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Archive for October, 2009

Booth’s Cowboy Festival and Symposium this weekend

This story was supposed to run in Sunday’s print AJC, but is now scheduled to run on Monday. You’ll recognize some of the info from an earlier blog post, but this includes more comments from the museum director and visitors and points out again their big cowboy festival this weekend. Enjoy! — Jamie G.


Marion Blackwell checked out the new portion of the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

After two years of construction, the Booth Western  Art Museum this month opened  a new wing that doubles its gallery space and reorganizes the works on display. Still, its greatest challenge remains the same as the day it opened: explaining why a 120,000-square foot Western art museum exists in Cartersville.

“That’s the biggest question we get, ‘Why?’” executive director Seth Hopkins said.
The Booth opened in 2003 with 80,000 square feet, a small collection of romantic landscapes and scenes and far more contemporary pieces  influenced by or reacting to traditional …

Continue reading Booth’s Cowboy Festival and Symposium this weekend »

When Atlanta grabs a drink, it doesn’t always hit the bar


Martinis and IMAX at Fernbank museum has some special events coming up. AJC file photo

Maybe it’s the merry Oktoberfest mood this month, but lately, when I’ve grabbed a drink with pals, it hasn’t been at the neighborhood bar or restaurant, or on the porch swing at home. Instead it’s part of some other experience — a festival, a show, a museum, a garden. This weekend, I’m planning to check out the Black Cat Beer Bonanza for Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends, whose kitties I fostered before two lovable dogs entered my life. Those brewery tour-benefit combos seem like they’re becoming a regular way to have a night out, now.

So here are some of the un-bar watering holes I’ve noticed. Suggestions for others are welcome in the comments!

Atlanta Botanical Garden: Every Thursday in October, the Garden served up seasonal brews and music from 5-10 p.m. They suggest you bring a flashlight to check out Scarecrows in the Garden and Moore in America. The final installment is 5-10 p.m. Oct. 29.

Continue reading When Atlanta grabs a drink, it doesn’t always hit the bar »

Stable-to-stage tour of ‘Cavalia,’ opening October 27


Some 65 horses arrived in Atlanta this week for "Cavalia," which opens Oct. 27. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

The biggest stars in “Cavalia” arrived in Atlanta by truck this week, with the U.S. and Georgia departments of Agriculture waiting to greet them. Some 65 horses in the Cirque du Soleil-styled rodeo unloaded into roomy stables erected in Atlantic Station. Check out these lovely photos of their arrival.

While the horses made their way to their tent, “Cavalia” creator Normand Latourelle took me on a short tour of the grounds. He’s never ridden a horse, which seems bizarre till he explains that he helped to create Cirque without attempting the trapeze.

He’s just all about happiness and beauty for the audience.

“I want everything beautiful,” he explained. “I want to please the eyes.”


Inside one of the eight large "Cavalia" tents.

He scouted Atlantic Station nearly five years ago for the first U.S. “Cavalia” tour, but it was a construction site then. Now that it has tidied up, he came …

Continue reading Stable-to-stage tour of ‘Cavalia,’ opening October 27 »

Access Points 13: ‘Cowpony’ at Booth Western Art Museum

Did you recognize this week’s Access Point? Like I hinted, it’s not a cow.

It’s the ‘Cowpony’ at Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville.


Cowpony, by artist Lori Musil, lives at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

Tip of my imaginary cowgal hat to commenters Robbie and Fisherman, who names the place to find it within minutes of each other this morning.

This pony began in 2001 as piece of public art in New Mexico’s Trail of Painted Ponies project. This was just before every city seemed to have a fiberglass animal public art project. You might’ve seen the “We Let the Dawgs Out” project in Athens, or the Tybee Turtle Tour on Tybee Island.

In New Mexico, about 120 artists decorated identical fiberglass horses. Artist Lori Musil painted this one after her horse was lost in a herd of cows, the Booth Museum reports.

On her Web site, Musil explains that she made smaller version of the Cowpony to sell after the life-size pony had gone on to a …

Continue reading Access Points 13: ‘Cowpony’ at Booth Western Art Museum »

Charis Books & More to celebrate 35th anniversary

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This mother-daughter photo was shot inside Charis Books and More in Little Five Points in 1997, but you might have witnessed a scene like this any time in the store's 35 year history. AJC file photo

New stories about the death book stores (and books, for that matter) pop up all the time, but rare is the long-lasting success story. We’re lucky to have one in our city, at Charis Books and More the little lavender mainstay off Moreland Avenue in Little Five Points.

