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Best of Atlanta 2008 Poets Artists and Madmen

 

Best Of Atlanta 2008 Poets Madmen Large


Poets, Artists & Madmen

Atlanta artists fight the good fight. In the past year they've responded to the national call for public art in A (new) Genre Landscape, crossed cultural divides with the Atlanta Ballet's big and remained committed to the cause of a Tony Award-caliber theater scene at the Alliance. Never ones to sit idly by, our poets, artists and madmen are always looking to the future, ready to rethink tradition. Denise Lira-Ratinoff's obscure and wondrous photography exhibit in a 16th Street loading dock; Haverty Marionettes' sublime performance of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying; and the Plaza Theatre's transformation from movie house to arts and entertainment center all illuminate a community never satisfied with the status quo. The high level of participation in Best of Atlanta voting and official CL exit polls reveals a diverse support base for the arts that insists on having its voice heard. And thank goodness for that, because otherwise the terrorists would win.

– Debbie Michaud

Best Art Event BOA Award Winner

At First Sight II
We were blown away by the chutzpah of Denise Lira-Ratinoff's AT FIRST SIGHT II – a series of light boxes and videos displayed not in a pristine white-walled commercial space, or some too-hip-for-words underground grotto, but in a loading dock off 16th Street in Midtown. The one-night affairmore...
We were blown away by the chutzpah of Denise Lira-Ratinoff's AT FIRST SIGHT II – a series of light boxes and videos displayed not in a pristine white-walled commercial space, or some too-hip-for-words underground grotto, but in a loading dock off 16th Street in Midtown. The one-night affair was appropriately chilly for Lira-Ratinoff's photographs depicting the vanishing glaciers of the far, far south – Patagonia, to be exact – in stunning, ephemeral beauty. Engulfing darkness and a haunting soundscape completed the mood. Chances are you missed it; most did. But we wish others would follow Lira-Ratinoff's lead and create small pockets of magic here, there and everywhere. www.openmade.com. less...

Best Established Visual Artist BOA Award Winner

Rocio Rodriguez

Best Local Male Actor BOA Award Winner

Chris Kayser
CHRIS KAYSER has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Atlanta's finest leading men, giving a particularly memorable performance in Actor's Express' enigmatic Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) in 2007. He affirmed the depth and flexibility of his craft with two shows in 2008. In the Alliance Theatre's Eurydice,more...
CHRIS KAYSER has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Atlanta's finest leading men, giving a particularly memorable performance in Actor's Express' enigmatic Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) in 2007. He affirmed the depth and flexibility of his craft with two shows in 2008. In the Alliance Theatre's Eurydice, he offered a heartbreaking portrayal of a father who wouldn't let a little thing like being dead get in the way of his love for his daughter. Kayser offered some of the most implosive work of his career in Georgia Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice as the despised moneylender Shylock. One of Shakespeare's most problematic roles, Kayser played the character not as a vengeful villain but as an intelligent man twisted by a lifetime of anti-Semitism in Venice, with his sadistic behavior emerging as a misguided act of defiance. With work like that, what will he do for an encore? atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/eurydice/Content?oid=453632. less...

Best Local Online Visual Arts Writing BOA Award Winner

Jerry Cullum
JERRY CULLUM started dropping poetic science about art at his blog Counterforces and Other Little Jokes last year. Cullum beats back the darkness of art ignorance, unafraid to weave Olafur Eliasson, YouTube and the Finno-Ugric artists of Estonia into a continuous tapestry of art-savvy ruminations. We'remore...
JERRY CULLUM started dropping poetic science about art at his blog Counterforces and Other Little Jokes last year. Cullum beats back the darkness of art ignorance, unafraid to weave Olafur Eliasson, YouTube and the Finno-Ugric artists of Estonia into a continuous tapestry of art-savvy ruminations. We're glad someone with his feet so firmly planted in the art community and his head so clearly reaching for the intellectual stratosphere has given himself a place to talk back. And a place where anyone can listen in. counterforces.blogspot.com. less...

