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Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

PHOTOS: High’s John Portman retrospective to open Oct. 17

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Atlanta architect John Portman discussed his work with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and his son, Jarel, at the High Museum of Art this week. AJC/Phil Skinner

It’s a busy time at the High Museum of Art. It just opened its Leonardo da Vinci exhibit, and this weekend, it opens “John Portman: Art and Architecture,” a three-floor show of the Atlanta architect’s buildings and art works. (Here’s an interview with Portman, and more photos from the exhibit.)


A model of Portman's Atlanta home, Entelechy I. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

It’s the first retrospectives art and architecture by Portman, an Atlanta native whose buildings define most of the city’s skyline. His list of local works spans from the 1960s to the 1990s: the Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel, Peachtree Center, the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel, Atlanta Marriott Marquis and SunTrust Plaza, among others. Design elements we saw first here show up throughout later designs in the United States and around the world.

But the exhibit is …

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New Booth Western Art Museum addition opens Oct. 10

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The new gallery space at Booth Western Art Museum is more open, giving each glance more to explore. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville will open a 40,000-square foot expansion on Saturday, one that doubles exhibition space and reorganizes much the art already on the walls. (Look here for more photos from the museum.)

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Photo courtesy the Booth Western Art Museum

It’s a remarkable change for a relatively new museum, especially one outside a major city and on the far reaches of a metro area. The Booth opened in 2003 with 80,000 square feet filled with Western art – older romantic landscapes and scenes, but even more contemporary pieces influenced by or reacting to more traditional Western styles. The new wing brings more collection pieces out from the basement, opens more temporary exhibition space and adds new amenities like a 250-person banquet area.

The new wing also comes with a new price — admission fees are going up about $2.

Executive …

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Castleberry Hill’s Art House Co-op to move to Brooklyn

Art House Co-op, the Atlanta-based organizer of nationwide art projects, will leave the South in January to move to Brooklyn.

Art House opened a gallery in Decatur in 2006, then moved to its Art House Gallery in Castleberry Hill. It’s a fun place to stop by — I posted a Le Flash photo from there on Friday night — but the projects are fun to participate in, too. The good news for Atlanta, and the rest of the world, is that those massive community art projects will continue. Geographic variety always seemed like the point.

Here’s part of the letter sent to the mailing list on Tuesday:

For the past three years, Art House has resided in Atlanta, Georgia. We have grown to love it here and love the people around us. This is where we started and this is where we grew. It was here where we had our first “project” and grew faster then we ever thought we could. Atlanta was where all of your amazing art has been shown and resided at for the past few years. With growth comes the need for …

Continue reading Castleberry Hill’s Art House Co-op to move to Brooklyn »

PHOTOS: 5 things to love about Le Flash in Castleberry Hill


Melanie Turner dances a sequence in "Dollhouse" inside the Dance Truck at Le Flash 2009. The truck served as the stage, with CNN Center and the rest of downtown as the backdrop. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht.

I didn’t see the inaugural Le Flash event last year, and arrived in Castleberry Hill last night expecting something like a raucous gallery walk.


Gyun Hur created a piece on Walker Street with a headlamp as guide.

Organizers call Le Flash “a yearly ephemeral arts celebration that would deepen the significance of contemporary art Atlanta,” which can meananything. Some key characteristics drew me to it: art, performances, outdoors, all-night and free.

The only thing it had in common with a gallery walk, though, was that my feet hurt after wandering the neighborhood so long. A gallery walk usually requires active participation — the decision to walk in, look around, have a cookie, maybe buy something. For an organized event, Le Flash looked and felt like something …

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PHOTOS: High’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibit to open Oct. 6


Guest Curator Gary Radke explained why this intricate angel is likely to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci, while another — perfectly lovely, but less detailed — probably isn't. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

“Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius,” won’t open till Oct. 6, but the High Museum of Art surprised everyone this week by saying it would open up the exhibition on Monday, when the museum is usually closed, and allow people in for free.


