Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene

$50,000 Hudgens Prize competition returns; entries open to Georgia artists now being accepted

  • 4:29 pm Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Georgia visual artists, take note: The biennial Hudgens Prize Visual Arts Competition is returning and will again feature a cash award of $50,000, one of the largest given to an individual artist in the U.S., plus a solo exhibition at Duluth’s Hudgens Center for the Arts.

The 2015 Hudgens Prize competition is open to any Georgia artist, age 18 and up, residing full time in the state. Artwork of any medium will be considered, but all pieces must have been completed within the last two years (works previously shown at the Hudgens are ineligible). For a $30 non-refundable fee, each artist [More]

Massive expansion ahead for ambitious WonderRoot arts group

  • 9:46 am Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Howard Pousner

A decade ago, when three Atlanta friends in their early 20s were launching WonderRoot as a non-profit community arts group with a strong social mission, its bold, recently announced expansion plans would have been inconceivable.

“You know, when you’re 20 years old, both everything and nothing seems possible, right?” WonderRoot co-founder and executive director Chris Appleton said recently, standing outside the 54,000-square-foot Memorial Drive former schoolhouse that will be retrofitted soon into its new home. “But while we always had big dreams and big goals, the support and community’s embracing of WonderRoot has exceeded any expectation that we would’ve had.”

The extent of that [More]

ASO management, musicians labor over ‘sustainable’ deal as deadline nears

  • 2:40 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Two years after rancorous contract negotiations, a lockout and a narrowly averted postponement of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s season, ASO management and its musicians face a Sept. 6 deadline to strike a new collective bargaining agreement.

Both sides are holding their cards close, saying they don’t want to negotiate in public, in hopes of forging a new deal that would allow the 70th anniversary season to open as scheduled on Sept. 25. But there are clear indications that management is seeking further concessions from the players, who claimed when the two-year agreement was announced in September 2012 that the cuts they [More]

Restored gems, Polish classics, Pinter films in free Emory screenings

  • 9:22 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Emory University’s Cinematheque, a reliable source of art films, international cinema and titles generally residing outside the mainstream, plans a busy fall, presenting three series of free screenings, with details still to come on a fourth.

The first series is the “UCLA Festival of Preservation,” showcasing American classics and lesser-known gems that have been recently restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. The 12-film series kicked off Aug. 27 with the 1946 film noir “The Chase.”

The second series to launch will be “Screenplay by Harold Pinter,” three films written by the late playwright-screenwriter, starting with the 1963 British drama about [More]

More than 100 artists to ‘Elevate’ downtown Atlanta with public art

  • 7:02 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

“Social City” is the theme for Elevate 2014, just announced by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and taking place at various downtown sites from Oct. 17 to 23.

More than 100 artists will seek to engage the public with living sculptures, interactive gadgetry, portable art and dance performances, artist panels and more.

Among the highlights:

The Goat Farm Arts Center, working with more 20 artists and designers, will transform 10 dumpsters into galleries, installations and sculptures. Located in alleyways and parks, the galleries will include a Secret Garden where visitors can make a wish and a Giant Synthesizer where they can make [More]

Joyce Carol Oates, Pat Conroy at AJC Decatur Book Fest

  • 12:18 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Bo Emerson

The ethereal Joyce Carol Oates, a very substantial presence on the literary scene since 1963, has detailed every extreme of the human condition in more than 70 books, fiction and nonfiction, including the 1987 essay collection, “On Boxing,” considered a landmark of the genre.

Oates, 76, is the keynote speaker at the 2014 AJC Decatur Book Festival, a yearly Labor Day weekend event that continues to gather steam. More than 600 authors will speak or appear on panels at this year’s festival and plenty of new elements have been added to the mix, including an outdoor kitchen for cooking demonstrations and [More]

Festivals focus on Atlanta history, Western and Southern culture

  • 7:52 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Here are three upcoming family-friendly festivals that go beyond the usual crafts and funnel cakes (not that there’s anything wrong with that) to creatively explore different cultural aspects.

Meet the Past turns history into theater

Over the past two years, the Atlanta History Center has brought unheard voices from the dusty shadows of the city’s and region’s history through a program it calls Meet the Past.

These living-history performances, intended to give a more diverse picture of the area’s past and how it informs the present, have unfolded in the center’s historic homes (the Smith Family Farm and Swan House), inside the museum [More]

Outfit’s ‘Season of Compassion’ kicks off tonight with ‘Savannah Disputation’

  • 7:12 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Theatrical Outfit has dubbed its 38th season, launching tonight with the dramatic comedy “The Savannah Disputation, ” as its “Season of Compassion.”

Producing artistic director Tom Key calls the 2014-15 season opener by Georgia-born playwright Evan Smith “the toughest comedy I know of, ” and thinks it’s the perfect response to an increasingly divisive political climate.

Smith’s script takes off with two plain-as-potatoes sisters of the Roman Catholic persuasion who lose their Southern charm when a peppy evangelical Christian appears at their door. Directed by Tess Malis Kincaid, the show is described as a debate about religion, life, convictions and finding [More]

Sneak a peek at our Fall A&E Preview

  • 2:58 pm Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Suzanne Van Atten

Get ready to fill up your social calendar! The AJC’s Fall A&E Preview is chockablock with our recommendations for the hottest plays, concerts, festivals and art shows coming up this season. Check out our 12 Top Events and six People to Watch, as well as deeper looks at what’s coming in theater, dance, classical music, pop music, festivals and visual arts. Available in print and on myajc.com Aug. 24.

High Museum extends ‘Dream Cars'; new Museum of Design exhibit focuses on graphic design

  • 12:15 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

EXHIBITS
High extends ‘Dream Cars’ one week
The High Museum of Art announced Monday that is extending its popular exhibition “Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas” one week, through Sept. 14. Featuring concept cars, along with conceptual drawings and scale models, by automakers such as Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche and General Motors, the show has drawn more than 130,000 visitors since opening May 21. The High also announced that it will be open on Labor Day (Sept. 1) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with special ticket discounts, and that hours will be extended on “Dream Cars’” closing weekend: 10 a.m. to 9 [More]