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Archive for April, 2013

Culture notes: Harper Lee docu, ‘Mockingbird’ showing at Lefont Sandy Springs this weekend

FILM
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ … and a diet
A classic Southern story such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” should be followed, ideally, by a classic Southern desert, and this weekend at Lefont Sandy Springs Theater they’ll be dishing up a heaping helping of both. Screenings of the documentary “Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and “Mockingbird” at 10:30 a.m. Sunday will be followed by panel discussions with civil rights experts, then capped by complimentary banana pudding receptions. The showings (tickets for each: $8.50) are part of Sandy Springs Reads, focusing this year on Lee’s classic novel. 5920 Roswell Road. 404-255-0140, www.lefonttheaters.com. HOWARD POUSNER

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Atlanta Lyric Theatre moving to Cobb Civic Center starting next season

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

After five seasons at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square, Atlanta Lyric Theatre will have a new home starting this fall.

Unable to strike a lease agreement with management of the restored 1935 movie theater, the musicals-loving Lyric has announced that it will present its 2013-14 season, its 34th, at Cobb Civic Center’s Jennie T. Anderson Theatre.

Lyric artistic director and general manager Brandt Blocker went public several weeks ago with unspecific plans to move but hinted that the company was committed to “a continued relationship with the restaurateurs and retailers on the Marietta Square.” The switch to the 600-seat Anderson Theatre, less than two miles from the historic square, achieves that.

This week, the Lyric added months for its previously announced 2013-14 shows, with the final run dates still to be released: Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” (August), Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls” (October), Duke Ellington’s …

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Culture notes: Arts Institute of Atlanta-Decatur to host color experts; photographers focus on childhood; Dad’s Garage temporarily moving to 7 Stages

VISUAL ART
Arts Institute of Atlanta-Decatur to host color experts
On April 27, the Art Institute of Atlanta — Decatur will host a Color Summit, presented by the International Association of Color Consultants (IACC) North America, for artists, designers, color consultants and small business owners.

The 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. summit is to present expert advice on lighting, color and color rendering; help with business strategies; and offer the opportunity to network with consultants, artists and vendors from around the world. Environmental designer Frank Mahnke, IACC International president, will give the keynote address.

Registration fee for non-IACC members is $15 (and includes a networking reception, 6-9 p.m. April 26 at Sycamore Place Gallery). Go to 2013colorsummit.eventbrite.com. Art Institute of Atlanta — Decatur is at One West Court Square in downtown Decatur. HOWARD POUSNER

Two photographers focus on childhood
The Arnika Dawkins Photographic Fine Art Gallery holds a 6-8 …

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Culture notes: With free Piedmont Park concerts announced, ASO planning balanced budget; Callanwolde announces hot jazz dates

CLASSICAL MUSIC
With free Piedmont Park concerts announced, ASO planning balanced budget
Last week’s announcement by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra that it will resume free concerts at Piedmont Park was a burst of positive news from an institution steadying itself after thorny contract negotiations that included a musician lockout before the season started.

In case you missed the news, the ASO and the Piedmont Park Conservancy will present a “Performance on the Promenade” series on May 17 and 23.

The 7:30 p.m. concerts are free but tickets (general admission seating) will be required. Tickets for May 17’s performance will available at 10 a.m. May 3 via atlantasymphony.org. May 23 tickets will be available at 10 a.m. May 10. Information: aso.org/piedmontpark.

The Piedmont concerts were launched in 1976, but concerns about protecting the park during a protracted drought caused them to move to other sites in 2008 and 2009, after which the series stopped because of a lack of …

Continue reading Culture notes: With free Piedmont Park concerts announced, ASO planning balanced budget; Callanwolde announces hot jazz dates »

Culture notes: Denver’s ‘Almost Heaven’ to launch Ga. Ensemble season; Emerging Artist Award winner’s exhibit opens Thursday

THEATER
Georgia Ensemble’s season opener will be ‘Almost Heaven’ for Denver fans
If everything old can be new again, maybe everything deemed square long ago can be hip for the first time.

What other conclusion to draw from the announcement that Roswell’s Georgia Ensemble Theatre will open its 2013-14 season with the jukebox musical “Almost Heaven: John Denver’s America” — this following on the heels of the early April release of the album “The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver?”

The tribute album features artists including My Morning Jacket, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Dave Matthews and Train updating ultra-familiar Denver tunes for a new generation.

“Almost Heaven: John Denver’s America” does much the same. The musical features 29 “rediscovered and reinvented” Denver songs, according to Georgia Ensemble, including “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”

While the tribute album is new, “Almost Heaven” played …

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Culture notes: New owner fires up plans for MudFire ceramics studio, gallery; Earth Day concert; honors for Atlanta artists, administrator

VISUAL ARTS
New owner fires up plans for MudFire ceramics studio, gallery
MudFire Clayworks & Gallery, the Decatur ceramics studio and showplace, has a new owner with plans for new programs and enhancements.

