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Column: Art center's spring schedule to include Nexus Award
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
April 17, 2013 05:34 PM | 2086 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
slideshow
The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center on Means Street in west Midtown has a busy spring schedule with two exhibits.

Starting Friday and running through June 15, the venerable 30,000-square-foot warehouse complex will showcase three contemporary artists starting with an opening reception Friday evening.

Shara Hughes and her “Don’t Tell Anyone But . . .” collection of paintings combined with elements of landscape, still life and figuration will share the spotlight with Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit and their “Olympic City” photography documentation of successes and failures, the remnants and ghosts of the Olympics.

Hughes’ works slide easily between abstraction and representation, using numerous paints and application techniques. She has also begun producing sculptures materializing the objects seen in her paintings.

Hustwit is an independent filmmaker based in New York and London. Pack is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose work has been exhibited in galleries in the U.S. and Europe. The two have collaborated to document structures, streets, signage and ephemera in cities including Athens, Barcelona, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Montreal, Lake Placid, Rome and Sarajevo.

Their images reveal the ways in which Olympic sites are absorbed into contemporary life and retrofitted for new uses or remaining as markers of past glories and celebrations. The highlight of the spring exhibit season at the center will be the Nexus Award ceremony May 7 honoring acclaimed Atlanta photographer Lucinda Bunnen.

“Lucinda was the unanimous choice for the 2013 award. She is a successful photographer, passionate collector and a generous patron of the arts and culture in Atlanta,” center Artistic Director Stuart Horodner said.

In response, Bunnen said, “It seems like yesterday when a small group of 13 photographers got together in 1973 and gave birth to the Nexus Photo Gallery. Over the past 40 years, I have continued to be involved with Atlanta’s widespread and vibrant arts organizations, many of which are now recognized nationally.”

The complex has housed the center since 1989 as a nonprofit, non-collecting institution dedicated to the creation, presentation and advancement of contemporary art by emerging and established artists. A renovation, a result of strategic planning by the center’s staff and board, will temporarily close the facilities from June 15 through Oct. 11.

The project will include major architectural updates and overall aesthetic enhancements to better serve constituents and increase visibility.

Tickets and information: (404) 688-1970 or visit www.thecontemporary.org.

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This will mark the 77th year for the annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park.

The Midtown site will centerpiece Atlanta’s springtime flowering Friday through Sunday with an exciting weekend of outdoor displays and happenings reflecting fine art, live music, cultural performances, food options, children’s programming and rides and even a dog disk competition.

It all starts with art. The artist market components include special sections featuring artists from across the country with juried best-of-year in a variety of media from oil painting to jewelry, sculpture and fiber. In the community center area, an Atlanta high school art exhibit will showcase winners from more than 600 entries as contestants vie for $40,000 in scholarships and prizes.

Entrance to the festival is free. Some areas and events are ticketed and donations are gladly accepted to support the nonprofit festival organization. Over the years the celebration of Atlanta’s springtime flowering in Piedmont Park has had different advocates, sponsors and coordinators.

It started in 1936 as a citywide festival instigated by Walter Rich, founder of the iconic Rich’s department store, as an international celebration of beautiful blooming Atlanta, and went on hiatus during World War II in the 1940s.

The festival was renewed by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce in the 1960s and was expanded to include parades, concerts, fashion shows, art exhibits, hot air balloon races and home tours as it stretched to a 30-day series.

In 1987 the Women’s Chamber helped found the civic and volunteer nonprofit Atlanta Dogwood Festival organization to compact the festival into a structured weekend event. Today the Dogwood is the longest-running public festival in metro Atlanta showcasing art, horticultural and environmental programs and celebrating the city’s springtime beauty.

Tickets and information: (404) 817-6642 or visit www.dogwood.org.

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The Sandy Springs-based Brain Tumor Foundation for Children has been helping kids with cancer for 30 years.

To celebrate the milestone, it will host this spring’s anniversary fundraiser, Flight of the Butterflies, Saturday at Summerour Studio on Bishop Street in west Midtown.

