Annette Gates and Pandra Williams' exceptional joint show In Significance will remain on view through July 31. If you haven't yet visited Kiang Gallery to see the show, consider my finger shaken at you. Williams' installation "Radicis" is arresting in its tranquility, and Gates and Williams' collaborative piece "Paradox" is a three-dimensional romp through the circle of life. As CL visual arts critic Deanna Sirlin noted in her review last April:
Gates and Williams collaborated on "Paradox." Gates' small, stemmed greenish pods poke out from the wall and extrude from a shriveled pumpkin-like organ made by Williams. The work's title may refer to the renewal of life through death, as the seedy bits bearers of the next generation burst forth from the rotting vegetation.
In "Radicis," Williams hybridizes the natural world and the technological one. The installation combines handmade porcelain sculptures with laminated mulberry paper, 465 LED lights, solar panels and a battery bank. Giant roots seem to creep into the gallery from outside at ceiling height. Lotus-like porcelain forms glow internally, their lights pulsing at varying speeds emulating different human breathing patterns. Although Williams' work often reveals a grotesque side of the natural world, with depictions of nests or hives made of mud and other abject materials, "Radicis" is gently meditative and hypnotic.
Though he's best known for his three world championship reigns in 1999 and 2000 in Atlanta-based (and now defunct) World Championship Wrestling, Diamond Dallas Page has always been a man of the people. Though he hasn't been a fulltime wrestler since retiring from WWE in 2002, his new (and unlikely) role as a yogi and motivational fitness guru maintain a "regular guy" mentality. These days, his energy is focused on a series of self-help books, DVDs and seminars called Yoga for Regular Guys, which endorses a "90 percent" lifestyle far removed from the burnout of many pro wrestlers. As a result, YRG has turned many a common man (and woman) into weight-losing winners. With testimonials from the likes of Rob Zombie, Carnie Wilson and a disabled war veteran named Arthur, who lost 140 pounds in 10 months and can now walk without the use of crutches, Pages YRG program would seem to work wonders.
Having wrestled what he now says was his final match at Purks International Championship Wrestling in Cedartown, Ga., last January, earning a tag-team victory with Air Paris over The Butcher Bobby Hayes and Brian Alexander The Great (with a Diamond Cutter to Alexander), Page will be back in town this weekend for the Promolast Atlanta Reunion Fanfest to meet fans and promote YRG.
For those who arent familiar, explain where Yoga for Regular Guys began.
I became a professional wrestler at 35 and [injured my back] so badly at almost 43 years old that doctors told me my wrestling career was over. Thats where YRG began and I won three world championships after that. But thats not the payoff. The payoff is seeing someone like Arthur. Sure, Im a former world champion and a top athlete, but Im not a regular guy. Arthur is a regular guy on the completely opposite end of the spectrum. Arthur just wanted to get under 215 pounds so he could have his knees operated on and maybe walk again. Arthur never had the operation. He lost 100 pounds in the first six months. Those are The Biggest Loser numbers and he was working at that time 70 hours a week. Arthur shows that workout and proper nutrition can heal your body and anythings really possible if you have the right work ethic.
1) New Paintings, by David Humphrey and Holly Coulis, opens at Solomon Projects.
2) Craig Johnson discusses Junkyard Dogs at Decatur Library.
3) The Exotic Dancer National Championships kick off at Pink Pony South.
4) Carole King and James Taylor team up at the Gwinnett Center.
5) Pam Longobardi discusses her art and book, Drifters, at Sandler Hudson Gallery.
("Amplified" by David Humphrey)
Last night I went to see the inaugural The Seriously Funny Show Seriously, at Smiths Olde Bar. The show was put together by Atlanta comedians Justin Morgan and Jarrod Harris, and will now be at Smiths Olde Bar every Tuesday night in June at 9 p.m. Morgan explained that the show was put together to showcase some of the best local talent Atlantas comedy scene has to offer, and so while the room, set-up and number of comedians performing (eight) made it feel like an open-mic, it was anything but a painful-to-watch come try out comedy if you think youre funny type of show. As host, Morgan kept the room light and laughing in between sets. He pointed out that his mom was in the audience, and that he particularly enjoyed watching her shake her head with arms folded as another comedian made a joke about butt-fucking, because that ensured him that she had never done that.
Each of the comedians that took the stage had strong sets, displaying different styles and paces to their acts, but all unified in a common mission to create the alternative, avant-garde brand of comedy that characterizes Atlantas underground scene. All of the comedians material leaned on the dark side of culture, but was delivered in a playful and skillfully humorous enough way to let the audience feel comfortable laughing at normally touchy topics.
By Beth Malone, Co-Founder Dashboard Co-Op
Milton Bevington Sr. had flown to Paris to surprise his wife, Betsy, who had been on a monthlong European art expedition with 106 of Atlanta's most prominent artists, cultural activists, and political and civic leaders.
On June 3, 1962, Milton stood in the terminal at Orly Air Field watching as Betsys plane sped down the runway the couple never flew together, something she insisted upon after they had children. At takeoff, the planes trim motor failed. As the nose rotated to the sky, the body of the plane remained on the tarmac. Within seconds, jet fuel sprayed forth and the fuselage erupted into flames, killing 130 passengers, including Betsy.
Everyone in Atlanta was impacted, says the Bevingtons granddaughter Rickey, a radio host for Georgia Public Broadcasting. In seconds, people who volunteered their energy, passion and spirit to Atlantas art community were lost."
To honor those who died, Coca-Cola magnate Robert W. Woodruff donated millions to fund construction of the Woodruff Arts Center, now one of Atlantas most highly regarded art spaces.
