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Archive for December, 2012

Culture notes: Botanical Garden light-show designer’s low-watt approach to own home; OnStage plots move; rave for Hensley; ask an art expert

Last Christmas, some 106,000 people stopped by to see Tres Fromme’s holiday lights.

OK, not at Fromme’s home exactly, but at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where he had led the design team that created the first “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights,” an unusually arty Christmas light show featuring 1 million LED bulbs.

Fromme, who lived in Dallas at time but had done freelance design work for the Atlanta garden, moved here from Texas this year to work full-time at the Midtown attraction. As the garden’s landscape design and planning manager, he made many additions (including an another 500,000 LED lights) and enhancements for the second edition of “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights.”

People are again pouring into the garden to view all those festive fuchsias and groovy greens, among a rainbow of handsome hues.  All that attention leaves inquiring minds to wonder what sort of fantabulous spectacle he strung up at his own abode.

Fromme laughed at the question.

“Oh, I don’t do holiday …

Continue reading Culture notes: Botanical Garden light-show designer’s low-watt approach to own home; OnStage plots move; rave for Hensley; ask an art expert »

Arts leader Ben Cameron: ‘Stop being an arts supporter and start being an arts activist’ (text of entire Arts Fund luncheon speech)

In a time of rapid change for artists, arts presenters and arts patrons, Ben Cameron touched on many of-the-moment issues during his keynote address to the Atlanta Metropolitan Arts Fund luncheon on Dec. 6.

Cameron draws on deep experience: Since 2006, he has been Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York, supervising a $13 million grants program focusing on organizations and artists in the theater, contemporary dance, jazz and presenting fields. Before that, he served for eight years as the Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for the American nonprofit professional theater.

As a service to the 500 Atlanta arts leaders who attended Cameron’s well- received talk — and to readers interested in the arts — the AJC here reprints the entire text of his address:

Your presence here assures me that at some level you are already art supporters. And as art supporters you probably understand the …

Continue reading Arts leader Ben Cameron: ‘Stop being an arts supporter and start being an arts activist’ (text of entire Arts Fund luncheon speech) »

Culture notes: Farewell to (dino) arms at Tellus; Lefont plans 60th anniverary ‘Wages of Fear’ screening

MUSEUM
For dino, it’s farewell to arms

Armed with updated research, Cartersville’s Tellus Science Museum has decided to replace the arms of its Appalachiousaurus, a southern cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex, with shorter ones. At noon Friday, Tellus will host a Lunch and Learn discussion, “What Long Arms You Have,” involving museum leaders and Columbus State University paleontologist David Schwimmer. Then at 1 p.m., the dino gets new limbs. Regular admission applies. 100 Tellus Drive, Cartersville. 770-606-5700, www.tellusmuseum.org. HOWARD POUSNER

FILM
Lefont plans revival screening of “Wages of Fear”
Lefont Film Society, which presents a series of revival and art-film screenings at the Lefont Sandy Springs theater, is bringing back a cinema classic for its 60th anniversary, among other notable December and January bookings.

“Wages of Fear,” the 1953 white-knuckle thriller starring Yves Montand as one of four down-on-their-luck men who sign up for the dangerous duty of …

Continue reading Culture notes: Farewell to (dino) arms at Tellus; Lefont plans 60th anniverary ‘Wages of Fear’ screening »

Culture notes: High Museum free on Christmas Eve; ‘Fela’ to return in Feb.; poet York dead at 40

MUSEUM
High gift: free on Christmas Eve

Typically closed on Mondays, the High Museum of Art says happy holidays on Christmas Eve by not only opening but offering free admission. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. that day and then again the following Monday, New Year’s Eve (regular admission applies). In between, it will have extended holiday hours (except: closed Christmas day). The big exhibits through the holidays are “Fast Forward: Modern Moments, 1913-2013″ (highlighting a century of major art developments and drawn from the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection) and “Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial” (a retrospective of the Alabama self-taught artist). 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. www.high.org. HOWARD POUSNER

THEATER
‘Fela’ to return in February

“Fela,” the Tony-winning musical that played Atlanta last year, will return Feb. 28-March 3 at the Fox Theatre. Former Atlantan Sahr Ngaujah, who became a star in the role, has moved on to ABC’s “Last Resort.” Adesola …

Continue reading Culture notes: High Museum free on Christmas Eve; ‘Fela’ to return in Feb.; poet York dead at 40 »

Culture notes: Carlos Museum expands Art of the Americas galleries in Feb.; new Web site for Ga. arts advocates

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The new year will bring a new view of what used to be the Ancient American Galleries at Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Closed since late May, the galleries will reopen with an updated focus, covering a wider time frame and broader geography, and with a new name — Art of the Americas — on Feb. 9.

The reinstalled galleries will feature more than 425 works spanning 4,000 years, from 2000 BC to the 20th century.

Native North American art will be included in the re-installation, expanding the galleries’ prior focus on South and Central America.

Rebecca Stone, the Carlos’ Faculty Curator of Art of the Americas, organized the exhibit, which includes new art works from Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Significant additions include more space dedicated to Panamanian art, a new textile display and other art from Costa Rica, and several new cases of Colombian ceramics.

