Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene

History Center gives fuller picture of Cyclorama’s missing pieces

  • 7:08 am Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Since plans for the move of the Cyclorama from Grant Park to the Atlanta History Center were announced last week, Gordon Jones has responded to countless questions about the anticipated restoration of the massive 1886 painting, especially the planned re-creation of parts removed in 1921.

The pressing need for conservation, then estimated at $8 million, led Mayor Kasim Reed to impanel an advisory group in 2011 to suggest ways to secure the future of the 365-foot panoramic painting that depicts the Battle of Atlanta. Jones, the History Center’s senior military historian, said current projections raise the restoration cost to $11 [More]

Catching up on two WonderRoot art projects

  • 9:36 am Sunday, July 27th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Public art transforms area south of Turner Field

A blighted area south of Turner Field has been revived as part of the recently unveiled University Avenue Corridor Public Art Project orchestrated by WonderRoot and supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Titled “Strong Roots Wide Branches,” the work, near the intersection of University and McDaniel Street, features three 20-foot-long sculpted cement panels and four three-dimensional sculptures placed in front of them.

Collectively they celebrate the past, present, and future of surrounding neighborhoods including Pittsburgh, Adair Park, Capitol View Manor and Capitol View.

The lead artist was Atlanta sculptor Fred Ajanogha, assisted by Eddie McBride [More]

3 new exhibits, plus music, performance, open Saturday at KSU’s Zuckerman Museum

  • 3:11 pm Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Kennesaw State University’s recently opened Zuckerman Museum of Art celebrates three new exhibits with a public opening reception on July 26.

As with its debut back in March, the new facility brims with specially commissioned art. In fact, “Hearsay,” a show that, according to the museum, encourages “alternative realities” and “liberatory visualizations of what could have been or might be,” not only fills the East and Mortin galleries but erupts outside.

On a museum exterior wall, guests can check out George Long’s “Flipping Translations,” a 90-foot-long-by-30-foot-high mural that includes the Atlanta artist’s trademark young subjects at play, their outlines blurred by Long’s [More]

Cyclorama moving from Grant Park to Atlanta History Center

  • 10:59 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

In a move of literal and figurative historic proportions, plans call for the Cyclorama, one of the city’s most valuable cultural artifacts, to leave its Grant Park home of nearly a century and relocate to a new building at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

The announcement about the move of the painting was made by Mayor Kasim Reed at a City Hall press conference Wednesday morning.

A surprise part of the news is that the history center, having recently completed an unrelated $21.1 million capital improvement campaign, already has raised $32.2 million. That amount is sufficient to move the painting, construct [More]

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]

‘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]

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]