My dad said that the greatest thing to come out of the Orly crash was the Woodruff Arts Center, says Rickey. Immediately following the accident, money and support flooded the city, but as time passed [there was] nothing.
While the tragedy gave rise to institutions such as the Woodruff, the loss of 106 of Atlantas most powerful art patrons has had a lasting impact on the citys cultural development. Forty-eight years after the crash at Orly, a prominent, consistent voice for the arts has failed to emerge at a legislative level in Atlanta, and Georgia, for that matter.
The mysterious street art duo, Paper Twins, have unveiled some pictures of their Beltline project, The Wanderers on Flickr. The pieces continue in their figurative wheatpaste style while developing their sculptural, installation ambitions to a new level.
The work is a fitting tribute to hobo culture, referencing recognizable icons like Woody Guthrie and graffiti legend Bozo Texino along with more contemporary allusions, like Tod Seelie's photography. As graffiti works like this piece by Born are being painted over to make room for tile mosaics and other projects, it's nice to the Paper Twins celebrating the rich culture of railroads, rather than covering it up.
Because the work is outdoors, you could visit anytime, but MINT Gallery (adjacent to the installation) is hosting a daytime party on Sun., June 6 for Cheap Paper's Solid Gold show inside the gallery and Paper Twins outside.
June is going to kick my ass in the best way. Between a month's worth of Art on the BeltLine performances and installations, and, like, everyone having a gallery opening, it's shaping up to be a deliciously exhausting month. The big kick-off: ARTLANTIS coming back to sing praise to the underground art gods on the stoop of Druid Hills Baptist Church on Saturday, June 5. Come get you some religion, son!
ARTLANTIS is a festival aimed at highlighting local bourgeoning artists and bands, organized by Atlanta emerging art champions Mark Basehore and James McConnell of Beep Beep Gallery. As a follow up to last year's inaugural event, the boys of Beep Beep are bringing their lowbrow sensibilities and penchant for throwing awesome parties to the corner of Ponce de Leon and North Highland. A full gallery show will offer affordable wares from artists like Plastic Aztecs, Evereman, CL cover artist Joe Tsambiras, and certified art cool kid R. Land - for starters. MINT Gallery, Eyedrum, Kibbee Gallery and WonderRoot will also be manning tents at the event with even more tasty treats for your visual consumption, and information about their organizations. Bottom line: if you're looking for a crash course in underground art in Atlanta (and a steamy summer block party while you're at it), this is the place to go.
Plus, there will be food and beer (next door at the Righteous Room.) Who doesn't like beer and food?
Even if you don't give a damn about art, come for the music; psychedelic darlings Carnivores will be there, along with other local favorites Abby Go Go, El Fossil, Mermaids, Buffalo Bangers, and more. And when the whole scene gets just too hip to deal with, Mule Skinner MacQueen will be on hand to take the edge off with his mountain dreamy folky greatness.
This summer appears to be all about showing love to the creative southern subterraneans and exalting the unsung art heroes - ARTLANTIS and Art on the BeltLine in June, Gather Atlanta (a conference that brings together movers and shakers from hubs of emerging creative endeavors like MINT Gallery, BurnAway, ThoughtMarker and WonderRoot) in July, and street art / urbanism conference Living Walls in August...to name just a few. The hot days are giving the creative set in this town a hyper-productive fever this year, and events like ARTLANTIS are giving them a much-needed platform for their fervor.
Want more? Scoot yourself to the ARTLANTIS blog.
ARTLANTIS Music & Arts Festival. June 5. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. Druid Hills Baptist Church, 1085 Ponce de Leon Ave. www.artlantisfestival.blogspot.com
Few comedies require their own blood recipes, but Actor's Express' Slasher calls for two. The week before opening, Slasher's production crew sampled two different blood types: a thin liquid that looks deliberately fake, and a thicker one that appears uncomfortably real.
"The thin blood is basically colored water. The thick mixture includes horse lubricant. Some theaters use food-based blood, but we wanted something more washable to keep the ants away," explains Freddie Ashley, Actor's Express' artistic director and director of Slasher.
Alison Moore's horror-comedy depicts an aspiring actress named Sheena (Annie York) who takes a leading role in a low-budget slasher film, only to see her real life turn increasingly terrifying. Actor's Express uses the fake-looking blood for the scenes on the set of the film-within-the-play Bloodbath, but the more realistic brew for the scenes of "actual" violence.
For all of Slasher's horrific theatrics, though, the play targets the audience's laughter more than its fear.
Similarly, Dad's Garage Theatre presents the world premiere of The Change: Another Teenage Werewolf Musical, also a horror-comedy strongly influenced by cinematic conventions. It, too, sneaks in some thoughtful content amid the monstrous antics.
(Photo courtesy Chris Ozment Photography)
If you attended any of the MondoHomo events this past weekend, you may have noticed an installation beginning to take shape in the back gallery. On May 27, Mikaela Sheldt moved her studio into Eyedrum for an exhibition she's calling 30 days. "I will work and create as if I were in the privacy of my studio, but I am leaving the doors wide open for the community to both experience and become a part of my process," she writes in an artist's statement on her blog.
The artist is using social media to document the process day by day and, so far, Sheldt has begun work on a rather massive painting, had her work space covered with chalk murals while she was out, and encouraged visitors to leave drawings or notes along a time line in the space. More unexpected events and insightful glimpses, one imagines, are on the way. You can keep up with the project on Wordpress, Facebook, and Youtube.
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