For the first time, the galleries will present …

Continue reading Culture notes: Carlos Museum expands Art of the Americas galleries in Feb.; new Web site for Ga. arts advocates »

Spoleto announces 2013 festival lineup

By Andrew Alexander
For the AJC

Expect 17 days of cultural events ranging from Rachmaninoff to roots music, ancient Greek tragedy to the latest fringe comedy when Spoleto Festival USA kicks off its 37th season Memorial Day weekend in Charleston.

The lineup for the 2013 season was announced Monday, and it features more 45 world renowned and cutting-edge artists in theater, dance, opera, jazz, and classical music.

Handspring Puppets of South Africa, which created the horses for the National Theatre of Britain’s hugely successful “War Horse,” is creating puppets for the Bristol Old Vic’s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Opera offerings include contemporary Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa’s “Matsukaze” and a double-bill of rarely performed one-acts by classic Italian composers: Puccini’s “Le Villi” and Giordano’s “Mese Mariano.”

Nottingham Theater presents its version of Sophocles’ “Oedipus,” and Austin-based comic book artist Jason Neulander describes his theatrical …

Continue reading Spoleto announces 2013 festival lineup »

Culture notes: Steve Martin to play ASO benefit; Alliance gets $40,000 NEA grant

BENEFIT
Steve Martin to pluck for ASO

Steve Martin the banjo player, as opposed to Steve Martin the comedian, will be the featured act at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Symphony Gala, 7:30 p.m. March 2 at the Woodruff Arts Center. Martin, who will appear with his ace bluegrass band the Steep Canyon Rangers and ASO members, is a serious musician who is nonetheless seriously funny in concert. The benefit for ASO education and community programs includes a pre-concert cocktail reception at 6 p.m., a seated dinner after the Symphony Hall concert, an after-party with dessert and cocktails, more music and an auction. Tickets start at $45 for the concert only; $1,000-$5,000 (for two) for the entire evening. 404-733-5000, www.woodruffcenter.org. HOWARD POUSNER

THEATER
Alliance scores grant for Playwriting Competition winner

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced that the Alliance Theatre has received a $40,000 NEA Art Works grant to support the 2013 Alliance National …

Continue reading Culture notes: Steve Martin to play ASO benefit; Alliance gets $40,000 NEA grant »

Big Apple Circus returning to Atlanta in Feb. after two-year absence

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Big Apple Circus, which made Atlanta a tour stop for many years but hasn’t been to the city since 2010, plans to return to a new metro area site in February.

Instead of setting up its big top at Stone Mountain Park as usual, the New York-based circus will bring a new show, “Legendarium,” to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta, Feb. 1 to 18.

Celebrating its 35th year, Big Apple is a throwback troupe specializing in an intimate one-ring experience that revels in the artistry of performance — including acrobatics, clowning and juggling — with no seat more than 50 feet from the performers. It doesn’t boast the sorts of big animals presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, preferring to present horse and dog stars.

When “Legendarium,” a loose tribute to the roots of circus performance in 19th century Gotham, opened in New York in October, it played to positive notices in the city’s major daily papers. The New …

Continue reading Big Apple Circus returning to Atlanta in Feb. after two-year absence »

Culture notes: Georgia Shakespeare opens bag of Christmas stories in benefit; news from Cobb Energy, Georgia Lawyers, South Arts

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

There is a big carrot dangling in front of Georgia Shakespeare, and those attending a benefit performance on Dec. 15 will help the troupe get closer to it.

Launched last summer, the Viva Georgia Shakespeare Campaign set a goal of raising $1 million dollars by Jan. 31. The Harland Charitable Foundation issued a challenge grant to help make the goal more get-able: If Georgia Shakespeare can raise $950,000, the foundation will grant the final $50,000. With less than two months to go, the troupe has raised $750,000.

The Dec. 15 event, “A Georgia Shakespeare Christmas Story,” aims to up the holiday spirit along with the giving ante.

Doors open at 6 p.m., for pre-show games, sweets and prizes. The storytelling, including from “The Night Before Christmas,” “The Gift of the Magi” and “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins,” runs 7 to 9 p.m. Performers include Margaret Baldwin, Rob Cleveland, Daniel May, Allen O’Reilly and Mary Lynn Owens. A jolly visitor …

Continue reading Culture notes: Georgia Shakespeare opens bag of Christmas stories in benefit; news from Cobb Energy, Georgia Lawyers, South Arts »

Living Walls mural to be removed

Michael Perkins tries to remove paint used to cover-up a wall mural on University Ave.  The mural, which features  a serpent as the body of a human like figure has been controversial since it painted.   BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Michael Perkins tries to remove paint used to cover-up a wall mural on University Ave. The mural, which features a serpent as the body of a human like figure has been controversial since it painted. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

By Rosalind Bentley (rbentley@ajc.com)

Looks as if another of the Living Walls Concepts murals is coming down. The surrealist mural by French artist Pierre Roti was one of several murals painted around Atlanta on vacant walls by a host of international artists this summer as a part of a program by  the Atlanta nonprofit public art group, Living Walls. But the content of Roti’s mural on University Avenue prompted opposition from some members of the Pittsburgh neighborhood where the piece is located. A few of the neighbors even painted over large portions of the mural with gray paint earlier this fall.

That sparked a petition campaign to keep it the piece up, though it was later determined that the organization did not receive proper permit …

Continue reading Living Walls mural to be removed »