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Atlanta art

The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Alison Guillory / WABE

After years of symphony lockouts, tight budgets and bad press, it has finally been a good year for Atlanta's dominant arts organization in 2016. The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 

Last year, the ASO opened its season with a performance of Mahler's "Resurrection Symphony," but now, resurrection might be a better theme for the Woodruff Arts Center.

The Sandler Hudson Gallery

Maggie Davis creates beautiful, colorful, abstract multimedia works. Think large panels and canvases of texture and shape that seem to ask you to listen – listen to the painting, listen to yourself.

Auctioneers take bids for Laura Vela’s piece ''La Sagrada'' at The Imaginary Million.
Myke Johns / WABE

Works of art regularly go for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the auction block. Another sort of art auction just took place in Atlanta during which no money changed hands ... no real money, anyway.

It’s called The Imaginary Million, and was organized by the art organization WonderRoot.

Jason Travis

You’ve probably seen Barry Lee's bright illustrations in Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine, and on billboards and murals across the city. Artist Barry Lee recently visited WABE and spoke with "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes about his colorful and often humorous work.

Lee has been drawn to art from an early age.

"My dad bought me a Playskool easel, when I think I was about 3 years old. And I immediately became hooked on that," he said.

And now as an established artist, he finds people see past his appearance.

Myke Johns / WABE

Veterans returning home traumatized by war has been a societal concern throughout human history. One art exhibit now on display at Atlanta's Eyedrum gallery is taking a very personal look at the world many of our armed forces are returning home to.

The show is called "Left Out," and is a collaboration between husband-and-wife team Carlos Thompson and Morgan Carlisle. Carlisle is board chair at Eyedrum, and Thompson is a writer and veteran of the U.S. Army, with tours in Afghanistan and Haiti under his belt.

Myke Johns / WABE

Putting furniture on the curb — most of us have seen it, some of us have done it, and a few of us may have even picked up a well-worn coffee table or desk chair off the side of the road. Atlanta artist Lauren Michelle Peterson is exploring these objects left on the sidewalk in a solo show at the MINT Gallery, titled "on Going."

City Lights: A3C Festival; EXPOSED Dance; And More

Sep 22, 2016
Rob Carr / Associated Press

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Nicole Merkens

An exhibit now on view at the Mammal Gallery takes on a somber and unfortunately a highly relevant topic for metro Atlanta.

Curated by the Women’s Caucus for Art of Georgia, the exhibit features 57 artists’ works on sex and human trafficking. It’s entitled "46/21," representing the estimated 46 million people trafficked in the world in the 21st century.

Courtesy of Elisabeth Koch Millinery Ltd.

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Gabbie Watts / WABE

Perhaps you’ve seen artist Kyle Brooks’ work in a gallery, but more likely, you’ve seen it on the side of the road.

Reminiscent of Southern folk artists, his work features brightly colored animals and creatures he has imagined. And almost all of these critters have big eyes and smiles on their faces. Under his moniker BlackCatTips, he adorns the Atlanta landscape with his street poems and murals.

Scott Bauer, USDA ARS / Wikimedia

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of Bojana Ginn

Being invited to show artwork at Venice's Biennale would be considered a career highlight by many, and two Atlanta-based artists are among those holding that honor.

The bi-annual contemporary visual art and architecture exhibition opened among the canals and plazas of the Italian city in late May. The work of William Carpenter, architect and founder of design firm Lightroom, and sculptor Bojana Ginn, titled "Presence," is currently on exhibit at the famed event. 

Kevin Harry

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Gabbie Watts / WABE

While Joe Barry Carroll made a name for himself on the basketball court, he is now off the court and rebounded into in wealth management, philanthropy and the arts.

An artist himself, Carroll recently opened his home to seven artists for a four-week residency program, called the Carroll House. The artists from Germany, the United States, the Bahamas and Venezuela each had their own unit inside the house and access to the surrounding property to create their art.

Gabbie Watts / WABE

Much can be said of Howard Finster: he had holy visions throughout his life. He preached the word of God, until he found that painting it was more effective at spreading the message. He made over 46,000 pieces of art, arguably becoming the most well-known self-taught artist of the 20th century.

His most awe-inspiring work, Paradise Garden in Pennville, Georgia, is a compound of his artistic and holy vision. From the church that he moved onto the property to the pathway encrusted with objects to a painted Cadillac, every inch has something to find.

Artist Caroline Caldwell, in front of her mural-in-progress on Edgewood and Hilliard Avenue in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward
Joshua Gwyn / Living Walls

Atlanta's Living Walls went on a hiatus last year, and now, they are back.

The initiative is responsible for many murals around Atlanta. From 2010 to 2014, artists from around the world were invited to create public art on the streets of Atlanta. There was also a yearly conference on urbanism and street art. 

Living Walls' founder and executive director Monica Campana spent her year off in Philadelphia, working for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s huge public art project, Open Source.

