Saturday night people flooded the W Atlanta-Midtown for Wonderglo, the buzzy collaborative fundraiser between WonderRoot and gloATL. The cavernous Great Room was filled with custom salvaged wood tables by local sculptor Justin Rabideau and set with napkins screenprinted by local artist/Artadia awardee Jason Kofke. Like human statues, gloATL dancers waited in the breaks between the room divider before slinking through the room, crawling under tables and poking their heads up between diners. An accordion player led a snaking line of people from the dining room up through the hotel and past installations by Gyun Hur, the Atlanta Music Project, the Atlanta Opera, Lonnie Holley and more.
Browse Creative Loafing's full Wonderglo photo gallery.
Last night marked the final performance of comedian Marc Maron's four night stint at The Vortex's Laughing Skull Lounge. The stand-up comic is well known for his comedy podcast entitled "WTF." For a deeper look into Maron's podcast check out last week's cover story.
Syrian-born visual artist Nabil Mousa showed a new work to the public today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Mattress Factory Lofts. The piece is a three-paneled mobile-mural collaged with pages of the Torah, Koran, and Bible. With the piece, he hopes to signify connections between religions and show that we have more in common than differences.
A unique aspect of the project included welcoming friends and loved ones affected by the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq war. Nabil hopes to travel the panels around the country and eventually find a home for them in New York.
Nabil says the mural correlates with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs to eradicate social injustice and invoke peace.
Art on the Atlanta Beltline 2.0 is well underway, with some works nearing completion or already completed. Artist Kyle Brooks just wrapped up his 237-foot mural "The Beltline Bears" on Langhorn Street near the West End. Art on the Atlanta Beltline officially opens Sat., Sept. 10.
More photos of Brooks' work after the jump.
The Rialto Theatre in downtown Atlanta was packed out on Saturday night with folks buzzing to see some African Dance.
Presented by the National Black Arts Festival, DanceAfrica featured the moves of South African contemporary dancer and choreographer Vincent Mantsoe; traditional South African boot dancing from Lesol's Dance Project; chanting and polyrhythmic works inspired by Mali, the Ivory Coast, South Africa and Guinea by Atlanta's own Giwayen Mata; and the sounds of Ba Cissoko, master of the traditional West African stringed lute known as the kora.
"I am here to protest the spending cuts, they're in the wrong areas and they will be devastating to the local arts community, " said arts supporter Chris Schwartz at the rally.
The list of recipients of OCA grants in fiscal year 2011 included more than 70 awardees, including organizations as diverse as the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta, Out of Hand Theater, People TV, Dad's Garage, Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, Center for Puppetry Arts, Art Papers, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, National Black Arts Festival, gloATL, and dozens and dozens of other arts organizations that help define Atlanta's creative culture.
The proposed 2012 OCA budget would reduce the Contracts for Services Program by 50 percent to $235,000. That amount's a drop in the bucket compared to the budgets of other Southern cities, according to Flux Projects founder Louis Corrigan.
“The city government of Charlotte invests nearly $3 million a year in annual cultural grants," said Corrigan. "The proposed 50 percent cut in OCA’s Contracts for Arts Services program would reduce comparable City of Atlanta funding to 10 percent of Charlotte’s level.”
According to a press release about the rally circulated by WonderRoot, nonprofit arts generate $274.8 million for the local economy and provide the equivalent of 8,211 full-time jobs.
“We are not looking for a handout,” said Flora Maria Garcia, CEO of Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition at the rally, “the arts is a huge industry in Atlanta.”
After the rally the artists moved inside to the City Council chamber for the Public Hearing for the 2012 Budget. Arts supporters voiced their concern about spending cuts to a mostly silent (and sleepy looking) city council, which included only five of the 16 members while I was there the first hour. Once the artists started to speak, the rest of the arts supporters in the chamber stood, some holding signs that read “Art Saves Lives,” and “Save Art in Atlanta.” At the end of each testimony of support for arts funding they remained standing silently waving their arms in the air in support of the message.
Some of the comments focused on Mayor Kasim Reed. Chris Appleton, co-founder and Executive Director of WonderRoot quoted from Mayor Reed’s 2010 Cultural Platform during his testimony, “I believe that $10 million is the minimum annual commitment we should be making [to the arts], and I would absolutely support it,” he read, before asking, “Where is the Mayor now?”
Watching how people felt such strong allegiance to particular characters made me think how lots of us want to identify ourselves with something larger than life — the same way sports fans have insane bonds to their favorite team. We really want to identify with these teams, the individual players, and our fellow fans. In the same way, there's a wrestling character for everyone — Stone Cold Steve Austin chugs beer and rides in on a 4-wheeler; The Undertaker is all dark and gloomy; The Rock is the peoples' guy. You pick your favorite and become part of that community and fan culture. You pay to see matches in person or watch it on Pay-Per-View; you buy the shirts and jerseys and hats; you pay to join the club. You buy into the brand. And clearly, the fans are getting something out of this whole transaction or there wouldn't have been 70,000 people crammed in the Dome last night.
Anyway, despite all this capitalism and brands and down-with-the-system mumbo jumbo, I know it's really all in fun. And sometimes in life it's best to just crack open a beer, turn off your higher brain, and watch these massive, ripped behemoths pummel each other into a pulp with folding metal chairs.
Award-winning choreographer and media artist Johan Bokaer presented two live performance pieces at Georgia Tech's Ferst Center on April 2. In "Replica" the artist examines memory loss, pattern recognition and perceptual faculties in relationship to space. "Filter" is the new work he created during his residency at ArTech.
More photos from Johan Bokaer's performance.
The artist collective Dodekapus put on the whimsy-themed show "I Can Dream All Day" at the Relapse Theatre Warehouse space. The show was described as "a wild and experimental journey through the land of dreams and nightmares with magical performances, pillow fights, mysterious potions, and extravagant displays of the imagination."
See more photos from the "I Can Dream All Day" show.
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