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Friday, October 9, 2009

Oakland Cemetery blossoms tonight

click to enlarge Oakland Cemetery before the tornado ...
  • Oakland Cemetery before the tornado ...

When a tornado ripped through downtown Atlanta and the city's eastern neighborhoods last March, homes, businesses and local landmarks buckled under its fierce wallop. Oakland Cemetery sat directly in the storm's path of destruction: Tress were uprooted, headstones overturned and pathways destroyed. Local artist/gardener Cooper Sanchez got in on the recovery effort at the historic site, and has spent the last year helping clean up and restore the cemetery grounds. He's also spent the last year finding inspiration in the landmark's history, architecture and foliage for a new body of work.

Tonight, Oct. 9, from 7-11 p.m., Sanchez mounts Oakland: In the Greenhouse Ruins, a one-night-only

click to enlarge ... and after.
  • ... and after.

planting and painting installation situated in and around the cemetery's greenhouse ruins (the first public one of its kind in Atlanta). The paintings reflect on and celebrate the cemetery's Victorian history and perseverance over its more than 150-year life. In addition to the greenhouse, Potter's Field, the nearly six acres of 7,500 anonymous, unmarked burials, will also benefit from Sanchez's work. "I plan on donating a percentage of any profits from this show to plantings in this area of the cemetery which has so many unmarked graves that are gone but not forgotten.  I'd like to honor the memory of those buried with flowers and gardens as the cemetery with it's functioning greenhouse was historically designed to do," he said in a press release.

Live music accompanies the installation. Parking's available across the street behind/next to Ria's Bluebird and Six Feet Under. Check out BurnAway.org, too, for Karen Tauches' feature on the event.

(Photos by Joeff Davis)

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