Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene
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You’re not being paranoid, Gen. William T. Sherman really is eying you on the Beltline

  • 7:20 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

In time for the Battle of Atlanta’s 150th anniversary today, General William T. Sherman is back.

Do not run for cover, good citizens. It’s only Sherman’s stern visage that has returned in “Apparitions,” artist Gregor Turk’s temporary public art installation commissioned by Atlanta Celebrates Photography and Art on the Beltline.

Sherman’s eyes stare down from five different billboards clustered together along the Atlanta Beltline adjacent to Piedmont Park (a quarter mile north of the intersection of 10th Street and Monroe Drive), and have since March.

This is actually the third phase of Turk’s project. In the first phase, which went up last [More]

Confederate collection speaks volumes in history center exhibit

  • 10:26 am Saturday, July 19th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Standing amid the new exhibition “Confederate Odyssey: The George W. Wray Collection,” Atlanta History Center senior military historian Gordon Jones is surrounded by many weapons of battlefield destruction — rows of rifles, swords and bayonets, four cannons, ammunition.

Yet it’s a modest handmade coat in the middle of all this armament that commands Jones’ attention and causes him to pull closer.

It’s a crimson-stained frock coat worn by 17-year-old Pvt. Benjamin Schumpert of the 3rd South Carolina Infantry, a simple, lightweight garment sewn out of striped cotton ticking. The Americus teenager was wearing it in September 1863 during the Battle of Chickamauga [More]

Three ‘Working Artists’ win fellowships from MOCA GA

  • 10:44 pm Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Bo Emerson

A filmmaker, a photographer and a muralist are recipients of fellowships from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, intended to support local artists, and to keep them, by the way, local.

Winners of Working Artist Project grants were announced Tuesday night at the Midtown museum, where alumni from previous fellowships gathered to congratulate their new colleagues.

Chosen for the grants were multimedia artist and filmmaker Jonathan Bouknight, painter Sarah Emerson and portrait photographer Sheila Pree Bright.

The project was created to support artists from the 23-county metro area. Each year it grants three established artists a monthly $1,250 stipend, a $3,000 salary [More]

‘Homeless’ for 16 years, Synchronicity Theatre taking over Midtown spot

  • 1:05 pm Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

One of Atlanta’s many itinerant theater troupes for its entire 16-year existence, Synchronicity Theatre is taking over the former Ansley Park Playhouse space in the Peachtree Pointe building in Midtown in time to open its 2014-15 season.

The nonprofit troupe, which recently lost its rental home at 14th Street Playhouse when it was sold to SCAD, is launching a $475,000 campaign to pay for renovations and related setup costs at the 140-seat facility.

It will open its season in what is being renamed Synchronicity Theatre on Sept. 26 with a world premiere, “Lasso of Truth.”

Peachtree Pointe owner Dewberry Capital, aware [More]

Get free tix for Joyce Carol Oates on Aug. 5

  • 11:07 am Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Suzanne Van Atten

The 2014 AJC Decatur Book Festival kicks off Friday, Aug. 29, with a keynote address by Joyce Carol Oates, who launches her new short story collection, “Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories.”

Tickets to the event at Emory University’s Schwartz Center are free and limited to two per person.

Starting at 10 a.m. Aug. 5, tickets can be obtained by calling the Arts at Emory Box office at 404-727-5050 or visiting tickets.arts.emory.edu.

Tickets are also available at the following locations: Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, A Cappella Books, Charis Books & More, Eagle Eye Books and Little Shop [More]

Kenny Leon-directed ‘Holler’ to close on Broadway on Sunday

  • 11:45 pm Monday, July 14th, 2014 by AJC Staff

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI /mruggieri@ajc.com

After only 55 performances, “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” the musical that pulled from the catalog of rap great Tupac Shakur, is closing on Broadway. Its final show will be Sunday.
“Holler”‘s Atlanta-based director, Kenny Leon, confirmed the show’s early demise in an email late Monday night.
“I have never been more proud of a project or group of artists, nor the audiences that found their way to the Palace Theatre to see this groundbreaking musical theater piece,” Leon said.
As recently as Monday morning, Leon was promoting the show on the Tom Joyner radio show. Producers had hoped [More]

Producers of Kenny Leon-directed ‘Holler’ trying to raise $5 million to keep show on Broadway

  • 6:44 pm Sunday, July 13th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Atlanta director Kenny Leon’s hip-hop musical “Holler If Ya Hear Me” continues to struggle to find a sufficient audience on Broadway, and producers are trying to raise $5 million to keep the show open in hopes that its box office will improve.

Hollywood veteran Eric L. Gold, lead producer of the musical that sets a fictional survival story around a score by the late Atlantan Tupac Shakur, told Variety, “It’s week to week right now. I can’t tell you if it’ll be two weeks or two months. It’s an expensive game, and I’m the guy carrying the load financially. I [More]

Alliance Theatre scripts a new form of outreach to develop Atlanta projects, talent

  • 6:18 pm Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

The Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab program announced by the Alliance Theatre on Thursday grew out of a series of national feedback sessions in which individual theater artists were asked by leaders of the country’s largest cultural institutions, well, what they wanted.

The answers came “loud and clear,” said Alliance artistic director Susan Booth, especially when she brought home the idea for the national dialogue initiated by the theater service organization Theatre Communications Group and focused it on Atlanta.

The Alliance heard that the metro area’s theater artists yearned for an artistic home, wanted to be welcomed into the Alliance “whether we’re on [More]

High Museum’s ‘Mi Casa’ installation to be summer-fall outdoor home for the arts

  • 10:34 pm Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

When Italian architect Renzo Piano’s three-building expansion for the High Museum of Art opened in 2005, the project came with a handsome outdoor plaza better connecting the museum with the rest of the Woodruff Arts Center.

Woodruff and High leaders have always seen great potential in Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza as a Midtown civic gathering space, performance place and a front door to the arts center’s varied offerings. The possibilities have been suggested in scattered performances by groups including gloATL and Sonic Generator. The piazza was even turned into a pseudo French park, complete with cafe tables and large planters, the [More]

Erector sets featured in free toy show that’s bridge to past

  • 2:45 pm Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

At 60, Calhoun attorney Randy Sauder feels like a kid again when he builds things out of Erector set parts, some nearly a century old.

But Sauder doesn’t just throw together basic bridges or stale skyscrapers. His Coney Island Fun House, featuring more than 2,000 moving parts, won the best model award last year at the A.C. Gilbert Heritage Society national convention in Chicago. That was neat since the gathering celebrated the centennial of the founding of the company that brought the world Erector sets, American Flyer trains, chemistry and magic sets, dozens of other educational toys and an array of [More]

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