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Movin' on up 

Changes in management at Eyedrum, City Galleries

Eyedrum Executive Director Woody Cornwell, who's been involved with the space since its inception in 1998, is stepping down from that position. He will be replaced by Atlanta artist, musician and longtime Eyedrum volunteer Robert Cheatham as the alternative art space's newly elected director. Cheatham, who has most recently served on Eyedrum's art, music and building committee has also been involved with the artist-run space since its earliest days. During his directorship, Cheatham hopes to expand the space to allow for "more national shows while at the same time keeping part of the space open to local artists" in keeping with the Eyedrum mission. Cheatham is also interested in developing an "electronic infrastructure" for the space, which would include DSL lines, video projectors and laptop computers to allow Eyedrum to bring in more electronic arts shows.

City Gallery East curator Karen Comer, who's recently returned from maternity leave, will be undertaking a shift in job description as the new manager for both the City Gallery at Chastain and City Gallery East spaces. Rather than curating shows herself, as Comer has done in the past, she will be relying on a roster of local curators to program exhibitions.

Curators interested in proposing shows for either gallery space are encouraged to contact Comer at kcomer@ci.atlanta.ga.us or 404-817-6981.

Atlanta-based artist Eric Mack holds his own in the soaring ceilings of the Bank of America corporate lobby where his vibrantly colored mixed-media paintings are distracting enough to stop any suit in his or her tracks. Mixing scraps of found text in chunky, funky '70s typeface, Japanese text, scraps of colored tissue paper, small levers and sockets, these infectiously energetic works suggest that the paintings might be further activated with the flip of a switch. Like cave paintings of a hopped-up post-millennial culture, the primal-futurist works bring to mind a potent, often competing whirl of influences from DJ culture and aerial city maps to computer circuit boards.

Melodic Menu continues through April 24 at 600 Peachtree St.

Forty local and international artists, Emory faculty, staff and students will participate in the Emory Chairs Project, a public art installation running through April 17 at various locations on the Emory campus. Organized by Emory Visual Arts faculty member Linda Armstrong, the project coincides with the month-long celebration of the opening of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.

Included are works by notable Atlanta area artists like Pam Longobardi, E.K. Huckaby, Imi Hwangbo, Ruth Laxson and Gregor Turk, as well as internationally known conceptual and public artist Vito Acconci, who will also speak about his work April 8 at 7 p.m. at Emory's Michael C. Carlos reception hall.

Americans in Kodachrome is a sublime slice of vintage Americana from Twin Palms Publishers. The book features 92 images photographed in the first consumer-grade color process film, invented in the 1930s but not popularized until the post-WWII era. Editor/ curator Guy Stricherz notes of the 1952 image of his own family standing on the green lawn of their Enumclaw, Wash., home: "The picture symbolizes how far my folks had come from the dust bowl that was the Great Plains of their youth."

As cultural record and zeitgeist, it's hard not to see these images as the healthier, well-fed follow-up to the Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans shots of hungry, traumatized Americans that typify another, earlier record of our visual history. The widespread availability of Kodachrome beginning in 1945 seemed symbolic of the dawn of a brighter, glorious future that washed away the monochromatic ills of the Depression and WWII.

Stricherz found the assembled images taken by amateur photographers everywhere from garbage cans to family attics. True to the book's subject matter, the colors range from the subdued and rich to the eye-popping as in "Jerry and his '57 Chevy," in which the car's cherry color stands psychedelic against a limitless blue sky. The particular color scheme is instantly evocativel of the '50s, as if certain shades of red and yellow were unique to that time alone, indicating how intertwined our association of time, place and aesthetics can be.

Most of the images are not only formally interesting, but they resonate with questions about these particular people -- like the 1954 bride with the dowdiest imaginable pair of eyeglasses in full wedding regalia or the thoroughly contemporary 1959 gaggle of muscle boys in a Fire Island beach scene. The spectacle of life rendered in ultra-vivid greens and blues are just one of the thrills of these photos, which tend to gravitate around key themes of trophydom: a spanking new TV console, a string of bagged fish, the bloodied heads of bagged deer and a pink-coutured Barbie for a little girl's birthday.

felicia.feaster@creativeloafing.com


For Art's Sake is a bi-weekly column covering the local art scene.

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