Best Artist on the Brink of World Domination BOA Award Winner

Jiha Moon
Down here south of the 35th parallel, there's no shortage of peach-related imagery. But no one's quite got the angle on it like painter JIHA MOON. The Korea-born Atlantan not only brings out the erotic side of Georgia's favorite fruit, but throws in Microsoft butterflies, toxic clouds, surreal kimonosmore...
Down here south of the 35th parallel, there's no shortage of peach-related imagery. But no one's quite got the angle on it like painter JIHA MOON. The Korea-born Atlantan not only brings out the erotic side of Georgia's favorite fruit, but throws in Microsoft butterflies, toxic clouds, surreal kimonos and airborne tree limbs swirling in the fantasy space of a postmodern Hokusai purgatory. Art spaces around the country – from Moti Hasson Gallery in New York to Houston's Museum of Fine Arts – have taken notice, and Atlanta's Saltworks Gallery made sure to bring Moon to a hometown crowd. We're sure it won't be long before she's orbiting around the rest of us mere mortals high in the art stratosphere. www.jihamoon.com. less...

Best Emerging Visual Artist BOA Award Winner

Cullen Washington Jr.

Best Opening BOA Award Winner

Something Like a Fahamenon

Best Public Art Wrangling BOA Award Winner

A (New) Genre Landscape
Thank goodness artist and curator Stuart Keeler hightailed it out of cold Chicago to land squarely in the center of Atlanta's fitful and fractious public art scene. The sweeping vision of his public art project A (NEW) GENRE LANDSCAPE allowed the city to get a better view of underexposed artists suchmore...
Thank goodness artist and curator Stuart Keeler hightailed it out of cold Chicago to land squarely in the center of Atlanta's fitful and fractious public art scene. The sweeping vision of his public art project A (NEW) GENRE LANDSCAPE allowed the city to get a better view of underexposed artists such as Ruth Stanford, Craig Dongoski and Michael Reese by putting their temporary, community-based works (and the work of 14 other artists) in 12 of Atlanta's parks and green spaces. Not that Keeler and the artists were in it alone. The city's support in the form of administrators Eddie Granderson and Rob Witherspoon, along with a modest sum of cash, helped to wrench Atlanta into the 21st-century public-art dialogue. www.ocaatlanta.com. less...

Best Theater BOA Award Winner

As Atlanta's largest playhouse, the ALLIANCE THEATRE usually commands such big audiences and so many resources, it doesn't seem to need a boost from anywhere else. For the 2007-08 season, however, the Alliance refused to rest on such laurels as its 2007 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre, and offeredmore...
As Atlanta's largest playhouse, the ALLIANCE THEATRE usually commands such big audiences and so many resources, it doesn't seem to need a boost from anywhere else. For the 2007-08 season, however, the Alliance refused to rest on such laurels as its 2007 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre, and offered one of its most ambitious and satisfying slates in memory. Highlights included the luminous cabaret-style revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, the revisionist take on Greek mythology Eurydice, and artistic director Susan V. Booth's charged production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Doubt. Musicals such as The Women of Brewster Place and Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies offered plenty of flash, while the world premiere of In the Red and Brown Water turned out to be the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition's best discovery yet. The 2008-09 season looks to be even more eventful. less...

Best Art Exhibit in a Museum BOA Award Winner

CINEMA REMIXED AND RELOADED at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art did pretty much everything right. The massive, two-part exhibit brought together a frequently overlooked set of artists – black women working in film, video and other time-based media – and finally offered the perspectivemore...
CINEMA REMIXED AND RELOADED at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art did pretty much everything right. The massive, two-part exhibit brought together a frequently overlooked set of artists – black women working in film, video and other time-based media – and finally offered the perspective and critical analysis that's been due since about the early '80s. In a curatorial tour de force, director Andrea Barnwell Brownlee and Valerie Cassell Oliver (of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston) brought together Wangechi Mutu, Lorna Simpson, Xaviera Simmons and two dozen other artists who'd never shown together before. Excellently installed and smartly presented, Cinema Remixed was a show of national importance, and we're glad we had it in our own back yard. less...

Best Book by a Local Author BOA Award Winner

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

Best Film Festival BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Film Festival
For sheer variety, quantity and quality of films, the 32-year-old ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL still belongs on the top of the bill of local movie-related events. Parent organization the IMAGE Film & Video Center recently renamed itself Atlanta Film Festival 365 and has shown some welcome stability under executivemore...
For sheer variety, quantity and quality of films, the 32-year-old ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL still belongs on the top of the bill of local movie-related events. Parent organization the IMAGE Film & Video Center recently renamed itself Atlanta Film Festival 365 and has shown some welcome stability under executive director Gabe Wardell and festival director Dan Krovich. Plus, its springtime schedule and convenient central location at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema put Atlanta's best, most welcoming face forward in between screening times. less...

