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Archive for September, 2009

PHOTOS: ‘Gold’ opens at Fernbank Museum Sept. 26


Brittney Gray of Smyrna looked at a case of African gold on Sept. 25 at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Walking through the “Gold” exhibition at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, it’s easy to see why this element has been a part of so many cultures histories for so long: it’s incredibly shiny.

It’s also practical in its many uses, relatively easy to manipulate for those uses and although it’s treated as something rare, it has been found on every continent other than Antarctica. (It may be there, too, but the ice tends to get in the way.) Still, the new exhibit from the American Museum of Natural History reveals that its lustre has entranced people for all ages and places. (Just as fascinating are the few cultures who weren’t all that excited about it, finding more value in jade, for instance.)

Gallery after gallery touches on its chemical, mining, decorative, cultural and economic histories and characteristics, but does less to address current mining …

Continue reading PHOTOS: ‘Gold’ opens at Fernbank Museum Sept. 26 »

PHOTOS: ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ at Gwinnett Arena


Who do you think wins this fight? As any museum fossil will tell you, neither. And that's why gigantic dinosaur puppets are awesome. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Yes, we’re all aware that I’m a big fan of the dinosaur fossils at Fernbank and Tellus, but I’m not geeking out when I say it’s even cooler to see those creatures moving without getting all “Jurassic Park” on our mammalian selves.

I saw them wandering around Gwinnett Arena this week, when “Walking with Dinosaurs” opened there. You might remember this show from when it played Philips Arena in 2007; I didn’t see it, but I’m told it hasn’t changed much. It’s based on the BBC television dinosaur series, but as a live piece, it’s like a monster truck show for curious minds and Discovery Channel addicts. It’s oversized, loud, dramatic and incredibly well-choreographed. Bones and textbooks are handy, but they don’t walk, spit or roar.

For an explanation of how the show works, I turned to Raymond Carr, a 28-year-old Decatur resident …

Continue reading PHOTOS: ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ at Gwinnett Arena »

PHOTOS: 24-foot Leonardo da Vinci horse rebuilt at High

Howard Pousner and I  wrote this story about a particularly noticeable piece in the new Leonardo da Vinci exhibition to open at the High Museum. It’s  scheduled to run in Saturday’s print edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Here’s a photo gallery of how they built the 24-foot, 6,600-pound horse.

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The head of the Sforza horse, designed Leonardo da Vinci, is loaded onto the fiberglass-and-steel body on Thursday. AJC/Phil Skinner

It was an unusual scene for the quiet road behind the High Museum of Art on Thursday: workers posing for giddy snapshots, onlookers gathering, a crane ready to work, yellow caution tape to keep the excitement under control.

“What more could a curator ask for?” Gary Radke said, watching  as a crane lifted a massive piece of Leonardo da Vinci-designed artwork into the sky. He followed with his eyes, then ran up stairs to see it swing over a 70-foot wall, taking the white-gloved work of exhibition installation to terrifying heights.


The …

Continue reading PHOTOS: 24-foot Leonardo da Vinci horse rebuilt at High »

‘America I Am’, Alice Walker exhibits close this weekend

We’re down to the final few days for two exhibitions with special ties to Atlanta.

“America I AM: The African-American Imprint,” a blockbuster exhibit with hundreds of historic artifacts, was extended once, but will finish its run here on Sunday.

“A Keeping of Records: the Art and Life of Alice Walker,” is based on items purchased by Emory University, but this is the first public showing. It won’t always be so easy to see them up close, and with the context the museum exhibit provides.

Here’s a look at what’s in each exhibit, the story behind it and how to see it.


Tavis Smiley escorts Rev. Bernice King, left, and Christine King Farris, the daughter and sister of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., through "America I AM" in Atlanta. AJC file photo

“America I  AM: The African-American Imprint”

What you’ll see: 500 years of history, from “The Door of No Return” from Ghana to Barack Obama speehes. The exhibition is 22,000 square feet and contains nearly 300 artifacts, including more …

Continue reading ‘America I Am’, Alice Walker exhibits close this weekend »

Know before you go: Atlanta Football Classic events


The Atlanta Football Classic parade will draw dozens of marching bands through downtown. This year's parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday near the Hyatt on Peachtree Street. AJC file photo

It’s been a rough week in Atlanta for everything but college football. Amid floods and rain, we got the news that the College Football Hall of Fame will move from South Bend to downtown Atlanta. As everything dries off, we’ve now got a full weekend of Atlanta Football Classic events to keep us busy.

And some other good news: no AFC events have been canceled or changed because of rain.

Here’s what you need to know before you go. Meanwhile, AFC regulars, help us out in the comments by sharing the can’t-miss events, the best place to watch the parade or any other advice.

