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Archive for February, 2012

SCAD to host free lectures, exhibits during deFINE ART, Feb. 21-25

VISUAL ART
SCAD’s fine arts showcase

The Savannah College of Art and Design’s third annual fine arts showcase deFINECQ ART, taking place in Atlanta and at other SCAD campuses on Feb. 21-25, will honor New York conceptual artist Fred Wilson for his work and influence on contemporary art. All of the events are free.

Wilson will give deFINE ART’S keynote lecture at SCAD Atlanta at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Events Space, fourth floor, building C. Preceding Wilson’s address, also at the Events Space, will be a 5 p.m. Feb. 22 lecture by Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, giving an overview of the Guggenheim’s recent Maurizio Cattelan retrospective.

Exhibits open during the SCAD showcase include:

  • “Oceana,” photographs depicting the transformative nature of water by SCAD alumna Lisa M. Robinson, at Gallery See (thorough March 30). Robinson gives an Events Space talk at 7 p.m. Feb. 23.
  • Zander Blom’s “Place and Space,” recent paintings, …

Continue reading SCAD to host free lectures, exhibits during deFINE ART, Feb. 21-25 »

Jade Simmons to play piece with sounds collected by Georgia Tech students

Pianist Jade Simmons, completing an ARTech residency at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts, will include a new work in her Saturday concert that features sounds collected by students.

Simmons is using the Urban Remix app, a platform for mobile phone sound capture and remixing that was developed by Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology. Assisting the composer — who has explored rhythm as vital to efficiency, productivity and communication during her residency — Tech students gathered sound bites and photos of rhythmic machinery and technology, powerful speakers, rhythmic human interaction and music.

The Charleston native also will perform the composition “Bafana” with Shimon, Georgia Tech’s improvising robotic musician, along with saxophonist and electronic musician Jonathan Sanford and percussionist Craig Hauschildt, who complete her trio Collide.

The Ferst is at 349 Ferst Drive, Atlanta. Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert, $28, may be purchased via 404-894-9600, …

Continue reading Jade Simmons to play piece with sounds collected by Georgia Tech students »

Sheffield Hale named Atlanta History Center president and CEO

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The Atlanta History Center’s board of trustees has selected Sheffield Hale, an Atlanta native who has served as chief counsel for the American Cancer Society for the last decade, as its president and CEO, effective March 19.

A 25-year history center volunteer and board member from 1997 to 2010, Hale was selected after a national search.

“As we look to the history center’s future, we want to strengthen our presence in the community, and the state, as a major cultural institution,” said Hale, whose responsibilities will include shepherding a $27 million capital campaign, in a statement. “Our region is growing, and our audiences are changing. We must adapt and transform our visitor experience for all ages, cultures and learning styles to tell a more complete history of our city and meet the needs of the growing Atlanta metropolitan area in the decades to come.”

The capital campaign, according to the history center release, “will transform the …

Continue reading Sheffield Hale named Atlanta History Center president and CEO »

‘The Lost Saints of Tennessee’ By Amy Franklin-Willis

Book Review
Fiction
“The Lost Saints of Tennessee”
By Amy Franklin-Willis
Atlantic Monthly Press, 352 pages, $25

By Gina Webb

Franklin-Willis_At the beginning of Amy Franklin-Willis’ first novel, suicide looks like the only option for Ezekiel “Zeke” Cooper, its 42-year-old hero. The death of his twin brother 10 years ago has torpedoed Zeke’s marriage to his high school sweetheart. He’s not sure his two daughters would miss him if he were gone. There’s no future in his dead-end job. He still lives in the town he was born in, but it’s hardly a life anymore.

“Somewhere between Sunday’s end-of-the-weekend drinks and the early hours of Monday, the notion of suicide floated past my mind for the first time in forty-two years of living. Sobriety did not make it disappear. My daily choices have evolved from whether to have chili or a Swanson’s Hungry Man dinner to kicking around suicide methods.”

Zeke finally decides that a drug overdose, preferably one that takes place out of town, is the best option …

Continue reading ‘The Lost Saints of Tennessee’ By Amy Franklin-Willis »

Culture notes: New contemporary art gallery downtown; Academy Theatre hosts coming-to-America show through Feb. 19

VISUAL ARTS
New gallery downtown

Mary Stanley Studio – Project Space, a contemporary art gallery, opened in the Marquis Two Tower in downtown Atlanta earlier this month.

The gallery’s debut exhibit is “New Masters,” works on paper, including playful renditions of Old Masters paintings, by New York artist Samuel Stabler. The native Atlantan graduated from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia before pursuing his master’s at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London in 2008. He works full-time as assistant director of exhibitions at New York’s Gagosian Gallery.

“New Masters” continues through Feb. 29. Mary Stanley Studio, on the ground floor of the Marquis Two Tower at 285 Peachtree Center Ave. N.E., Atlanta (the space formerly occupied by the Museum of Design Atlanta), is open noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays and by appointment. 404-892-3211, www.marystanleystudio.com.