Best Gallery Spotlighting Local Artists BOA Award Winner

Inside a converted carriage house on Edgewood, Susan Bridges' Inman Park gallery WHITESPACE has been supporting and showcasing local talent since its inception in October 2006, and we felt it was high time to make note. In the past 12 months, Mehmet Dogu's Gallery Light Rug, John Otte's Seen | Unseenmore...
Inside a converted carriage house on Edgewood, Susan Bridges' Inman Park gallery WHITESPACE has been supporting and showcasing local talent since its inception in October 2006, and we felt it was high time to make note. In the past 12 months, Mehmet Dogu's Gallery Light Rug, John Otte's Seen | Unseen and Fereydoon Family's Stepping Blind have been outstanding contributions to the local art scene. We love the gallery's thoughtful presentation and abundant respect for these lesser-known artists with big minds and big ambitions. less...

Best Local Actor with a National Platform BOA Award Winner

Jack McBrayer

Best Local Female Actor BOA Award Winner

Courtney Patterson

Best Locally Produced TV Show BOA Award Winner

"This Is Atlanta with Alicia Steele"

Best Local Performing Monsters BOA Award Winner

Zombies
What does it say about the Atlanta area that ZOMBIES have become such popular subjects for the arts? The past year saw the national release of the Atlanta-filmed horror flick The Signal, in which a mysterious transmission turns couch potatoes into violent lunatics (not technically zombies, but closemore...
What does it say about the Atlanta area that ZOMBIES have become such popular subjects for the arts? The past year saw the national release of the Atlanta-filmed horror flick The Signal, in which a mysterious transmission turns couch potatoes into violent lunatics (not technically zombies, but close enough). Dad's Garage Theatre produced the world premiere of the stage musical Song of the Living Dead, featuring musical numbers about brain-eating undead ghouls; and zombies crashed a prom in the high school horror-comedy Dance of the Dead filmed in Rome, Ga., and due on DVD in October. Maybe no one who's ever driven in local traffic would be surprised at the proliferation of creatures that embody both mindlessness and rage. At least they're appearing in creative examples of mindless rage. less...

DARK HORSE: Best Gallery Best Poised for a Sneak Attack BOA Award Winner

With or without the Beijing Olympics, all eyes in the post-American century are destined to turn to China. KIANG GALLERY, with its wide and deep commitment to art by Chinese artists, is bound to be where it's at in the next decade. While some of the names on the Kiang roster are likely to be unknownmore...
With or without the Beijing Olympics, all eyes in the post-American century are destined to turn to China. KIANG GALLERY, with its wide and deep commitment to art by Chinese artists, is bound to be where it's at in the next decade. While some of the names on the Kiang roster are likely to be unknown locally, many are beginning to register seismically on the international scene. We're paying special attention to Danwen Xing, Sze Tsung Leong and relative newcomer Fang Er. Kiang's smart installations and remarkable curatorial eye are just what the Dirty South needs to take a virtual trip to the Dirty East. So long, New York! Cheerio, London! Next stop for the art world: Beijing. less...

Best Advocate for the Arts BOA Award Winner

Lisa Cremin
When it comes to standing up for the arts in Atlanta, the key is putting your money where your mouth is. No one is in a better position to do that than LISA CREMIN, founding director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. Supporters cite her uncanny ability to target specific needs among specific artsmore...
When it comes to standing up for the arts in Atlanta, the key is putting your money where your mouth is. No one is in a better position to do that than LISA CREMIN, founding director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. Supporters cite her uncanny ability to target specific needs among specific arts organizations – more often in the small to midsize range – to prevent an arts community polarized into the haves and the have-nots. The feather in the cap: As a board member of the national Grantmakers in the Arts, Cremin was instrumental in helping bring the organization's annual convention to Atlanta in mid-October. Throw in MAAF's doling out $4.1 million to more than 60 Atlanta arts groups, and you have a true advocate for the arts. www.metroatlantaartsfund.org. less...

Best Changing of the Guard BOA Award Winner

Though we'll miss former Spruill Art Center exhibitions director Julia Fenton, we're excited to ring in the reign HOPE COHN. We love that she pulled together last spring's Breaking New Ground in a matter of weeks, assembling artists and ideas at a moment's notice, even having a new room built onto themore...
Though we'll miss former Spruill Art Center exhibitions director Julia Fenton, we're excited to ring in the reign HOPE COHN. We love that she pulled together last spring's Breaking New Ground in a matter of weeks, assembling artists and ideas at a moment's notice, even having a new room built onto the facility to house some of the works. We're also looking forward to the construction due to begin on Cohn's watch, which will expand the organization's facilities by several thousand square feet. These are exciting times for the out-of-the-way space. And no, we didn't miss the apt symbolism of Sarah Emerson's new mural gracing the gallery grounds – a cresting wave in a bright sea. less...