There are a ton of events going on in Atlanta for the football, and they range from college fairs to club nights. Here’s a full schedule of Atlanta Football Classic events. Meanwhile here are a few key events for the …

Continue reading Know before you go: Atlanta Football Classic events »

Access Points 9: ‘Ride the Ducks’ at Stone Mountain Park

Were you right about this week’s Access Points photo game?

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Access Points 9: Ride the Ducks at Stone Mountain Park! AJC file photo

It’s something wet, but wasn’t Six Flags White Water, nor was it anything floating in our flood waters, as some of you guessed. It’s Ride the Ducks at Stone Mountain Park! Snowman was the first to guess correctly in the comments — good eye!

Visitors talk about the ducks like they’ve been floating the water around Stone Mountain since the 1940s, but in fact, they only  moved into the park in 2004.

From an AJC story introducing the ride:

It looks like a bus — and a boat. Actually, it’s both.

Amphibious open-air vehicles are cruising Stone Mountain Park to give visitors 40-minute tours of the park — on land and on lake.

The new attraction, “Ride the Ducks, ” is the first addition to Georgia’s top tourist destination since May 2002, when the park opened Crossroads, a simulated 1870s Southern town. …

The Ducks were getting good and broken in, loading up …

Continue reading Access Points 9: ‘Ride the Ducks’ at Stone Mountain Park »

To do list: September 24

Books: Author Gary Pomerantz signs “The Devil’s Tickets,” 7  p.m., Jimmy Carter Museum and Library, Atlanta. FREE.

Festivals: North Georgia State Fair opens, 10 a.m., Jim R. Miller Park, Marietta. Know before you go info.

For kids: “Your Jewish World,” exhibition continues, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m, Marcus Jewish Community Center’s Sophie Hirsch Scrochi Jewish Discovery Museum, Dunwoody. FREE. STORY.

Movies: Peachtree International Film Festival opens with a reception for the four-day festival, Underground Atlanta, Atlanta. 

Music: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s opening night, 8 p.m., Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta.

Got an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the calendar.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading To do list: September 24 »

Weekend to do list: September 25-27


Atlanta Rollergirls hosts the Southern Fried Smackdown roller derby tournament this weekend; it's your last chance to watch them roll this year. AJC file photo

May your weekend overflow with fun, not water. (If you’re looking for more music info, check out the Atlanta Music Scene list of weekend concerts.) — Jamie G.


For families: Banned Books Week Kickoff Party reading, 4:30 p.m., Little Shop of Stories, Decatur. FREE.

Movies: Latin American Film Festival opens with “Insignificant Things,” 8 p.m., High Museum of Art’s Rich Theatre, Atlanta.

Music: Jazz Keyboardist Keiko Matsui performs, 8 p.m., Ferst Center for the Arts, Atlanta.

Opera: “The Seduction of King Solomon,” by Americolor Opera Alliance, 8p.m., Benjamin E. Mays High School Auditorium, Atlanta.

Sports: Atlanta Rollergirls host the Southern Fried Smackdown tournament, Sept. 25-27, Yaarab Shrine Center Auditorium, Atlanta.

Stage: “Changing Shoes,” starring Tina Sloan, opens, 7:30 p.m., 14th Street …

Continue reading Weekend to do list: September 25-27 »

Access Points 9: Can you guess what and where this is?

For this week’s Access Points game, guess what this is and where you’ll find it!

I bet you've seen this, but do you know what it is? AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Every week, I post a photo of something fun in the Atlanta area, and ask readers to guess what and where it is. The next day, I’ll post the answer and the story behind it. For examples, check out our earlier Access Points games.

If you know what it is and where to find it, share in the comments, or on Twitter @insideaccess! I’ll reveal the answer at 4 p.m. Thursday!

Continue reading Access Points 9: Can you guess what and where this is? »

Know before you go: 2009 North Georgia State Fair in Marietta


The midway is back at the North Georgia State Fair, Sept. 24-Oct. 4. AJC file photo

I grew up about a mile from Michigan’s State Fair Grounds in Detroit and have many fond memories of of post-Gravitron queasiness, livestock birthing and deep-fried everything. (I realize none of it sounds terribly pleasant or good for me, but you’ll just have to believe that it was wonderful — even the cow birthing.)

Fast forward a decade or so and I’m in Atlanta, hankering for a Ferris wheel, blue ribbons and food written with a “Z” where the “S” should be. For this, I have to go to Macon?

No, no. The Georgia State Fair makes its home in Macon, and will run as a springtime festival, from April 29-May 9, 2010.  The North Georgia State Fair in Marietta will do just fine till then — and it starts this week!

The northerly state fair draws some 300,000 people during its two-week run,  and it’s everything you expect a fair to be in its 77th year.

Fairgoers, if you’ve got advice or recommendations …

Continue reading Know before you go: 2009 North Georgia State Fair in Marietta »