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Elevate! Art and Inspiration




Contemporary Art Happenings Will Transform Buildings, Parks, Sidewalks & Streets


“We are delighted to present Elevate, a contemporary art series designed to heighten the downtown Atlanta cultural experience,” states Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.  “Some of the artwork will be temporary, but a number of the large-scale paintings will be permanent aesthetic additions to the urban landscape. From witnessing the creative process of world-class graffiti artists including Hense and Push, to attending a spectacular gallery event, we invite you to join us October 19-27.  All activities are free and open to the public.”

Here’s an overview of Elevate 2012:

Friday, October 19 from 8-11 pm – Unveiling of “Banho de Luz” @ Carnegie Education Pavilion

This mixed-media installation and interactive video event features the art of Lillian Blades, Linda Costa and Roni Nicole Henderson. Musical entertainment will be provided by Yamin Semali.   A led light-studded, quilted drapery will enclose the pavilion and images will be projected in a unique photographic “light painting.” You’ll see the marble monument at the corner of Peachtree & Baker Street in a whole new way!


Saturday, October 20 from Noon-2 pm – Elevate Downtown 5K Run/Walk Artwork Tour

Tour includes map and will be guided by the national civic organization, Back On My Feet. Featured artworks on this day are by printmaker, Jessica Caldas.  Also on view are large scale Elevate sculptures by Randy Walker and Adrian Barzaga. This pedestrian friendly Art Tour begins and ends at the Trinity House-Big Bethel located at 21 Bell Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30303. Refreshments provided!


Monday, October 22 through Friday, October 26 from Noon-2 pm – Elevate Walking Art Tours

Led by the Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program, these tours will provide insights into the wealth of temporary and permanent public art in downtown. Bring your walking shoes and prepare to enjoy the fall weather while you learn about the amazing new artwork! Tours begin at Peachtree Center Plaza Courtyard. (10 blocks)


Wednesday, October 24 from 7-10 pm – The Imaginary Million Creative Tie Gala @ 200 Peachtree

The artwork of 100 artists will be on display in the 200 Peachtree Street Atrium – formerly Macy’s.  During the evening each of the 100 artists will bid on the work of his/her peers with $10,000 in “play” money in a free-wheeling, fun auction. At the end of the night, artists will take home the work they’ve won, even though no real money has been exchanged, only “the imaginary million.” Hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCAGa), Kennesaw State Museum and WonderRoot.


Thursday, October 25 from 6-8 pm – Elevate Evening Walking Art Tour

Led by the Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program, the tour will provide an overview of public art in downtown, as well as highlight artworks from Elevate. Experience what the city has to offer at night! Tours begin at the Peachtree Center Plaza Courtyard, loop around and end at the Carnegie Pavilion where you will experience the second evening of the “Banho De Luz” interactive “light painting” from 8-11 pm.


Friday, October 26 from Noon-6 pm – Elevate South Broad Mural Painting

See some of the world’s most interesting graffiti artists creating paintings on four South Broad Street building facades. Locations are in the 100 block of South Broad (near the intersection of Broad & Mitchell Street.) Artists Hense (Atlanta), Sever (Atlanta), Push (Los Angeles) and Born (Atlanta) have been commissioned to help breathe new life into this downtown Atlanta block. This is a unique opportunity for art students and art lovers! Bring your cameras and sketch pads and come be inspired.


Saturday, October 27 from 4-8 pm – Elevate South Broad Festival

Broad Street will be closed to vehicles in order to create a vibrant street party in view of the beautiful new murals. There will be several performances by renowned French choreographer Pierre Rigal and his hip-hop dance troupe, alternating with entertainment from the Atlanta Music Project. Food trucks and vendors will allow guests to shop and purchase delectable treats and unique items during the event.

Not only will the events of Elevate be free, entertaining and educational for the one week of activities in October, but the art series also serves to help in the ongoing process of refurbishing areas of downtown Atlanta.  Working in cooperation with groups like Hands on Atlanta and Central Atlanta Progress, the Office of Cultural Affairs is dedicated to their mission of presenting art and culture in a welcoming, safe environment.

