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Archive for January, 2012

Culture notes: MOCA GA’s decade of exhibiting adds up; call out for 2012 Nexus Award

VISUAL ART
695

Number of artists the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia has shown over a decade of presenting exhibitions (97 total), a milestone being marked Thursday. MOCA GA’s permanent collection has grown from 250 to 791 pieces during that decade. HOWARD POUSNER

Nominees sought
The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is making a public call out for its 2012 Nexus Award, recognizing individuals who have made a significant contribution to contemporary visual art in Atlanta and beyond. The deadline is Feb. 10. Criteria and nomination form: www.thecontemporary.org/nexusaward. HOWARD POUSNER

Continue reading Culture notes: MOCA GA’s decade of exhibiting adds up; call out for 2012 Nexus Award »

Aaron Berger named new leader of Breman Jewish Museum

The Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum has a new leader, Aaron Berger, whose experience includes running the the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art and the Albany Museum of Art. For the last six years, the Atlantan has worked as a consultant with museums nationally in the areas of fund-raising and management. Berger replaces Jane Leavey, the Midtown museum’s founding executive director, who retired in December after 28 years. Info on Breman events: www.thebreman.org. HOWARD POUSNER

Continue reading Aaron Berger named new leader of Breman Jewish Museum »

Culture notes: An encore for Theatre du Reve’s ‘Red Balloon’; Saturday reception for civil rights mural, video

THEATER
Theatre du Reve’s
‘Balloon’ flies again
After a sold-out run a year ago, Atlanta’s French drama troupe Theatre du Reve is bringing back “The Red Balloon,” the story of a young boy and a magical balloon with a mind of its own, based on the beloved 1956 French film. The adaption that opens Friday at Back Stage Theatre at 7 Stages has been tweaked to focus more on the topical theme of bullying. Through Feb. 12. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. $27, students $16.20, ages 65 and up $21.60 (plus ticketing fee). 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-875-3829, www.theatredureve.com. HOWARD POUSNER

VISUAL ART
Saturday reception for civil rights mural, video

Atlanta artist B. Kendall wanted to commemorate a lesser-known chapter of the civil rights movement, how children participated in Birmingham protest marches in 1963, with her 12-foot-long mural “And the Children Marched,” now on view at the Buckhead Branch Library. Her attempts to educate continue on …

Continue reading Culture notes: An encore for Theatre du Reve’s ‘Red Balloon’; Saturday reception for civil rights mural, video »

‘A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty’ By Joshilyn Jackson

Book Review
Fiction
“A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty”
By Joshilyn Jackson
Grand Central Publishing 336 pages, $27.99

Meet the author

7 p.m. Thursday, Janaury 26, 2012. Launch party. Free, but RSVP required. FoxTale Book Shoppe, 105 E. Main St., Woodstock. 770-516-9989, www.foxtalebookshoppe.com.

By Gina Webb

A_GROWN-UP_KIND_OF_PRETTYForty-five-year-old Ginny Slocumb and her 30-year-old daughter, Liza, remember exactly what it was like to be unwed and pregnant by the age of 15. They’ve both paid the price for hiding dirty secrets no teenager should have to keep, including date rape, pedophilia and drug addiction.

Their memories of those years, which come to light during the course of “A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, ” would leave you brokenhearted if you could stop laughing long enough. But in a Joshilyn Jackson book, that will never happen.

If you’re new to Jackson, you’ll discover her knack for hitching misfortune to wicked humor within the first few pages, where Ginny, recalling her miserable failure at …

Continue reading ‘A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty’ By Joshilyn Jackson »

Oscar voters had their say; here’s Emory experts’ best picture list

It’s a favorite winter sport: second-guessing the Oscar nominations, especially the best picture nominees, as soon as they are announced. Though there were nine best picture nominees unveiled this week, there’s been no shortage of talk about which titles were undeserving and which ones got stiffed.

We happened upon one smart Atlanta list of the 10 best movies — no surprise, since it was a collection of opinions by the cinephiles in Emory University’s Department of Film and Media Studies. Here are the films the experts singled out as the best (compiled, we should acknowledge, in mid-December before school let out), with excerpts from their reviews:

“The Descendants”: “Alexander Payne returns (seven years after “Sideways”) with another compelling and compassionate dismantling of the overconfident American middle-aged male.” (Matthew H. Bernstein)

“Drive”: “Explores the quiet magic of unexpected human connections through music, color, slow motion and understated acting from leads …

Continue reading Oscar voters had their say; here’s Emory experts’ best picture list »

‘Neglected’ art of the cinematographer is focus of Emory screening series starting Wednesday

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Emory University’s Cinematheque launches a series of 35mm screenings, “Painting with Light: 13 Masterpieces of the Art of Cinematography (1928-2002),” at 7:30 Wednesday. First up is a showing of the 1928 silent film “The Crowd” featuring a live performance by pianist and silent film accompanist Donald Sosin. The free screenings continue Wednesdays (except March 14) through April 25 on the Emory campus, White Hall, Room 205.

