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Poets, Artists & Madmen

Atlanta artists fight the good fight. In the past year they've responded to the national call for public art in A (new) Genre Landscape, crossed cultural divides with the Atlanta Ballet's big and remained committed to the cause of a Tony Award-caliber theater scene at the Alliance. Never ones to sit idly by, our poets, artists and madmen are always looking to the future, ready to rethink tradition. Denise Lira-Ratinoff's obscure and wondrous photography exhibit in a 16th Street loading dock; Haverty Marionettes' sublime performance of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying; and the Plaza Theatre's transformation from movie house to arts and entertainment center all illuminate a community never satisfied with the status quo. The high level of participation in Best of Atlanta voting and official CL exit polls reveals a diverse support base for the arts that insists on having its voice heard. And thank goodness for that, because otherwise the terrorists would win.

– Debbie Michaud

Best of Atlanta Exit Poll Results



For expanded information on each award, including location information, click on each award title

Best Advocate for the Arts

Lisa Cremin

When it comes to standing up for the arts in Atlanta, the key is putting your money where your mouth is. No one is in »more

Best Art Event

At First Sight II

We were blown away by the chutzpah of Denise Lira-Ratinoff's AT FIRST SIGHT II – a series of light boxes and videos displayed not in »more

Best Art Exhibit in a Museum

Cinema Remixed and Reloaded

CINEMA REMIXED AND RELOADED at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art did pretty much everything right. The massive, two-part exhibit brought together a frequently »more

Best Artist on the Brink of World Domination

Jiha Moon

Down here south of the 35th parallel, there's no shortage of peach-related imagery. But no one's quite got the angle on it like painter JIHA »more

Best Book by a Local Author

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

As the Atlanta bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, Douglas A. Blackmon's no stranger to coverage of the interconnecting issues of race, economy and »more

Best Changing of the Guard

Hope Cohn

Though we'll miss former Spruill Art Center exhibitions director Julia Fenton, we're excited to ring in the reign HOPE COHN. We love that she pulled »more

Best Emerging Visual Artist

Cullen Washington Jr.

The first time we saw CULLEN WASHINGTON JR.'s work, we thought, “Where have you been all our life?” It was in an unassuming corner at »more

Best Established Visual Artist

Rocio Rodriguez

Although ROCÍO RODRÍGUEZ has been a fixture in the community for years, there was a definite all-time-high vibe in her March solo show at Fay »more

Best Film Festival

Atlanta Film Festival

For sheer variety, quantity and quality of films, the 32-year-old ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL still belongs on the top of the bill of local movie-related events. »more

Best Film Series

Splatter Cinema

More so than the average big Southern city, we've shown an increasing appreciation for the slasher movie, where buckets of blood bring bundles of entertainment. »more

Best Gallery

Saltworks Gallery

We almost called this the “Speak softly and carry a big stick” award. Brian Holcombe and Christina Caudill's SALTWORKS GALLERY generally steers clear of the »more

Best Gallery Spotlighting Local Artists

Whitespace

Inside a converted carriage house on Edgewood, Susan Bridges' Inman Park gallery WHITESPACE has been supporting and showcasing local talent since its inception in October »more

Best Improv Show

The Doug Dank Project

Atlanta's had a healthy, lively improv scene for so long that it can support some unusual, creative variations on the off-the-cuff comedy style. THE DOUG »more

Best Local Actor with a National Platform

Jack McBrayer

Hailing from Macon, JACK MCBRAYER achieves the impossible on a week-by-week basis. As “Kenneth the page” on NBC's “30 Rock,” he routinely has the funniest »more

Best Local Female Actor

Courtney Patterson

One of the funniest and most effervescent actresses in Atlanta, COURTNEY PATTERSON frequently proves that she has the dramatic chops to match her lighter fare. »more

Best Local Filmmaker

Rainforest Films

Giving Tyler Perry all due respect as a phenomenally successful filmmaker, king of all media and coveted employer, is it too much to ask that »more

Best Local Male Actor

Chris Kayser

CHRIS KAYSER has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Atlanta's finest leading men, giving a particularly memorable performance in Actor's Express' enigmatic Thom Pain »more

Best Local Online Visual Arts Writing

Jerry Cullum

JERRY CULLUM started dropping poetic science about art at his blog Counterforces and Other Little Jokes last year. Cullum beats back the darkness of art »more

Best Local Performing Monsters

Zombies

What does it say about the Atlanta area that ZOMBIES have become such popular subjects for the arts? The past year saw the national release »more

Best Locally Produced TV Show

"This Is Atlanta with Alicia Steele"

At first glance, WPBA/Channel 30's “THIS IS ATLANTA WITH ALICIA STEELE” might seem like your typical homegrown, community-friendly local TV show, complete with a cheery »more

