Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Da Vinci has left the building (well, almost)

Just a quick reminder…

Leonardo Da Vinci, Hand of the Genius is entering its final weekend at the High Museum of Art. The gallery has extended hours Friday-Sunday, including extended hours for Friday Jazz.

I’ll admit that, in all the time the exhibition has been in Atlanta, I haven’t had a chance to see it yet but I’m making time this weekend (along with half the city I’m sure). So, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, head on over to the High.

The Power Of Half

Today I had the good fortune to meet Atlanta author Kevin Salwen. Kevin has written a book called The Power Of Half. Kevin’s daughter Hannah noticed the disparity between the rich and poor in Atlanta and encouraged her family to DO something about it. They sold their house and gave half the money to charity.

Kevin’s book is about the changes that occurred from living this philosophy. Kevin encouraged me to give up half of something. He prefaced it by saying it’s not realistic for everyone to sell their house. However there is something we can give to someone else. Give up half of the time you watch TV. Give up half of the money you spend on coffee.

Kevin said the results of living this philosophy with his family have been more honestly, intimacy and trust. I’d say pretty good trade offs.

Kevin and Hannah are embarking on a nationwide book tour. They will also be at Barnes & Noble in Atlanta on February 3rd and February 8th at Georgia Center for the Book Auditorium in Decatur. Check their site for more details.

A little culture on the cheap

Female Portrait, 1949

Female Portrait, 1949

Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence. – Henri Matisse

Beginning Sunday, January 24, The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (OUMA) will be showcasing the first-ever North American exhibition of the Albert Skira Collection of Matisse work. Henri Matisse: A Celebration of French Poets and Poetry will showcase 16 etchings and 47 lithographs from a 1930-1932 series and a 1948 series, respectively. The exhibit will run through May 9, 2010 with an opening reception this Saturday night, January 23. Tickets are only $5 for the non-OU general public.

At that price, we can all afford a little culture.*

*I hope to regularly bring you fun, inexpensive things to do around the city because I know I can’t be the only one on a budget.

When a project comes along, you must Whip it.

The Beehive on Peachtree has been Atlanta’s premier location for locally-made apparel and products for the cool crowd since 2004.  But what if you want to create the “locally-made apparel” yourself?  What if you want to be the cooler kid who upstages the cool kids?

whipstitch-fabricsThen you visit Atlanta’s sewing lounge and in-town fabric store:  Whipstitch*.  Whipstitch is co-located with the Beehive and opened June 26.  There are classes for beginners, intermediates, and whatever you call advanced people without saying “advanced people.”  Experienced?

Featured recently on Good Day Atlanta, Whipstitch fabric and sewing lounge is where you should go if you tire of packing food and gassing up the SUV to go OTP.  It’s where you can get chic fabrics and learn how to piece them together into a usable medium.  All the while, you’re supporting local merchants and designers and decongesting the connector.

That’s what Devo would do.  And don’t we all want to be more like Devo?  I thought so.

*My wife totally owns Whipstitch.  But that doesn’t detract from its awesomeness even remotely.

David Sedaris @ Cobb Energy Center

The first time I saw David Sedaris do his thing was several years ago at Woodruff.

Scratch that.

The first time I paid attention to the name David Sedaris was when a girlfriend from work insisted I see him with her at Woodruff – I’d heard of him/heard him on NPR – telling me time and again in the days leading up to it what a talented writer he was, how hysterical he was and how much I’d love his snark. It was several years ago, after the bust but after all my gray hair arrived. 2003?

At the time I think Sedaris was pushing “Me Talk Pretty One Day” which is still my favorite of his works – bypassing Holidays on Ice, SantaLand Diaries (done regularly as a monologue production at Horizon Theaterr in L5P) , When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Barrel Fever and Dress Your Family in Corduroy in Denim by quite a stretch. Maybe it was my fantasies of living in Europe and horrifying people with stories that didn’t translate. Maybe it was the explicit stories about his brothers dogs and their unique bathroom habits. Either way, it’s still my favorite.

Rewinding though – back to 2003 or earlier – I went to the reading skeptical that I could be wow’ed but found myself chuckling. I was amazed by his wit and use of big words to tell funny, self deprecating stories, and enchanted by his tales spun with colors and character and brutal ruthless honesty charms and disarms. I was in love.

If you haven’t read his stuff, enjoy this link a friend left in my comments on facebook today when I twittered about going.

Go ahead. Read it. I’ll wait.

Done then? Did you LOL? For realz? Me too, and I’d read the story before.