Programming for Elevate is made possible by the Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) whose mission is to solidify the role that arts and cultural resources play in enhancing the social fabric and quality of life for Atlanta citizens and visitors.  The OCA creates and supports programs that educate and expose the public to a rich and diverse range of cultural expressions.  The OCA’s Public Art Program is charged with developing, administering and managing public art projects for the City of Atlanta and as such will oversee the artist commissions and events of Elevate. The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs is a division of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

Partners for Elevate include Central Atlanta Progress (CAP), Underground Atlanta, Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association (ADNA), the Atlanta Conventions and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) and France In Atlanta.


Rain and Fire in Sedona



Ange Alex

A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography. 

What to do, what to do.

Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!

The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.

When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold. 

We were about to become glass blowers! 

Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.

Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”

Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.

Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.

Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.

Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.

They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like  we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor. 

Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing! 

Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.

If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!

How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!

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Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando



Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.


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“20/20:Visionary”: Looking Back, Looking Forward



Photograph by Charlie McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

Last weekend (March 18-20) the Atlanta Ballet gifted the city with “20/20: Visionary,” three pieces, including a world premiere, presented at the Cobb Energy Center.

The world premiere, “Playground,” by British choreographer Douglas Lee, belied its name by being a shadowy piece danced between upright, rolling chalkboard set pieces. Prepared for a lighthearted, joyful expression of childhood, I was surprised that the work instead exposed the darker side of childhood memories. There were some light moments, such as the towering billboard inscribed with multiple lines reading, “Jackie must remember the steps” – clearly a humorous aside about Jackie Nash, one of the most capable company members and perhaps the quickest study in rehearsal. There were some easily-seen choreographic devices–a lot of theme and variation, even more pushing around of set pieces–but there were a few exceptional moments as well, including intricate, slow-motion manipulation of a dancer’s body by another dancer.

Pen-Yu Chen & Tara Lee in “Boiling Point.” Photo by C McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

The opening work, “Boiling Point,” by Darrell Grand Moultrie, was playfully performed at breakneck speed. Dancers are often told to “make it look easy,” and the company took that concept to heart. Highlighted against the men in black costumes, the women wore bits of metallic fabric, providing splashes of intense color and exposing powerful bodies with long muscles. The piece began with the stage space open almost to its fullest, and the dancers running across like a rushing river. They rolled, twisted, turned, and slid like water itself. The choreography juxtaposed synchronicity with counterpoint, traditional with innovation. There was a gargouillade, rarely seen even in classical ballets. The lines of the bodies were critical to the piece, and often layers deep. The flow was almost nonstop, with only an occasional flick of a wrist or toss of a head to provide momentary stasis. The standout was Christian Clark, who sometimes nearly managed to integrate himself into the group but then something distinctive and powerful in his dancing drew the eye to him again.

“Red Clay” from “Home in 7.” Photo by C McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

“Home in 7,” a work by Amy Siewert, closed the concert. A portrait of Atlanta, the ballet was a rich tapestry woven from music, spoken word, and movement. Performed in 7 segments to a libretto written and performed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and an intriguing, haunting string score composed and performed by Daniel Bernard Roumain, the dance, too, was a poem, shimmering like summer moonlight on the Chattahoochee. John Welker opened the ballet with tiny explosions of movement “Secrets.” Perhaps the most enchanting segment was “Home of the Braves:” 5 men using baseball imagery, holding their formation as they slid precisely between pitches and catches. “Red Clay” evoked August nights, intolerance, and redemption—Atlanta history, a story familiar to many. I first saw this ballet in 2011, and it has grown in depth as the dancers have matured technically and emotionally. Atlanta loves its ballet company, and never more than when it showcases its home city.

John McFall is ending his tenure with the company at the end of this season. For newcomers to Atlanta Ballet offerings, this will have been a dynamic performance. For long-time supporters, it will have been an opportunity to reflect on his legacy. There are a couple more opportunities to see the company under his watch, and then he will pass the torch to Gennadi Nedvigin, the company’s fourth artistic director. Stay tuned!

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