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Culture notes: WonderRoot recruiting new art collectors; Georgia Museum imports African art; classical composers compete

Opportunity to collect local art, support artists
Maybe you’ve heard of CSA (community supported agriculture) programs?

An enterprising intown arts center has a new cultural twist on that agricultural idea: the WonderRoot CSA (community supported art) program.

Instead of investing in organic vegetables, 50 investors will purchase shares in artwork by nine accomplished and emerging local artists for $300. They will receive a bounty of art, nine pieces that can be picked up at three parties over the year, beginning Feb. 1. Artwork ranges from photography and printmaking to sculpture and painting.

“We’re trying to innovate on what has been a way for people to collect artwork, for artists to make a living and for arts organizations to have self-sustaining business models,” WonderRoot executive director Chris Appleton said. “So it’s a win-win-win.”

The nine commissioned artists are Jessica Caldas, Bethany Collins, Henry Detweiler, Jill Frank, Michi Meko, Nick Madden, Noble Beast, S. Patricia Patterson and Wret Rausaw. For an introduction to the artists, several of whom speak to their excitement at the opportunity to grow their collector base in videos on the program’s home page: HOWARD POUSNER

African art coming to Georgia Museum of Art
The Georgia Museum of Art in Athens is importing an exhibition of African art by way of Savannah in the exhibit opening Saturday, “From Savanna to Savannah: African Art from the Collection of Don Kole.”

Running through April 14, the show will feature more than 40 works of three-dimensional traditional art from the early to mid-20th century drawn from the collection of Kole, a Savannah-based real estate investor. Kole and his wife, Kaye, have have made numerous trips to the continent to build their collection and educate themselves about traditional arts.

The works — in wood, bronze, terracotta, sandstone and cloth — were collected from regions as diverse as Cameroon, Guinea, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo and demonstrate cultural concepts and religious beliefs. The pieces include furniture, masks, fertility dolls, pottery, weaponry, musical instruments and clothing, much of which bears elaborate decoration in the form of carving, paint or beading.

The museum said the exhibit is part of an ongoing initiative to showcase African and African-American themes, sparked in part by Larry and Brenda Thompson’s gift in early 2012 of 100 works by African-American artists. The Thompsons are part-time Atlantans, and Larry Thompson is a former U.S. deputy attorney general and retired general counsel and secretary for PepsiCo.

Among special events tied to “From Savanna to Savannah” will be a Family Day, 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 16 focused on mask-making. The museum also will host a quarterly open house at 6 p.m. Feb. 7.

Georgia Museum is at 90 Carlton St., Athens. 1-706-542-4662, HOWARD POUSNER

Selecting a composing competition winner

Rapido, a national competition for composers, will reach its finale on Jan. 20 at the High Museum’s Walter Hill Auditorium when the Atlanta Chamber Players perform the five national finalist works and judges select the single winner.

From a field of nearly 400 entrants, the five regional finalists whose music will be performed and judged live are Mark Berger (Massachusetts), Leanna Primiani (California), Steven Snethkamp (Indiana), Piotr Szewczyk (Florida) and Charles Zoll (Arizona).

The judges are Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Spano, with Atlanta School of Composers members Michael Gandolfi and Jennifer Higdon. Higdon won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for music. Lois Reitzes of WABE-FM will host the proceedings.

There will be a 2 p.m. round-table discussion with the composers before the 3 p.m. concert.

In its 37th season, the Atlanta Chamber Players launched Rapido to promote new works for chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras.

To watch videos of the five finalist works being performed and to vote (through Friday): Tickets ($20, $15 seniors, $10 students) via HOWARD POUSNER

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