Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene

Pan African Festival (with Danny Glover appearance), Out on Film reveal lineup details

  • 6:52 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Long associated the National Black Arts Festival, the Pan African Film Festival will be presented independently in Atlanta this year, Aug. 7-10 at the Plaza Theatre.

“Supremacy” is the opening night feature, and star Danny Glover will appear on the red carpet along with director Deon Taylor. The drama follows a just-paroled white supremacist (played by Joe Anderson) who kills a cop and then takes a black family hostage in their home when he seeks refuge. The family patriarch (Glover) turns out to be an ex-con with issues of his own who’s forced to rely on his wits and understanding of [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]

Review: Wynton Marsalis lights up Atlanta’s Symphony Hall

  • 9:05 pm Saturday, July 26th, 2014 by Jamila Robinson

One expects a great performance from a jazz and classical great such as Wynton Marsalis. Friday’s sold-out performance at Symphony Hall featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra left jazz lovers immersed in  trumpets, trombones and saxophones and the diversity of jazz with music from Vaudeville to New Orleans Second Line.

As a spotlight event of the 2014 National Black Arts Festival, Marsalis, performed a nearly two-hour set that was as much of a live music history class as it was concert, entertaining the audience with toe-tapping, eyes closed and head-nodding music but also engaging them in the broader context for the compositions. DJ-style, Marsalis would [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]

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]

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]