Deanna Ranlett has acquired a controlling interest in MudFire, founded in 2002 in Brookhaven by ceramic artists Luba Sharapan and Erik Haagensen. Ranlett also is owner of Atlanta Clay, a supply house serving ceramic artists.

MudFire is at 175 Laredo Drive in Decatur, near Your DeKalb Farmers Market and is considered part of Avondale Estates’ Rail Arts District. Changes under way or upcoming include:

  • Adding a ceramic tools and supply boutique
  • More ticketed workshops held in a dedicated workshop space
  • Frequent special-topic clinics
  • Increased local focus in the gallery, which represents nationally acclaimed potters as well as emerging Southeastern artists, showing functional and sculptural pottery
  • Addition of a full-time artist residency program
  • Expanded online …

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Culture notes: ‘Exhibition’ series onscreen; steamrolling at Print Big 2013; vintage marketplace

FILM
International art exhibits onscreen
The High Museum of Art has imported masterworks in exhibits including “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting” (through May 12) and “Girl With a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis” (opening June 23). Now Atlantans can get further exposure to international art riches through a film series, “Exhibition,” that opens with a tour of an Edouard Manet exhibit at London’s Royal Academy of Arts at 7:30 p.m. April 11  at seven metro theaters. Future cinematic tours, hosted by art historian Tim Marlow, visit exhibits of Edvard Munch (June 27) and “Girl With a Pearl” creator Johannes Vermeer (Oct. 10). Theater list, tickets ($12.50): www.fathomevents.com. HOWARD POUSNER

VISUAL ART
Steamrolling at Printmakers Studio
How big are the prints being created at Print Big 2013, the fourth annual event presented by the Atlanta Printmakers Studio from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 13. So big that it will take a steamroller to print the …

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Culture notes: MODA to open exhibit on modernist Saarinen; MOCA GA benefit; Contemporary plans renovation

VISUAL ART
An overarching look at architect who created the St. Louis arch
The Museum of Design Atlanta takes a thoroughly modern turn with its next exhibit, “Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation,” a retrospective of the Finnish-born architect opening April 14.

Curated by architect, architectural historian and Georgetown University professor Mina Marefat, the exhibit tracks the design principles Saarinen followed and his achievements, including the Saint Louis Gateway Arch, the TWA Terminal at New York’s JFK Airport and Washington’s Dulles Airport. The show also explores a little-known chapter of Saarinen’s professional life when he served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II.

Also known for his furniture design, including a long association with Knoll, Saarinen died in 1961 at age 51 during an operation for a brain tumor. Design Within Reach still carries his “tulip” chairs as well as a variety of tables and ottomans.

“Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for …

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Culture notes: Woodruff Arts Center appoints fund-raising leader; ‘Go West’ exhibit coming to High

ARTS
Woodruff appoints fund-raising leader

The Woodruff Arts Center has named Janine A. Mushol, who has worked for five years as the United States Olympic Committee’s chief development officer, as the Atlanta organization’s vice president of advancement.

Musholt, who begins June 1, will be responsible for Woodruff fund-raising efforts including its annual corporate campaign, as well as coordinating with the Woodruff’s divisions (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art and Young Audiences) on their fundraising efforts.

The Woodruff and its divisions raise $35 million annually in contributions to arts presenting and arts education programs.

Under Musholt’s leadership, the USOC raised more than $50 million annually and increased contributions each year from 2009 through 2012. She created its development strategies and led its fundraising program, including gifts, capital projects, direct mail, telemarketing, grants and gift planning. On her watch, digital …

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Culture notes: Atlanta Lyric planning new home; changes for Norcross arts groups; Duluth selects public artist

THEATER
Atlanta Lyrics’s 2013-14 plans do not include Strand

The Atlanta Lyric Theatre will stage a production of “Ragtime,” April 12-28 at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. The restored 1935 movie theater has served at the Lyric’s home for five seasons, but it won’t be its venue much longer.

After the 2012-13 season-ending “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (June 7-23), the troupe has announced its 34th season will be staged elsewhere because it and the Strand could not reach a new rent agreement.

The Lyric, in fact, has announced shows for its 2013-14 season without specifying dates, a matter no doubt contingent on availability at its next venue.

The five-show lineup: Mel Brooks’ “The Producers,” Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls,” Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Ladies,” “Annie the Musical” and Monty Python’s “Spamalot.”

Additionally, the company will bring back the Irving Berlin holiday favorite “White Christmas.”

In a letter on its web site, Lyric artistic director …

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