Best Opening

Something Like a Fahamenon

We didn't think Fahamu Pecou could go any further over the top, but Vaknin Gallery aided and abetted the painter/performance artist in scaling still higher »more

Best Passing of the Poet Gene

Theresa Davis

There's no shortage of appreciation for Alice Lovelace in Atlanta. She first made her mark on the city in the '70s and has received a »more

Best Place for Author Readings/Signings

Wordsmiths Books

The folks at WORDSMITHS BOOKS are rethinking the traditional author-reading-from-a-podium setting. The store recently moved across Decatur Square into a 3,000-square-foot space, making it Georgia's »more

Best Place to Hear Spoken Word

Java Monkey

Some are quibbling that Atlanta's poetry scene is dead. They must not have checked the vibe at JAVA MONKEY lately. Special slams held on the »more

Best Place to See a Movie

Starlight Six Drive-In

What better way to celebrate the nation's 75th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater than to honor the STARLIGHT SIX DRIVE-IN? Once considered a dinosaur, »more

Best Public Art Wrangling

A (New) Genre Landscape

Thank goodness artist and curator Stuart Keeler hightailed it out of cold Chicago to land squarely in the center of Atlanta's fitful and fractious public »more

Best Stage Director

Richard Garner

The best stage directors breathe life into material that might seem far removed from the audience's daily experience. Georgia Shakespeare producing artistic director RICHARD GARNER »more

Best Theater

Alliance Theatre

As Atlanta's largest playhouse, the ALLIANCE THEATRE usually commands such big audiences and so many resources, it doesn't seem to need a boost from anywhere »more

Best Theater Premiere

As I Lay Dying

For sheer gonzo creativity, combined with an impressive grounding in American literature and Southern culture, AS I LAY DYING revealed a more fertile imagination than »more

Best Theatrical Closing

Peachtree Battle

It's difficult to envision an Atlanta theater scene without PEACHTREE BATTLE in it. Premiering Sept. 7, 2001, the comedy about a Buckhead socialite's son getting »more

Best Theatrical Eulogy

A Song for Coretta

When Atlanta playwright/novelist Pearl Cleage paid theatrical tribute to the late Coretta Scott King, she chose to focus on the Civil Rights leader's legacy rather »more

Best Use of a Screen

Plaza Theatre

PLAZA THEATRE co-owners Jonathan and Gayle Rej often find themselves squeezed out of the market when it comes to booking current top-notch indie films. So »more

DARK HORSE: Best Gallery Best Poised for a Sneak Attack

Kiang Gallery

With or without the Beijing Olympics, all eyes in the post-American century are destined to turn to China. KIANG GALLERY, with its wide and deep »more

FAVORITE SON: Best Dance Performance

big

Before it even hit the stage, the Atlanta Ballet's season-closing production of big, featuring OutKast's Big Boi, was the subject of a New York Times »more

Best Advocate for the Arts

Lisa Cremin

When it comes to standing up for the arts in Atlanta, the key is putting your money where your mouth is. No one is in »more

Best Art Event

At First Sight II

We were blown away by the chutzpah of Denise Lira-Ratinoff's AT FIRST SIGHT II – a series of light boxes and videos displayed not in »more

Best Art Exhibit in a Museum

Cinema Remixed and Reloaded

CINEMA REMIXED AND RELOADED at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art did pretty much everything right. The massive, two-part exhibit brought together a frequently »more

Best Artist on the Brink of World Domination

Jiha Moon

Down here south of the 35th parallel, there's no shortage of peach-related imagery. But no one's quite got the angle on it like painter JIHA »more

Best Book by a Local Author

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

As the Atlanta bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, Douglas A. Blackmon's no stranger to coverage of the interconnecting issues of race, economy and »more

Best Changing of the Guard

Hope Cohn

Though we'll miss former Spruill Art Center exhibitions director Julia Fenton, we're excited to ring in the reign HOPE COHN. We love that she pulled »more

Best Emerging Visual Artist

Cullen Washington Jr.

The first time we saw CULLEN WASHINGTON JR.'s work, we thought, “Where have you been all our life?” It was in an unassuming corner at »more

Best Established Visual Artist

Rocio Rodriguez

Although ROCÍO RODRÍGUEZ has been a fixture in the community for years, there was a definite all-time-high vibe in her March solo show at Fay »more

Best Film Festival

Atlanta Film Festival

For sheer variety, quantity and quality of films, the 32-year-old ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL still belongs on the top of the bill of local movie-related events. »more

Best Film Series

Splatter Cinema

More so than the average big Southern city, we've shown an increasing appreciation for the slasher movie, where buckets of blood bring bundles of entertainment. »more

Best Gallery

Saltworks Gallery

We almost called this the “Speak softly and carry a big stick” award. Brian Holcombe and Christina Caudill's SALTWORKS GALLERY generally steers clear of the »more

