Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Critic's Notebook: Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin sails the wine-dark sea

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

SING TO ME, O, MUSE: Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin will participate in a live reading of Homers Odyssey this weekend. The free event takes place over three days, January 24-26, at Emorys Carlos Museum to celebrate the work of artist Romare Bearden.
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • SING TO ME, O, MUSE: Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin will participate in a live reading of Homer's Odyssey this weekend. The free event takes place over three days, January 24-26, at Emory's Carlos Museum to celebrate the work of artist Romare Bearden.
Some well-known Atlanta civic leaders, media personalities and performers and will get their muse on this weekend when Emory hosts a live reading of Homer's Odyssey in its entirety. The event takes place over three days, January 24-26, at the Carlos Museum and is being held in honor of Black Odyssey, an exhibition of artist Romare Bearden's series of collages depicting scenes from the Greek epic.

TOTALLY EPIC: Romare Bearden depicted scenes from Homers Odyssey late in his career. The vibrantly colorful works have not been exhibited together since they were first shown more than 30 years ago. The exhibition runs at Emorys Carlos Museum through March 8.
  • Courtesy Carlos Museum
  • TOTALLY EPIC: Romare Bearden depicted scenes from Homer's Odyssey late in his career. The vibrantly colorful works have not been exhibited together since they were first shown more than 30 years ago. The exhibition runs at Emory's Carlos Museum through March 8.
Readers for the event include former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin; local television and radio personalities Jovita Moore, Valerie Jackson, and Rose Scott; Atlanta actors Chris Kayser, Tom Key, Janice Akers, Tim McDonough, E. Roger Mitchell, Tiffany Mitchenor, and Lisa Paulsen; and faculty members and students from Emory's Departments of Classics, English, Theater Studies, and the Woodruff Library.

Participants will take turns reading from the award-winning 2000 translation of Homer's Odyssey by Stanley Lombardo, who will be on hand to open and close the event. The program is free and open to the public, and the galleries of the Carlos Museum will be open for visitors to see both the Romare Bearden exhibition and the permanent collection.

The renowned Harlem Renaissance artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) is perhaps most famous for his paintings and collages of black American urban and rural life, but in the 1970s, late in his career, he began a major series depicting scenes from The Odyssey. The new exhibition at the Carlos Museum represents the first time the works have been exhibited together since they were first shown more than 30 years ago.

Unabridged audio recordings of The Odyssey generally run about 11-13 hours (it's called an epic for a reason), so it's fair to guess that each session in the live reading series will last around four hours. Books 1-8 will be read Friday night, January 24, beginning at 7 p.m. Books 9-16 will be read Saturday night, January 25, beginning at 7 p.m. Books 17-24 will be read Sunday afternoon, beginning at 2 p.m. Mediterranean food and wine will be available for purchase.

The free live reading of Homer's Odyssey takes place in the Reception Hall on Level Three of the Michael C. Carlos Museum on the campus of Emory University beginning Friday, January 24, at 7 p.m., Saturday, January 25, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, January 26, at 2 p.m. For more information and a full schedule, visit the Carlos Museum's website.

Romare_Bearden__Home_to_Ithaca__1977__Collage..jpg
  • Courtesy Carlos Museum

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