An art consultant, artist representative, independent curator and …

Continue reading Culture notes: New contemporary art gallery downtown; Academy Theatre hosts coming-to-America show through Feb. 19 »

Kennesaw museum to celebrate Great Locomotive Chase’s 150th in April

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The General, one of the largest artifacts of the Civil War and a prized piece in the collection of Kennesaw’s Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History, will be the centerpiece of an April celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Great Locomotive Chase.

The Southern Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, has announced a day full of events on the sesquicentennial of the chase, April 12,  in which Union spies crept behind enemy lines in Big Shanty (present day Kennesaw) with a plan to commandeer the General. Andrews’ Raiders intended to force an end to the war by cutting off the Confederate strategic railroad supply line between Atlanta and Chattanooga, tearing up track, destroying bridges and cutting telegraph wires along their way.

Highlights of the April 12 celebration:

  • After a 6 a.m. breakfast at the Trackside Grill in downtown Kennesaw ($20), a 150th anniversary proclamation will be presented at the historic Kennesaw …

Continue reading Kennesaw museum to celebrate Great Locomotive Chase’s 150th in April »

Culture notes: James Bond replaces Hamlisch at ASO; Jewish Film fest opens tonight

MUSIC
ASO replaces Hamlisch

With composer-conductor Marvin Hamlisch ill and unable to travel, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has switched its 8 p.m. March 16-17 pops series concerts to “Bond and Beyond.” Principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski will lead the ASO, featuring guest vocalist Debbie Gravitte, in a program of James Bond themes (including “From Russia with Love” and “Goldfinger”) and songs from other spy films. Hamlisch walked off stage mid-performance during a Pittsburgh Symphony pops concert on Jan. 29 complaining of dizziness and was briefly hospitalized. 404-733-5000, www.atlantasymphony.org. HOWARD POUSNER

FILM
33

–Number of screenings sold out in advance for the 12th Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which opens at 7:30 tonight at the Fox Theatre with “My Best Enemy,” a World War II-set dramedy about Viennese art dealers, Nazis, impersonation and double-crossing. Tickets are still available for tonight’s festival debut, but the remaining 117 screenings over the …

Continue reading Culture notes: James Bond replaces Hamlisch at ASO; Jewish Film fest opens tonight »

Artful tribute: Hawks honor Atlanta artist Radcliffe Bailey on Wednesday

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Atlanta artist Radcliffe Bailey, whose High Museum of Art exhibit “Memory as Medicine” was one of the city’s visual arts highlights last year, will be honored by the Atlanta Hawks as part of the team’s Black History Month salute on Wednesday night.

 The still-touring exhibit included a 108-inch-tall baseball bat sculpture, and Bailey, who played sports as a kid in Atlanta, with Hank Aaron a hero, said, “I always felt ballplayers were so large to me.”

 He’ll be recognized with a video tribute at the 7:30 p.m. Philips Arena game against the Indiana Pacers, one of seven African-American trailblazers being honored by the Hawks at every home game this month.

Remaining honorees:

Monday (vs. Phoenix): Monique Rivarde, founder of BFAM, which educates about teen violence.

Wednesday (vs. Indiana): artist Radcliffe Bailey.

Feb. 12 (vs. Miami Heat): Earl Lloyd, who broke the NBA’s color barrier in 1950.

Feb. 23 (vs. Orlando Magic): civil rights and …

Continue reading Artful tribute: Hawks honor Atlanta artist Radcliffe Bailey on Wednesday »

Culture notes: WWII Japanese-American art at Breman Museum; Gwinnett arts leaders honored

VISUAL ARTS
WWII Japanese-American art at Breman Museum

In Japanese, gaman means to bear the seemingly unbearable with dignity and patience.

Those qualities are readily evident in the Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum exhibition opening Sunday, “The Art of Gaman: Arts & Crafts from Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946.”

The exhibit showcases more than 100 objects crafted by Japanese-Americans in U.S. internment camps during World War II — tools, teapots, furniture, toys and games, musical instruments, pendants and pins, purses, ornamental displays and more.

In the 10 inland camps where all ethnic Japanese on the West Coast were ordered to move following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the internees used scraps and found materials to make furniture and other objects to beautify their surroundings. Beyond the creature comforts they provided, arts and crafts formed a salve of emotional survival.

The Breman is the only Southeast stop for “The Art of …

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Culture notes: Art of graffiti at Callanwolde starting Friday; Orchids runneth over at Botanical Garden starting Saturday

VISUAL ART
Art of graffiti at Callanwolde starting Friday

Graffiti forms one of those dividing lines in contemporary American life, much like presidential elections.

Some people view it as nothing more than vandalism, while others see it as street art. For evidence of the latter, just witness the number of coffee-table books focused on the topic and the growing number of graffiti artists, as well as those inspired by the painting style, who have been shown at private galleries and public museums.

For her exhibit, “Urban Works,” opening Friday at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center Gallery, Tucker artist Christina Bray said she wanted to explore that conflict. But the 11 highly representational paintings themselves, some of which can be previewed on her website (www.christinabray.com), don’t make obvious which side of the divide the artist is on. Though the painterly skill with which she executes them certainly suggests some sort of emotional connection to these altered urban …

Continue reading Culture notes: Art of graffiti at Callanwolde starting Friday; Orchids runneth over at Botanical Garden starting Saturday »