Best Gallery Spotlighting Local Artists

Whitespace

Inside a converted carriage house on Edgewood, Susan Bridges' Inman Park gallery WHITESPACE has been supporting and showcasing local talent since its inception in October »more

Best Improv Show

The Doug Dank Project

Atlanta's had a healthy, lively improv scene for so long that it can support some unusual, creative variations on the off-the-cuff comedy style. THE DOUG »more

Best Local Actor with a National Platform

Jack McBrayer

Hailing from Macon, JACK MCBRAYER achieves the impossible on a week-by-week basis. As “Kenneth the page” on NBC's “30 Rock,” he routinely has the funniest »more

Best Local Female Actor

Courtney Patterson

One of the funniest and most effervescent actresses in Atlanta, COURTNEY PATTERSON frequently proves that she has the dramatic chops to match her lighter fare. »more

Best Local Filmmaker

Rainforest Films

Giving Tyler Perry all due respect as a phenomenally successful filmmaker, king of all media and coveted employer, is it too much to ask that »more

Best Local Male Actor

Chris Kayser

CHRIS KAYSER has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Atlanta's finest leading men, giving a particularly memorable performance in Actor's Express' enigmatic Thom Pain »more

Best Local Online Visual Arts Writing

Jerry Cullum

JERRY CULLUM started dropping poetic science about art at his blog Counterforces and Other Little Jokes last year. Cullum beats back the darkness of art »more

Best Local Performing Monsters

Zombies

What does it say about the Atlanta area that ZOMBIES have become such popular subjects for the arts? The past year saw the national release »more

Best Locally Produced TV Show

"This Is Atlanta with Alicia Steele"

At first glance, WPBA/Channel 30's “THIS IS ATLANTA WITH ALICIA STEELE” might seem like your typical homegrown, community-friendly local TV show, complete with a cheery »more

Best Opening

Something Like a Fahamenon

We didn't think Fahamu Pecou could go any further over the top, but Vaknin Gallery aided and abetted the painter/performance artist in scaling still higher »more

Best Passing of the Poet Gene

Theresa Davis

There's no shortage of appreciation for Alice Lovelace in Atlanta. She first made her mark on the city in the '70s and has received a »more

Best Place for Author Readings/Signings

Wordsmiths Books

The folks at WORDSMITHS BOOKS are rethinking the traditional author-reading-from-a-podium setting. The store recently moved across Decatur Square into a 3,000-square-foot space, making it Georgia's »more

Best Place to Hear Spoken Word

Java Monkey

Some are quibbling that Atlanta's poetry scene is dead. They must not have checked the vibe at JAVA MONKEY lately. Special slams held on the »more

Best Place to See a Movie

Starlight Six Drive-In

What better way to celebrate the nation's 75th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater than to honor the STARLIGHT SIX DRIVE-IN? Once considered a dinosaur, »more

Best Public Art Wrangling

A (New) Genre Landscape

Thank goodness artist and curator Stuart Keeler hightailed it out of cold Chicago to land squarely in the center of Atlanta's fitful and fractious public »more

Best Stage Director

Richard Garner

The best stage directors breathe life into material that might seem far removed from the audience's daily experience. Georgia Shakespeare producing artistic director RICHARD GARNER »more

Best Theater

Alliance Theatre

As Atlanta's largest playhouse, the ALLIANCE THEATRE usually commands such big audiences and so many resources, it doesn't seem to need a boost from anywhere »more

Best Theater Premiere

As I Lay Dying

For sheer gonzo creativity, combined with an impressive grounding in American literature and Southern culture, AS I LAY DYING revealed a more fertile imagination than »more

Best Theatrical Closing

Peachtree Battle

It's difficult to envision an Atlanta theater scene without PEACHTREE BATTLE in it. Premiering Sept. 7, 2001, the comedy about a Buckhead socialite's son getting »more

Best Theatrical Eulogy

A Song for Coretta

When Atlanta playwright/novelist Pearl Cleage paid theatrical tribute to the late Coretta Scott King, she chose to focus on the Civil Rights leader's legacy rather »more

Best Use of a Screen

Plaza Theatre

PLAZA THEATRE co-owners Jonathan and Gayle Rej often find themselves squeezed out of the market when it comes to booking current top-notch indie films. So »more

DARK HORSE: Best Gallery Best Poised for a Sneak Attack

Kiang Gallery

With or without the Beijing Olympics, all eyes in the post-American century are destined to turn to China. KIANG GALLERY, with its wide and deep »more

FAVORITE SON: Best Dance Performance

big

Before it even hit the stage, the Atlanta Ballet's season-closing production of big, featuring OutKast's Big Boi, was the subject of a New York Times »more

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