The lighthearted buffet dinner with social networking is timed on the eve of National Brain Tumor Awareness Month in May to bring attention to the nonprofit’s special programs. The foundation is the first line of support for families across Georgia with children suffering from brain and spinal cord tumors.

Programs are designed to facilitate networking where parents learn about their youngster’s disease and how to cope. Additionally, generous emergency financial assistance programs give relief to parents as they attempt to maintain the household on top of the potentially devastating financial consequences of their child’s life-threatening illness.

Tickets and information: (404) 252-4107 or visit www.braintumorkids.org.

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The Atlanta Humane Society’s No Ball at All is one of most unusual fundraisers on the Atlanta nonprofit scene.

Friday, patrons will celebrate their thrifty gift giving at the Buckhead home of Suzanne Mott Dansby.

The no-cost alternative fundraising idea was created in the early 1990s by innovative society members who wanted to discontinue expensive black-tie benefits and have all their gifts go directly to ongoing programs.

The novel No Ball at All has been a great success for one of the oldest private nonprofit animal welfare organizations in the nation. Donors celebrate with a springtime private party in a member’s home.

Those who have donated $350 or more since December will mix and mingle with like-spirited animal lovers for cocktails and light bites and review how their monies will support the society’s mission to prevent neglect, abuse, cruelty and exploitation of animals.

President William Shaheen said there is still time for others to join longtime supporters in the unique “direct” donation plan. Founded in 1873, the society began as a private nonprofit for the prevention of cruelty to women, children and animals.

Today the pet rescue and animal welfare organization offers a wide spectrum of animal services on two campuses, in Atlanta and Alpharetta, including: supervised adoptions, a veterinary clinic, low-cost spray/neuter surgeries, emergency animal rescue, foster care and animal obedience classes.

The society does not receive funding from any government or national organization. All services and programs are supported solely by volunteers and private donations.

Invitations and information: (404) 974-2828 or visit www.atlantahumane.org.

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The Atlanta International School will host Passport to Thailand, its spring benefit, Saturday on the school’s historic Buckhead campus on North Fulton Drive.

Every spring the school reaches out and invites the greater community to share and enjoy the international connections and raise funds for financial aid scholarships, faculty development programs and the continued preservation of the historic campus.

Created to showcase the international elements of the bilingual curriculum, the evening will present a unique Thai experience with a seated dinner, dancing, entertainment and live and silent auctions. A volunteer parent committee is coordinating the fundraiser.

Founded in 1984 by a group of Northside parents, international educators and members of the business community whose aim was to provide the Atlanta area with international educational opportunities, the school has had several locations.

In 1995, under a long-term agreement with the Atlanta Board of Education, the school moved its campus to the current location. It is the former North Fulton High School site designed by renowned Atlanta architect Philip Trammell Shutze. Renovations to the campus have retained the historical and architectural integrity of the building.

As the innovator of a global curriculum for future leaders, the school offers a program of academic excellence to American and international students, beginning with kindergarten for children as young as 3 and culminating in grade 12 with the prestigious International Baccalaureate Programme diploma.

Tickets and information: (404) 841-3895 or visit www.aischool.org.

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Pianist Benjamin Rollings, winner of the 2012 Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta scholarship competition, will be presented in concert Sunday at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead.

The free public presentation is hosted by the society to showcase its annual scholarship program for talented classical musicians. Donations to the fund are accepted at the concert.

Rollings started his music studies in Alabama when just 6 years old. At 13 he started lessons with Jerry Alan Bush at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. In his senior year at the college, he was awarded the prestigious Theodora Presser Scholarship to graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of music degree in piano performance.

He has placed first in several competitions over the past few years and received a graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Georgia and is currently a student of Martha Thomas. Since 1964, the society’s mission has been to foster classical music education and interest in the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other composers through the presentation of free public concerts and events to nurture the talents of young musicians.

It hosts an annual competition for promising young musicians to receive a $4,000 scholarship to study at the Summer Academy of Mozarteum Institute in Salzburg, Austria.

