Gallery at Chastain, said his goal was “an exhibit that presents a new awareness of how politics, education and culture are coming to redefine life our home state of Georgia.” The featured artists are Kombo Chapfika, Ashley Reid, Terra Coles, Stephen Hayes and Cosymo Whyte. Artist talk and gallery tour: 1-3 p.m. July 9. Through July 23. 135 W. Wieuca Road, Atlanta.
  • “Equal Rites: The Art of Michael D. Harris,” opening July 10 at Hammonds House Museum, examines 15 years of the Atlanta artist’s highly personal explorations of social and historical roots within the cultures of the African Diaspora. Opening reception and artist talk: 2-5 p.m. July 10. Through Sept. 11. 503 Peeples St., Atlanta.
  • “A Diversity of Colors,” opening with a 7-10 p.m. reception July 8 at Catherine Kelleghan Gallery, features work in varied media by 12 artists, including Kamal Al Mansour, TWIN (Jerry Lynn and Terry Lynn) and Dante Yarbrough. Through Aug. 5. 309 E. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta.
  • “Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in African-American Art,” an exhibit of 90-plus paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and mixed media works from the Bank of America collection opens July 7 at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Included are works by Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee and Ernest Withers. Through July 31. Free with museum admission. 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta.
  • Starting July 8, Gems of Africa gallery shows contemporary African Art from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, including hand-crafted ceramics, stone sculpture, recycled glass and beaded wire animals. Through July 17. 630 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta.
  • “Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine,” the acclaimed High Museum of Art exhibit, explores the influence of the African aesthetic on the Atlanta artist. Through Sept. 11. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta.

Event preview

 National Black Arts Festival

Through July 17 at various locations.

14 comments Add your comment


July 4th, 2011
11:52 pm

Really????? Why don’t we have an Irish American White Arts Festival? Come on, so tired of those in the Black community who are still so shallow with such little self respect that they must continue tooting the black horn. In God’s eyes we’re all the same. Grow up.


July 5th, 2011
1:08 am

I agree cg we’re all the same. So why are you complaining? All people of color come to this event, and for the record it’s not just/ATL black community. You are shallow. People comes from all over U.S. world to display their talent and exhibits. National Black Arts Festival guide including arts, literature, visual arts, celebrity appearances, entertainers and more. you are so uneducated. Diversity is here to stay in Georgia regardless of who your Governor is.


July 5th, 2011
1:54 am

Thank you cg!!! I couldn’t agree with you more. If we had a White American
Arts Festival the protestors would be out in droves and caling the ACLU.I am also tired of all this Black this and that I thought they wanted equal rights and to be on the same playing level with everyone else.


July 5th, 2011
2:14 am

CG&JS~~~bitter arent we… must be sometype of struggling artist ;-( This is a pretty diverse event with art that has an “african” perspective. Why is that not ok?


July 5th, 2011
2:55 am

JS you used the word “they” are you talking about black people? People of all color attend the festival. But of course, your dumb@@@ wouldn’t know that b/c it’s a Black Arts Festival . Stupidity a lack of intelligence.


July 5th, 2011
2:57 am

Yeah, yeah, whine, whine, can’t wait to get the hell outta Georgia. Too many closed minded folks still talking about Black this and why Whites do that, blah, blah, blah, find something more important to get emotional about, geez.


July 5th, 2011
4:12 am

Black Arts Festival ??? isn’t this reverse racism at its’ worst. isn’t Atlanta all about diversity. just imagine a White Arts Festival and all the hoopla. Al and Jesse would be hear in a flash mouthing off in front of the cameras!!!!


July 5th, 2011
4:54 am

CG & JS have you ever been to the Black Arts Festival? Probably not. Because you would know that there are lots of people who attend who are not black. Historically, minority artists were not featured in many festivals, so the BAF. Go ahead and start your White Arts Festival oh, that is called the dogwood festival right?

J Moore

July 5th, 2011
5:37 am

Is anybody else totally sick of “black” this or “black” that? If blacks can’t compete without affirmative action and set-asides, then too bad.

B4 Real

July 5th, 2011
5:57 am

“Imagine if we had a White arts festival in atlanta…” You have one its called the Renaissance Festival. And what does a arts festival have to do with affirmitive action? I’m missing the connection. We don’t need to ask permission or assistance to celebrate our culture.


July 5th, 2011
10:55 pm

Yes to a Black Arts Festival. It is the art part you need to see. Whether the artist is Black, White, Southern, Jewish, Japanese or European is not what you are looking for-look for the artistry in their art. Think arts for arts’ sake.


July 6th, 2011
10:12 pm

Every October there is a festival for people of Scottish descent at Stone Mountain (the festival is open to all, just like the Black Arts festival). Bagpipes are played, Scottish dances performed, and yes, Scotch is consumed. So why is it OK when those of us whose ancestors came from Scotland celebrate that, but not OK when African-Americans do it?



July 7th, 2011
7:59 am

So many thoughts…anyway…when black artists could display there crafts at the Piedmont Arts Festival back in the day…there wasn’t a Black Arts Festival. But overtime you could not find black art at this festival or the Decatur Art’s festival. So thanks to Micheal Lomax the city welcomed the establishment of the Black Arts Festival. And I glad that he did and I am glad that the city continues to sponsor this event!


July 7th, 2011
10:19 am

I wish all white people could live the life of a black person for just one week. Or talk to an 80 year old black person. Then you’d understand.