“The art of cinematography — which stages the exact ways in which the camera frames, filters and records each image in a film — is a crucial and often neglected one,” series curator and Emory associate professor Karla Oeler said in a release. “Often the full physical effect of a film is simply lost in our modern smaller formats — and along with this, the remarkable precision, power and elegance of images created only by talented cinematographers working with the best directors.”

The rest of the lineup:

  • Feb. 1: “Shanghai …

Continue reading ‘Neglected’ art of the cinematographer is focus of Emory screening series starting Wednesday »

KAWS painting, 2 other works purchased for High Museum by collectors

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The High Museum of Art will mount a major exhibit in February by Brian Donnelly, a New York artist who goes by the name KAWS. But KAWS’ graffiti and pop culture-inspired art-making already has caught the eye of some prominent High patrons.

At the High’s third annual Collectors Evening, a $500-a-plate benefit at the W Atlanta Midtown on Friday night aimed at adding key selections to the Midtown museum’s 12,000-plus-piece permanent collection, KAWS’ painting “Down Time” received the most votes from the 287 guests, becoming the first work selected for purchase.

Marcel Wanders’ “Crochet Chair” was picked in the second round; and Hiroshi Sugimoto’s experimental photograph “Lightning Fields” was designated as the third and final purchase.

KAWS’ piece should be a nice fit for the show by the artist opening Feb. 18 at the High: “KAWS: Down Time.” It will include a 22-foot-high, site-specific mural he will paint in the Wieland Pavilion’s Margaretta …

Continue reading KAWS painting, 2 other works purchased for High Museum by collectors »

Musicians and arts advocates flex lobbying muscle at Capitol next week

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The lobbyists will look a little different than usual on Tuesday as Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Spano and Sugarland’s Kristian Bush are among those participating in the first Georgia Music Day at the Capitol.

As Tuesday is officially proclaimed Georgia Music Day by the Senate and House, musicians representing diverse genres and music business leaders will encourage legislators to help the Georgia music industry grow.

The musicians essentially are borrowing a page from Georgia arts leaders, who lobby annually for support for the Georgia Council for the Arts specifically and the state’s arts industry in general. This year’s arts lobbying effort, in fact, is set for Monday and Tuesday, as arts leaders link efforts with the state’s tourism industry for Tourism and Hospitality Day at the Capitol.

The partnership between arts advocates Georgia Arts Network and tourism groups including the Georgia Association of Convention & …

Continue reading Musicians and arts advocates flex lobbying muscle at Capitol next week »

Idea Capital supports ‘Atlanta visionaries’ with 7 arts grants

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Idea Capital, an Atlanta independent arts funding group with the mission of supporting “Atlanta visionaries” who produce “innovative, risk-taking works unlikely to be funded by more traditional revenue streams,” has announced seven grants totaling more than $8,000.

This year’s award recipients are Blake Beckham and Malina Rodriguez, Jeff Demetriou, Karen Shacham, the Art Officials (Matt Sigmon and Antonio Darden), gloATL, Roni Nicole Henderson and Shelby Hofer.

What Atlantans can look forward to in the coming year, according to an Idea Capital release:

• Blake Beckham and Malina Rodriguez — A debut dance performance “Threshold” incorporating architectural elements and examining the multiple meanings of home.

• The Art Officials — In an ongoing strategy of lampooning the art world Matt Sigmon and Antonio Darden will stage a star-studded documentary film premiere with accompanying book focused on Atlanta’s burgeoning art scene.

• Jeff Demetriou …

Continue reading Idea Capital supports ‘Atlanta visionaries’ with 7 arts grants »

Kenny Leon’s ‘Mountaintop’ finishes Broadway run with a profit

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

There is a reason Atlanta director Kenny Leon has two plays on Broadway right now — that is, beyond the typically high regard for his work by producers and others in the theater industry and even critics.

Leon’s plays usually make money, as Broadway followers were reminded this week with the announcement that “The Mountaintop” has recouped its $3.1 million investment.

Katori Hall’s drama about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final night before his assassination is the fifth play Leon has helmed on the Great White Way, and the third (after “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Fences”) to make its money back.

That’s a better batting average than most: Only a third of Broadway’s straight plays have returned their investment in recent years.

“Hitting this kind of milestone during these economic times further demonstrates the absolute power, beauty and resilience of the human spirit,” Leon said in an email to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. …

Continue reading Kenny Leon’s ‘Mountaintop’ finishes Broadway run with a profit »