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.
National Black Arts Festival
Through July 17 at various locations. www.nbaf.org.