Tonight at The Cobb (can I call it that? Makes it sound more fun than it is.) he had me squirming and chuckling and EWWWWWWWWWWWWing again. In fact, I think his goal tonight was to gross people out. I’ll give you a highlight: making butter from breast milk.

He read from his diary, breezed a few not-so-short shorts that aren’t in books (yet) and took a few questions from the audience. The first one he responded to was “why don’t you twitter” and I’m curious to know if that person was planted, and/or if it was someone I know.

All that to say it was good, that coming from me who is biased and really really likes him. Was it $30 good? Yup. Was it nearly $50 good after the pounding in the ass I got from Ticketmaster? Meh. For the experience and opportunity to have him sign a book, youbetcha. For having your seat kicked and being distracted (see also: ADD to begin with) extensively? Tough to say. Am I glad I went? Hells yes.

With regards to The Cobb, I have a few words of advice:
– Go to dinner before at Top Spice by Babies R Us (huge ups to one of my girls for suggesting)
– Walk from there to The Cobb and save yourself $5-10 for parking and the headache of getting out
– Don’t plan to check email, twitter or anything else once you’re in the theater, b/c it’s a dead zone. Especially a PITA if you’re planning to hookup with friends seated elsewhere
– If you’re a tall – or even “normal” sized man – please stay home. While there isn’t a bad seat in the house, there’s also no room for your legs, knees or feet. At one point last night I leaned over to one of the girls I was with and said “I have a Leatherman in my bag. Do you think it would be okay if I spiked his foot to the floor with my pliers? That was the 34th time he’s kicked my seat in 5 minutes.”

On a related note: I can only assume most of the people seated in our row and the rows in front of us grew up in a land without culture or common sense, since the event was only two hours and we had to stand a handful of times to let people in and out of the row. Really? REALLY? You didn’t go BEFORE the show? AYFKM? Then sit in the aisle and live with the repercussions of your inability to plan.

Who exactly would I work with to make it so these people and the people who arrived late are permanently banned from attending shows of any kind in Atlanta? One strike. We could gather their thumbprints or brand them. Whatcha think? Ticketmaster could probably handle that for us, right? I mean, as long as their already sodomizing us with golf clubs and stealin’ our lunch money…?

Cut From The City?

Maybe you heard the piece on NPR on Wednesday about pay cuts at the High Museum of Art? Here’s my short recap: “Everyone at the museum’s getting a small, 5-7% pay cut, with the worst of it given to martyr the head of the museum. Oh, except for some people who are taking a 100% pay cut or something. Whatever.”

But I’ll admit that I’m just bitter. My wife was one of the people laid off from the museum on Monday. The story, though, will be that the High brass bravely took pay cuts. [This is where I cut some honest criticism for the sake of politeness.]

Here’s what the actual NPR piece sounded like:

“Five percent for the majority of the staff, six percent for the [department directors], and seven percent for myself.”

eat. sleep. tweet. buy.

eat. sleep. tweet.

eat. sleep. tweet.

i thought i would take a moment in this space to give a shout out to a local entrepeneur i would like you all to get acquainted with. the guy, albert or @ialbert if you are a twitter nerd has taken his love of twitter and turned into an apparel business selling the original “eat. sleep. tweet.” t-shirt and other twitter themed apparel.

this author actually met albert last night at the atl tweet-up (and in interests of full disclosure he gave me and many others a free t-shirt) and i thought his stuff was cool enough to pass along. and since they are local and atlanta-based what better place to put it out.

you can check him out at

also check out the site for his parent company micah apparel where you can learn all about his very strong commitment to social responsibility and clean water.

hope you like. i know i did and am already loving my new eat. sleep. tweet. t-shirt.

Chins Up and Shirts On

Wear shirts? Like Atlanta? Then this is for you: We got word about a pick-me-up/benefit event happening tomorrow night (Saturday the 24th @ 225 Chester Avenue from 7pm-10pm) in the Cabbagetown/Reynoldstown borderlands, as part of the Southeast Bike! Bike! conference. Where exactly? Google Maps knows.

The party’s called Chin Up ATL. In their own words:

We’re looking for some positivity in Atlanta right now. So, teaming with SOPO, we’re getting together at the Bike! Bike! Conference to make some shirts that promote the good of our city. Jimmie Myers and Staci Janik have designed two different screens. There will be several colors to choose from. Lots of good people to be around. (I hear rumor there might be tall bike jousting?) There’s sure to be some going out afterwards . . . possibly in our new garb! So, let’s show Atlantans that there is still good here.

They’ll have about 50 American Apparel shirts on hand for you to buy and get screen-printed on the spot for $15. They may run out! So you can bring your own stuff, like shirts or skirts or socks, and get it screen-printed for $7 per screen.

