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Culture notes: Artists of all types offer tips on ‘The Art Life’; gloATL rolls into next show

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center artistic director Stuart Horodner is a curator of art and a collector of thoughts about the art-making process, and the two interests dovetail in the just-published “The Art Life: On Creativity and Career.”

In the 184-page paperback published by the Contemporary ($25) via a grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Horodner taps the thoughts of artists, curators, authors, filmmakers, musicians and others in creative fields, many of whom have taken part in exhibitions and programs at the center from 2007 to 2011. In solicited or selected passages, they address the philosophical and practical issues that affect art-making and the marketplace.

“This anthology is not a guide to professional practices. It will not tell you if or how to approach galleries or where to apply for funding,” Horodner writes in the introduction, recommending several titles that do just that. “Instead, I have tried to construct a meditation on why one makes art at all and how to fuel the effort over time.”

Here’s a sampling of advice that fills the 10 illustrated chapters, with themes from “Motivation” to “Success”:

  • “The thing about making things is that you have a proof. You have some proof every day that something has been accomplished, that something’s different. If you can make something as that proof it has a lot of power.” — visual artist Kiki Smith
  • “I’m not here just to make records and money. I’m here to say something and to touch other people, sometimes in a cry of desperation: ‘Do you know this feeling?’” — guitarist Keith Richards
  • “Never listen to anybody when it comes to being responsible for your own paintings. It’s a mistake for young artists to want to please older ones. They’re going to make you take out of your paintings the very things that most characterize them as yours. … Nobody knows better than you what you need to do.” — visual artist Julian Schnabel
  • “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” — author Samuel Beckett
  • “Shooting a film is nothing but banalities. However, there’s very rare moments where I get the feeling sometimes I’m like the little girl in the fairy tale who steps out into the night, in the stars, and she holds her apron open, and the stars are raining into her apron. Those moments I have seen and I have had. But they are very rare.” — filmmaker Werner Herzog
  • “When I am making a piece of pottery, I know that it is finished — and that it’s good — if it looks … like it’s been uncovered rather than created.” — designer Jonathan Adler
  • “To survive in the long run, to continue to function, someone ought to tell you that there is a long run.” — Mira Schor, artist-writer

“The Art Life” is available at booksellers and at the Contemporary’s shop, 535 Means St. N.W., Atlanta. Or contact Stacie Lindner, slindner@thecontemporary.org or 404-688-1970, ext. 218. More details: www.thecontemporary.org/shop. HOWARD POUSNER

PERFORMANCE
Spotlight glows on skatepark

Expect gloATL to continue to expand its palette of movement in a work to be premiered in free shows over three consecutive nights starting Friday at the Old Fourth Ward Skatepark.

Dance, film, construction equipment and skateboarding will merge in the hour-long  “the search for the exceptional,” the first collaboration between choreographer Lauri Stallings and Atlanta filmmaker Micah Stansell. The project has been commissioned by Possible Futures, an Atlanta-based arts nonprofit, with additional key support from Sunbelt Rental Co. Sunbelt, in fact, will provide aerial work platforms, and park skateboarders also will play a key role.

The rising platforms — also known as articulating manlifts — will surround the park, providing support for light and film elements, but also adding another form of movement.

“Its interesting, as we have gotten to know the presence of the machines, they seem to be becoming more human every day,” Stalling said.

The performance draws inspiration from the intown skatepark, an Atlanta BeltLine project, but also responds to what Possible Futures founder Louis Corrigan terms “the fraught history of Atlanta’s public parks.”

Shows are at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and May 13. Free. Old Fourth Ward Skatepark, 830 Willoughby Way, Atlanta. www.beltline.org, www.gloATL.com. HOWARD POUSNER

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