The feminist book store and Charis Circle, a non-profit programming arm, will celebrate the store’s 35th year in business next month with readings, discussions and sales. The story has regular workshops and events, too, but I tend to spend my hours there browsing the bookshelves.

It’s not easy for Charis or any book store in those decades. A quick peek through the AJC archives revealed half a dozen Charis-centered “local bookshop beats the odds” stories over the years, detailing the store’s struggles to stay open.

The …

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To do list: October 22

Art: Artist Jorge Colombo lectures for Spruill Center Gallery’s “on the flip side,” 1:30 p.m., Emory University Visual Arts Building, Atlanta. FREE.

  • Artist reception with Colombo, Michael David Murphy, Gil Weinberg, and Lucinda Bunnen, 6-9 p.m., Spruill Gallery, Dunwoody. FREE.

Books: Author Jeanette Walls discusses “Half Broke Horses,” 7 p.m., Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library Main Branch, Atlanta. FREE.

Festivals: Southeastern Cowboy Festival and Symposium begins, and runs through Oct. 25, Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville.

For families: Halloweve family activities, 8 p.m., Dixieland Fun Park, Fayetteville.

Music: R. Kelly performs, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theatre, Atlanta.

Sports: Atlanta Thrashers vs. Washington Capitals, 7 p.m., Philips Arena, 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: October 22 »

Weekend to do list: October 23-25


Watch for pink! The Breast Cancer 3 Day runs Oct. 23-25, from Buford to Atlanta. This shot is from the 3 Day starting point in 2007. AJC file photo

Happy almost-weekend! Now that it has cooled off, we’re moving out of fall festival season and into hard-core holiday entertainment. For holiday info from now through New Year’s Eve, check out the Holiday Guide.

Remember, too, that the calendar is free, searchable and community-generated. If you know of a cool event, get it listed by clicking the “+ Add A Listing” button to the top right. Meanwhile, here’s a sampling of what’s going on this weekend around Atlanta.

If you’re looking for live music, check out the Atlanta Music Scene blog. As always, recommendations are welcome in the comments! Have fun! — Jamie G.


Art: Day of the Dead Art Show opens with performance by Uncle Daddy and the Kissin’ Cousins, 8 p.m., Eyedrum, Atlanta. FREE.

Community: Breast Cancer 3-Day continues Oct. …

Continue reading Weekend to do list: October 23-25 »

Access Points 13: Can you guess what and where this is?

Update 10/22: Here’s the answer!

Can you guess what and where this is?


Can you identify what and where this is? Hint: it's not a cow. Not really.

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 13: Can you guess what and where this is? »

‘Curious George’ exhibit continues at Children’s Museum


"Curious George: Let's Get Curious!" is on at Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta through Jan. 24. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

I was in the lobby of Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta yesterday when a mom and child about age 2 walked through the door. The little one was quiet…quiet…quiet…”Mommy, a MONKEY!”

Not just any monkey — Curious George. And every kid there wanted to see him.


Imagine International Academy of Smyrna kindergartner Timothy Lee checks out the simple machines.

I remember that monkey from my childhood, just like my parents remember him from their childhoods. He’s been around more than 65 years. He comes in a snazzy PBS cartoon now, and ideas about the word curious has changed from troublemaking to learning. And still, there’s George.

The exhibit, designed by Minnesota Children’s Museum, takes kids through places in the curious little monkey’s life to teach science concepts from measurement to power to simple machines. Starstruck though …

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Haunt review: Netherworld Haunted House, Norcross

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You'll spot this tormented looking ogre, and some equally creepy pals, in Norcross through Nov. 14. Photos provided by Netherworld.

I told you all about the new Stadium of Screams haunt in Lawrenceville yesterday. Today, we’re on to a well-established place with new offerings: Netherworld. This house consistently ranks among the best in the country, and draws a celebrity clientele. (Sorry kids, Bow Wow has already made his annual trip through the haunts.)

How scary is Netherworld?

  • Too scary. I wouldn’t go back.
  • Awesome. Love it. Will be back again.
  • Not scary enough. I’m not sure what the fuss is about.

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There are two new attractions this year, Blood Night, the main haunt, and Zombie Rampage, a shorter, intense experience. I glommed on to a group of friends from Gainesville. Afterward, they were shaken. One declared that she hated her friends for bringing her here. Another one, home on a 15-day leave from his Army post in …

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