Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene

High Museum receives $2.5 million gift for folk art curatorial position, initiatives

  • 7:37 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

The High Museum of Art has received a $2.5 million gift from Atlanta patrons Dan Boone and his late wife Merrie Boone to support and expand the museum’s folk and self-taught art initiatives, including the endowment of a permanent, full-time curatorial position to lead the department.

With the addition of the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art, all seven of the High’s collecting departments will have a full-time endowed curatorial position.

The museum is conducting a national search to fill the post, according to Thursday’s announcement.

The new curator will oversee the study, exhibition and care of [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]

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]

Wabi Sabi returns for new round of nurturing dance in great outdoors

  • 5:44 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Even if you’ve never connected to contemporary dance, it’s hard to not be persuaded after witnessing Wabi Sabi perform at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, with the audience following the dancers to different spots on the manicured grounds for each piece on the program.

The dancer-driven Atlanta Ballet offshoot, whose mission is to showcase rising choreographic talent, gives the first of five performances at three outdoor settings on Aug. 21 at the Midtown garden, where it will return Sept. 18. In between there will be appearances at the High Museum of Art (as part of the design installation “Mi Casa, Your Casa” [More]

At Folk Fest, one sculptor helps another with the mettle to create

  • 1:50 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Funny, the two artists who will be among those presenting their wares at the 21st annual Folk Fest this weekend don’t look related.

But Charlie Lucas, one of the undisputed folk masters manning one of the 90 booths that will show and sell mainly rustic-styled art at North Atlanta Trade Center starting Friday night, insists that fellow Alabama native Chris Beck is his son.

This despite the fact that Lucas, 62, is African-American, and Beck, 38, is, well, white.

There are other differences, too:

>>Though he radiates smarts and is represented in museum collections across the U.S., Lucas completed only a fourth-grade education. He [More]