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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for May, 2012

‘Old Time Religion’ exhibit in northeast Georgia elevates the spirtual

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

“Give Me That Old Time Religion,” a exhibition that explores faith as a subject in Southern folk art, has opened at the Mason-ScharfensteinCQ Museum of Art in Demorest, a half hour northeast of Gainevile. A public reception at the museum that opened on the Piedmont College campus last fall will be held at 6 p.m. June 7.

Curated by Robin Blan and Tracey Burnette, owners of Around Back at Rocky’s Place, a Dawsonville folk art gallery, the exhibit includes works by the late Howard Finster, B.F. Perkins, W.C. Rice, R.A. Miller and Mose Tolliver and living makers including Billy Roper and Rik Long.

“Let it be noted that not all religious-themed pieces feature baptisms and tent revivals,” the curators wryly said. “The devil, as they say, ‘has his day,’ and is well represent in the folk art world.”

The show continues at the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum, part of Piedmont’s growing arts footprint in downtown Demorest, through July 20.

The museum opened …

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Culture notes: 7 Stages’ announces 33rd season; Essential Theatre has Georgia plays on its mind

THEATER
7 Stages’ stages a revolution at 33
7 Stages Theatre has announced its 2012-13 lineup, with plays in the 33rd season loosely connecting to the theme of revolution.

New for the season, the Little 5 Points troupe is partnering with Emory University’s Ethics & the Arts Initiative, with each production being included in a play development process in which the artists will participate in a two-day residency at the university. Later, Emory partners will join the artists at 7 Stages for the performance and a post-show discussion of their collaboration.

The schedule …

  • June 25-July 29: “Youth Creates,” an original work from the theater’s Youth Creates Ensemble, a program in its 10th year.
  • Sept. 13-Oct. 14: “Dracula: The Rock Opera,” world premiere of a music-theater piece by Rob Thompson, featuring the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra.
  • Nov. 8-18: “Fat Boy,” Atlanta premiere of a work of social commentary on poverty, hunger and American consumerism by Teo …

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Obituary: Gregory Warmack, 64: Called ‘Mr. Imagination’ for his creativity

By Michelle E. Shaw
michelle.shaw@ajc.com

Gregory Warmack, known simply as Mr. Imagination on the international art scene, moved to Atlanta in 2009 to regain something he’d lost.

A 2008 fire at his home-studio, in Bethlehem, Pa., destroyed much of his life’s work, and he needed to start over. Here in Atlanta, it seemed like he’d found everything he was looking for: He had a show at Barbara Archer Gallery last year and he’d been asked to be part of an installation in Venice, Italy. The move had been just what he needed at the time, said Ramona Austin, a friend and the curator of the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

“Coming to Atlanta was part of the transformation of his grief,” she said. “He’d found the place that would best suit him, best nurture him, while he created art. And he had to create art.”

Gregory Warmack, of Atlanta, died Wednesday at Harbor Grace Hospice from complications of a blood infection. He …

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Atlanta folk artist Mr. Imagination dies

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The folk artist Mr. Imagination (aka Gregory Warmack), who proclaimed a creative rebirth after he moved to Atlanta in 2009, died Wednesday.

Mr. Imagination passed away at Harbor Grace Hospice from complications of a blood infection. He was 64.

“We are going to miss his talent and dedication to the art world,” said Atlantan Paul Flack, an artist and leader of the loose confederation of self-taught artists Who-Ha Da-da ( www.whohadada.com/blog.)

>>>Here is a link to Michelle E. Shaw’s AJC obituary: http://www.ajc.com/news/gregory-warmack-64-called-1450229.html

>>>And here is an interview with Mr. Imagination by former AJC arts editor Eileen Drennen that appeared last year as the artist was about to open his first major Atlanta exhibit at Barbara Archer Gallery…
Folk artist Mr. Imagination ”is about to rise” again

By Eileen Drennen / For the AJC
5:47 p.m. Thursday, February 3, 2011

“Wait right here,” Mr. Imagination says before ducking back …

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Culture notes: Oops, Atlanta slides to second in art-business ranking; Oglethorpe Museum director Lloyd Nick to retire

ARTS
Atlanta’s No. 2 in arts businesses
It struck some as odd when the news broke in April that Atlanta has the highest number of arts-related businesses per capita among the 100 largest cities in the United States. After all, the city is the capital of the state that’s dead last in the nation U.S. in terms of its legislative appropriation for the arts — not a precisely related number, but one that could be said to generally indicate the value placed on culture here.

It turns out that the report by Creative Industries, a national arts research project by Americans for the Arts, was wrong — but not by as much as you might suspect. Atlanta is actually second in the 2012 rankings, behind Seattle.

In an e-mail to the AJC, Americans for the Arts spokeswoman Catherine Brandt termed it “a first-of-its-kind data error that our researchers did not catch until after the rankings were released.”