All proceeds benefit the SOPO Bicycle Coop to aid in opening a new shop on the west side of town.

Check out the event’s Facebook page for details and comments.

What you probably don’t know about Irwin Street Market

I had the pleasure last week of spending an evening in the company of Jake Rothschild, the namesake and man behind the success of Jake’s Ice Cream, and now also the proud pappa of the Irwin Street Market. The market is located in the Old Fourth Ward on the corner of Irwin and Sampson Street, across from the well photographed and directional landmark water tower.

When you walk into the market you’re greeted by a large, industrial but cozy room. The exterior walls host a variety of vendors: to your right is Flower Bar, beyond that is a woman who sells handmade soaps and beauty products, beyond that is another room with art, books and my favorite clever greeting cards on a spinning rack (you need to go yourself to see). In the main room continuing counter clockwise is a cupcake maker, a fabulous cookie bar and beyond that a coffee bar. That brings you around to the left side of the room and its anchor businesses: Jake’s.

There’s another room to your left as you come in, hosting framed photography on the walls, comfy couches and more intimate lighting with two adjoining alcoves for privacy and conversation. Back in the main room, you’ll find couches, armchairs and the family table flanking retro ovens being used as displays for other locally made wares.

Admittedly, I didn’t know much about Jake or his business adventures, and while I had patronized the Irwin Street Market (lunch at Jake’s, flowers from Flower Bar for the housewarming, cupcakes from Button Cakes Bakery) I wasn’t entirely clear on what was happening in the space, and hadn’t given a lot of thought to the eclectic collection.

Friday night, I got the 411. Simply stated, it isn’t just the goal of the market, but the intent behind everything Jake does: to nurture and help local business grow. On the website for ISM, its declared as our neighborhood s urban artist market, and it is.

It’s an incubator for small business who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a storefront, who wouldn’t normally have the coaching and support of someone who has tried, stumbled, succeeded and found himself in the process.

As someone with a unquenchable passion for small business and a soft spot for “the little guy”, I’ll be undoubtedly be spending more time at the market. Bonus: free wifi and loads of comfy spots to sit without loud-not-my-taste music rattling your thoughts out of your head. Perfect for plotting about and noodling your own business dreams, which you can see to fruition right there at the Irwin Street Market.

Oh yeah, and remember that post several weeks back where I said that if I wasn’t so lazy I’d start a small local produce stand? Great minds think alike: keep an eye out for just that at Jake’s in the next couple of months.

Under the Big Top

Last night I was able to attend the premiere of Kooza, the latest Circque du Soleil offering under the yellow and blue striped big top at Atlantic Station.

Walking in and being greeted with flower bearing characters on stilts forces your mind to the place it should be: imagery and imagination and letting go of those pesky grown up thoughts that nag and plague us all.

As we waited for the doors to open so we might take our seats, we wandered about eying (and buying) schwag, opting out of the hours devours being passed by staff dressed in black and masks, and watching the “making of” and snippits from the show being projected on flat screens throughout the climate controlled (bless you, Cirque) tents that form the show compound.

The show itself wasn’t terribly unlike the only other Cirque show I’d been to: Allegria. I was particularly fond of the women who contorted themselves in ways that seemed impossible, but clearly wasn’t. Who should have snapped their spines, but didn’t. The music was different, the story was different, the set and the players were different, but what remained the same was the length the choreographers and performers go to when throwing themselves about on stage for our entertainment…and how well they did it.

At dinner before the show, we were asked twice if we were “going to the circus”. We laughed smugly, because a circus means the stench of elephant dung, droopy cotton candy, and a scary old dude in a top hat. In hindsight, we were wrong. The similarities are there if you’re able to see ’em: to awe the audience, to cause them to gasp, to allow them a place where they can let go of the world and its burdens, and to connect to a quieter more youthful mind. Sure, there were dirty jokes and innuendo that the children (kicking my chair) didn’t get, but the wee ones in my sight all sat on the edges of their chairs, just like I was.

If you have the opportunity to see the show during its run (Jan 2 – March 1), and can find loot in your budget for tickets (anywhere from $38 – 125), I recommend it wit a two wee caveats:
– Don’t bother trying to have dinner at Atlantic Station first unless you make reservations. The wait at Rosa Mexicana was 1hr 20min, and the service at Strip was hideous (there will be a Yelp posting about that, shortly)
– If ya gotta “go”, do it before you walk over. The loos are probably clean, but are those mini-building deals you have to walk up steps to get to that have four stalls per.

Footnote: many thanks to Dave Coustan for the comp tickets that allowed me to begin my new year the way it should: with the arts.

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