Leonardo's studies are a fascinating and important part of the exhibition.

Whenever you see it, here’s what you can expect to see.

  • A 24-foot horse. It’s on the piazza, so you can see it for free any time, but even if you could miss it, you wouldn’t want to. Leonardo never had a chance to see it this way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it.
  • Small, detailed sketches, notes and studies. These are Leonardo’s, and they reveal his skill and process. They’re small, which can make the exhibit space appear sparse, but they’re so detailed, there’s no …

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Eyedrum revitalized: new leadership, more community support, planned capital campaign, maybe a new space


A dance-a-thon at Eyedrum on Saturday night drew the late-night crowd. Things are looking up for the non-profit arts space. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Less than three months since Eyedrum put out the message that financial trouble could force it to close, the non-profit gallery and community arts center is safe through the end of the year  — and making major changes to the organization. There’s a new director, new board members and they’ll vote next week whether to move to a new space. Board chairman Allen Welty-Green said they expect to launch a capital campaign in coming weeks, too.


Cindy Brannon and Sara Nesselbush checked out the artwork at the Eyedrum Dance-a-thon. AJC

July was a dark time for the 11-year-old organization. It remained debt-free and volunteer-run, but booking and donations were down and utility and rent costs were adding up. Board members were exhausted, the 6-000 square foot space too expensive, and alternative spaces too much work to fix. “The stress of …

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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 torso of …

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PHOTOS: 2009 Atlanta Arts Festival at Piedmont Park


Reflections from the 2009 Atlanta Arts Festival at Piedmont Park. AJC/Elissa Eubanks

For being a few days off from fall’s official start, I feel like we’re already deep into the season when every vegetable has a celebration and every beer is sipped in the company of a polka band. The Atlanta Arts Festival celebrates a different variety of delights, but fits right into the season none the less. Check with out some photos from the Atlanta Arts Festival, and share in the comments: how was it this year, and where does it fit among  the must-see fall festivals in the metro area?

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Final weekend to see High Museum’s Louvre exhibition


From "The Louvre and the Masterpiece."

The three-year partnership between the High Museum of Art and The Louvre ends this weekend as “The Louvre and the Masterpiece” closes in Atlanta on Sept. 13. The partnership’s goal always was to share art with an audience that might never have seen it at the famous French institution;  this will be the last chance to do so at the High.

The exhibition features 91 works from all of The Louvre’s collection areas, and covers more than 4,000 years in paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. All are meant to respond to the question: what is a masterpiece?

When AJC art critic Catherine Fox reviewed the exhibition a year, her review was “rich with fascinating objects…What distinguishes this exhibit from its predecessors is the meaningful and provocative context in which the objects are presented.”

Revisiting the show more recently, her assessment changed some. (The  full review isn’t online, but she expanded on it a bit in the new blog,

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50 Georgia artists, 4,500 pieces at Pottery Invitational

As kids, we all like the idea of mud on our hands, a take-home art project that still makes mom tear up 20 years later.

But as adults, we only buy into pottery when the IKEA catalog suggests it.

The medium finally gets its due beginning Saturday in Watkinsville at Perspectives: Georgia Pottery Invitational 2009, when 50 hand-picked potters from Georgia will display more than 4,500 pieces for show and for sale. The pottery show also includes workshops, demonstration and studio tours.

AJCer Howard Pousner wrote a lovely profile of Atlanta potter Katy McDougal, who will be there with her signature bird-inspired pieces. You can read the whole story, “Atlanta artist one of 50 showing at Ga.’s largest pottery exhibition,” or get a glimpse of it here:

Bird bowls by Katy McDougal. AJC/Johnny Crawford

“I’m trying to emulate my grandmother’s time in my art as well as my domestic life,” allows the mom of 18-month-old Violet and wife of Wayne Pelletier, a graphic design creative …

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