Still, Atlanta’s ranking moved up two spots — from fourth place last year to second — in …

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Culture notes: Next Stage announces season at Marietta’s Alley stage; Collective Project’s lineup at Goat Farm

THEATER
Collective Project announces 2012-13 season
Next Stage Theatre Company, which has leased the Alley Stage, the smaller space in the Marietta building that formerly housed the now-defunct Theatre in the Square, has announced its 2012-13 season:

  • Aug. 10-25: “Avenue Q,” the Tony-winning musical with puppets.
  • Sept 13-22: “Venus Rotates Clockwise,” a romantic comedy.
  • Oct. 19-Nov.3: “Rocky Horror Show.”
  • Dec. 14-31: “Cabaret.”
  • Feb. 8-23: Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.”
  • April 5-20: “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
  • May 3-18: “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
  • June 14-29: “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

But first, the “community/semi-professional” troupe, as it describes itself on its Web site, will celebrate its second anniversary with the musical “Assassins” June 15-24 at its old space in Blackwell Square shopping center, 3380 Canton Road, Marietta.

Next Stage founder and artistic director Rob Hardie said, “I …

Continue reading Culture notes: Next Stage announces season at Marietta’s Alley stage; Collective Project’s lineup at Goat Farm »

Culture notes: Falcons guard Blalock adds muscle to ASO music ed drive; History Center salutes vets

CLASSICAL MUSIC
ASO recruits Falcon Blalock to lead music education campaign

Atlanta Falcon Justin Blalock didn’t just play football in school, he also played tuba, and continues to play drums and guitar. That’s why the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra draftedthe left guard as a spokesman for its “When I Play Music” campaign, as announced Wednesday, in which $5 donations support ASO music education outreach.

“Growing up in Texas as an athlete and musician, I discovered first-hand that playing tuba in my school’s orchestra helped me thrive in all areas of life,”Blalock says in a video about the campaign (view it at www.atlantasymphony.org/blalock). “It’s well known that when kids play music, they achieve higher test scores, have more confidence, better concentration and experience a sense of achievement.”

Blalock will also host and guest conduct during the ASO’s annual “side-by-side” summer concert at 7:30 p.m. June 14, during which members of the Atlanta Symphony …

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Gilberto Gil, Hugh Masekela among international notes in Rialto ‘12-13 season

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts, which always accents its music and dance-dominated schedule with international flavors, will bring two world music masters as part of its 2012-13 season: Brazilian singer-guitarist Gilberto Gil and South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela.

In fact, the lineup, being announced today in the AJC, has an almost United Nations feel to it, also including appearances by Indian percussion ace Zakir Hussain, Miami-based Cuban timba artists Tiempo Libre and the French dance troupe Pierre Rigal’s Compagnie Dernière Minute.

The season also will extend two Rialto’s traditions: pairing artists representing different styles on one bill, such as banjoist Béla Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio in a bluegrass-jazz fusion; and presenting performers in a different way, such as Hussain (who has played there twice with Masters of Percussion) appearing with Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, a titan of the …

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Tara Lee’s new Atlanta Ballet role: dance-maker for ‘New Choreographic Voices’

By Cynthia Bond Perry
For the Journal-Constitution

Dual roles are within easy reach for Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee, who created characters Lootie and Goblin Queen in Twyla Tharp’s world premiere last February. As Lee prepared for this weekend’s Atlanta Ballet’s season closer, “New Choreographic Voices, ” the 16-year company member was taking on a different kind of role: emerging choreographer.

Continuing through Sunday, Lee’s “Pavo” is her first main stage work for the Atlanta Ballet in eight years. But as Lee takes a foothold on a dance-making career, she’s keeping one foot in the spotlight, dancing in the world premiere of Helen Pickett’s “Prayer of Touch.” The two works are sharing the Alliance Stage with Christopher Wheeldon’s “Rush.”

On a typical afternoon at Atlanta Ballet’s studios, Lee, her body honed and facile in simple practice clothes, prepares to rehearse Pickett’s new ballet. With riveting focus, Lee whirls across the floor, torso bending, elbows …

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Sculpture grows on you in Atlanta Botanical Garden setting

By Felicia Feaster
For the Journal-Constitution

Context is everything. And when you place cerebral, hulking, minimalist sculpture in a setting like the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and surround it with roses, leeks and lily pads, suddenly it transforms from intimidating to accessible.

There is something incomparably delightful about finding Beverly Pepper’s monumental steel form peeking out from a blanket of posies, or a television antennae-evocative stainless steel kinetic piece by George Rickey shifting in the breeze.

The garden has had a successful run of heavyweight art shows beginning in 2004 with Dale Chihuly in which big names like Henry Moore and Niki de Saint Phalle were surrounded by the garden’s verdant majesty. “Independent Visions: Sculpture in the Garden” is another impressive foray into placing important work in a garden setting. Nineteen works of contemporary sculpture from some undeniable hot shots are curated from the stable of New York’s blue chip …

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