Information: (678) 488-3591 or visit www.mozartatlanta.com.

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“Southern Elegance” will be the theme for this year’s Swan House Ball April 27 at the Atlanta History Center on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead.

Centered at the historic 1928 Swan House mansion, arguably Atlanta’s most photographed landmark, the event will epitomize the elegance of days gone by as it raises funds to support the center’s operations and educational activities.

Honorees for the 2013 ball are the family of Jackie and Tony Montag. The Montags and their four children are pillars of the Atlanta community with dedicated involvement for many years in numerous organizations, including the center. The stately mansion designed by noted architect Philip Trammell Shutze and built for the Edward H. Inman family will be aglow during cocktails as guests take the garden pathway to the Grand Overlook Ballroom in the center for dinner and dancing.

Barbara Joiner is chairing the 2013 benefit. Host committee co-chairs are Elizabeth and Carl Allen, Spring and Tom Asher and Eileen and Bo DuBose. Patron co-chairs are Aimee and Tom Chubb, Lila and Doug Hertz and Amy and Allen Nelson.

The center was founded in 1926 and has grown into an all-inclusive, 33-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, one of the Southeast’s largest history museums; two historic houses, the Swan House and the 1860 Tullie Smith Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; six historic gardens; the Kenan Research Center; the Grand Overlook event space; Chick-fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café and a museum shop.

In addition, the center operates the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown with a 2-acre campus and museum.

Tickets and information: (404) 814-4102 or visit www.AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/swanhouseball (information only).

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The annual Nine at Night twilight golf tournament April 27 at the North Fulton Golf Course at Chastain Park will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The signature event is hosted by the neighborhood-oriented nonprofit Chastain/Tuxedo Park Friends volunteer group, with all proceeds this year going to the Sibley Heart Center at Children’s. The fun evening is centered on a twilight round of golf played with glow-in-the-dark balls and includes hole-in-one, closest-to-the-pin and putting contests.

Guests will enjoy an al fresco dinner, drinks, non-golf related contests, a silent auction and live music by Yacht Rock Schooner.

“This is a popular event among the Chastain and Buckhead communities to enjoy the extraordinary public park facilities and support Children’s Healthcare,” said Masami Middleton, who co-chairs the Chastain/Tuxedo Park Friends group with Melissa Ginsberg. “Guests can register and buy a ticket for the golf tournament, which provides full party access, or simply a party ticket to participate in festivities while golfers are on the course.”

Friends group member Moira Denton is managing the event. Chastain Park is a historic city of Atlanta, 260-acre greenspace designed to be a world-class park with state-of-the-art recreational facilities. Its 1940s heyday horse park, pool, golf course, tennis center and amphitheatre have been expanded to serve thousands of people every year as one of the largest and most diverse of greater Atlanta’s public parks.

Ranked as one of the largest clinical-care providers for children in the country, the nonprofit Children’s organization encompasses three hospitals and 17 neighborhood locations in metro Atlanta, and is committed to enhancing the lives of kids through excellence in patient care, research and education.

Tickets and information: (404) 785-7316 or visit www.nineatnight.com.

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Good news for bargain hunters: A first-time community yard sale April 27 at the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Complex on Vernon Woods Drive in Sandy Springs will be hosted by Friends of Benson seniors to support programs at the Fulton County facility.

Heralded as an outdoor day of fun and bargain hunting, the special shopping opportunity will be passed along to enrich senior experiences at Benson. Planned as a community yard sale, table areas located in the Adult Day parking lot will be rented to early-bird vendors where they will offer small-scale used household and yard items for sale to the public.

Refreshments will be available for purchase in the Benson Center dining area. Shoppers are invited from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and can park their cars free at either the back lot of the Benson complex or at Walgreens on the corner of Roswell Road and Vernon Woods Drive.

This is an opportunity to find great buys while the rental fees will go to boost the senior programs at the facility. The nonprofit Friends of Benson is a volunteer group of seniors who raise funds to enhance the services at the complex.

Information: (404) 613-4900 or visit www.bensoncenter.org.
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