Myke Johns

The Mona Lisa rendered in peanut butter and jelly ... Medusa drawn with spaghetti and marinara sauce ... portraits constructed from tons of garbage ... The works of artist Vik Muniz display a sense of humor at work that tends to take serious matters lightly and light matters very seriously.

“Humor is something I take very seriously," he says, "because it can be a really powerful strategy to make people think about what they’re looking at.”

Stephannie Lenox / WABE

Artist Bethany Collins is obsessed with words.

Her latest obsession, the word "blue," is explored in a new exhibit called “with the exception of the sky” currently on view at the Hudgens Center for the Arts through May 21.

After delving more into the history of "blue," Collins discovered more overtones to the word and color.

StoryCorps Atlanta

In December of 2015, after 25 years, acclaimed artist and scholar Dr. Arturo Lindsay retired from teaching at Spelman College. Fahamu Pecou first met Lindsay 20 years ago as a student and is now a renowned visual and performing artist himself.

In the StoryCorps Atlanta booth, Pecou was both amused and assured by his former advisor’s humble artistic beginnings.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

Kennesaw Exhibit Shows How AIDS Changed American Art

Feb 19, 2016
Courtesy of Tino Rodriguez

On the walls of the Zuckerman Museum of Art in Kennesaw, Atlanta artist Robert Sherer’s piece is innocent enough. It’s an illustration in red ink of someone picking some flowers -- the ornamental pink, red and white Sweet Williams -- and putting them in a basket.

Again, it’s in red ink.

“It’s made with HIV-positive and negative blood,” Sherer explained.

Artemus Jenkins

Artists often collaborate in creating new work, but one new Atlanta art gallery is getting artists to work together on the exhibition side of things as well.

The work hanging on the walls at Notch8 in the exhibit "What Did You Expect?" is bold, but an interesting thing happens when you put a group of the photographers behind it into a room together … they get pretty quiet.

Courtesy of Paper Ghost Studios

Looking for a last-minute Valentine's Day gift? You could spring for some chocolate or a giant teddy bear, but a local artist group is offering something a bit more personalized for your special someone.

Paper Ghost Studio, a sextet of artists working out of the Candler Park neighborhood, are creating individualized, hand-drawn valentines for visitors this weekend. The cards are free, though donations are appreciated.

In an exhibit at Andalusia Farms, Flannery O'Connor's fashion life is on display, including some of her mother's pattern books. Called "Flannery and Fashion at Mid-Century," the exhibit runs through Nov. 1.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Wylie

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Dana Haugaard with his sculpture and sound piece "No Here More Than Here" in his studio at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Myke Johns

Things are about to get considerably noisier at one Atlanta art gallery. This week, artist Dana Haugaard opens “No Here More Than Here,” a sound and sculptural installation at the Mint Gallery. 

In the exhibit, viewer's voices are amplified and used to vibrate a metal water table, creating ripples and patterns. It invites the audience to actually have a physical effect on the artwork.

John WIllhoff

There’s a lot going on around Atlanta this weekend, including the Southeast’s first stage production of "Calendar Girls" and a new season with the Atlanta Opera.

To learn more, host Amy Kiley recently spoke with Kimberly Harbrecht of Public Broadcasting Atlanta's arts and entertainment web site, Atlanta PlanIt.  They began by talking about the Monster Drawing Rally at the High Museum.

Jean Alexander

Atlanta-based artist Jean Alexander can't remember a time when she wasn't drawing or painting.

The University of Georgia alum is a freelance portrait artist who also does architectural illustrations.

A sample of her works can be found on her website.

Image copyright of the artist and courtesy of Gagosian Gallery and Jackson Fine Art

When photographer Sally Mann first published her series titled “Immediate Family” in the early '90s, it caused a stir in the art world. Her black-and-white photographs of her young children, often nude, were immediately praised, but also criticized by those who claimed the photos sexualized her children.

Fabian Williams (American, born 1975), Gossip, 2014, watercolor on paper, 8 × 10 inches. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with Antinori Fund, 2015.
High Museum of Art

Atlanta artists are once again on display at the High Museum of Art -- lots of them, in fact.

Courtesy of Mike Stasny

Atlanta artist and musician Mike Stasny has made monsters out of furniture and has turned a gallery into a bar.

“So my grandfather was a taxidermist, so when I was growing up playing with Legos and other things, I would play with his unfinished taxidermy projects,” he said. 

That gruesome and skeletal influence of the unfinished taxidermy animals can be seen in his monster sculptures, which are made out of whatever materials are available.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Buckhead resident Lisa Frank has lined the walls of her home with art. It’s art with a special meaning – it was all created by her late mother, Shirlee Frank.

Since Shirlee passed away, Lisa has become determined to share her mother’s vast body of work – including watercolors, etchings and, in particular, her intricately designed ceramic whistles.

It’s something Frank was unable to do while her mom was alive, as she tells us in this Atlanta Sounds.