Best Film Series BOA Award Winner

Splatter Cinema

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kajjers/2461078958/
More so than the average big Southern city, we've shown an increasing appreciation for the slasher movie, where buckets of blood bring bundles of entertainment. SPLATTER CINEMA recognizes the allure of gore, which makes the occasional film series so vital to the cultural scene. And these ain't just any movies from back in the day: Splatter goes after original and spruced-up 35 mm prints of such classics as Demons, I Drink Your Blood, Suspiria and The Thing, educating younger audiences while offering a stiff dose of nostalgia for the old school. www.myspace.com/splattercinema.

Best Passing of the Poet Gene BOA Award Winner

Theresa Davis
There's no shortage of appreciation for Alice Lovelace in Atlanta. She first made her mark on the city in the '70s and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Writers' Association. Following in her footsteps as an arts and human rights advocate through poetry, Lovelace's daughter THERESAmore...
There's no shortage of appreciation for Alice Lovelace in Atlanta. She first made her mark on the city in the '70s and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Writers' Association. Following in her footsteps as an arts and human rights advocate through poetry, Lovelace's daughter THERESA DAVIS is also making a name for herself. A socially aware poet who's also part of the party circuit, Davis is in demand at poetry slams, spoken-word nights and as an MC for community-awareness gatherings such as Eyedrum's Concrete Pandemonium. Thanks to Lovelace and Davis, the Atlanta poetry scene's become a family affair. www.theresa-davis.com. less...

Best Theatrical Closing BOA Award Winner

Peachtree Battle
It's difficult to envision an Atlanta theater scene without PEACHTREE BATTLE in it. Premiering Sept. 7, 2001, the comedy about a Buckhead socialite's son getting hitched to a Hooters waitress became the longest-running play in Atlanta history, leaving Driving Miss Daisy in the dust over a total of sevenmore...
It's difficult to envision an Atlanta theater scene without PEACHTREE BATTLE in it. Premiering Sept. 7, 2001, the comedy about a Buckhead socialite's son getting hitched to a Hooters waitress became the longest-running play in Atlanta history, leaving Driving Miss Daisy in the dust over a total of seven years, 44 extensions and more than 120,000 patrons at the Ansley Park Playhouse. Having established such a successful, frequently updated crowd-pleaser, playwrights John Gibson and Anthony Morris retired the show earlier this month to focus on the potential big-screen version, as well as their long-awaited next show, A Sunday Afternoon at Loehmann's. After the battle, they deserve a salute. www.peachtreebattle.net. less...

Best Local Filmmaker BOA Award Winner

Rainforest Films
Giving Tyler Perry all due respect as a phenomenally successful filmmaker, king of all media and coveted employer, is it too much to ask that his films be better? Atlanta-based RAINFOREST FILMS beat Tyler Perry at his own game with This Christmas, an African-American family story with a terrific castmore...
Giving Tyler Perry all due respect as a phenomenally successful filmmaker, king of all media and coveted employer, is it too much to ask that his films be better? Atlanta-based RAINFOREST FILMS beat Tyler Perry at his own game with This Christmas, an African-American family story with a terrific cast (including Delroy Lindo, Regina King and Idris Elba) and an agreeable moral message that avoided preaching at its audience. Director Rob Hardy and producer Will Packer founded Rainforest Films in 1994. It's grown beyond the early days of guerilla marketing and low-budget erotic thrillers such as Trois to produce recent success stories such as The Gospel and Stomp the Yard. less...

Best Place to Hear Spoken Word BOA Award Winner

Some are quibbling that Atlanta's poetry scene is dead. They must not have checked the vibe at JAVA MONKEY lately. Special slams held on the patio at the convenient price of free (donations widely smiled upon) and poetry nights every Sunday give this spot a name among Atlanta's elite artists of the word.more...
Some are quibbling that Atlanta's poetry scene is dead. They must not have checked the vibe at JAVA MONKEY lately. Special slams held on the patio at the convenient price of free (donations widely smiled upon) and poetry nights every Sunday give this spot a name among Atlanta's elite artists of the word. Audiences can be heard snapping, clapping and laughing from a block away, even amid downtown Decatur's busy nightlife. less...

Best Place to See a Movie BOA Award Winner

Starlight Six Drive-In
What better way to celebrate the nation's 75th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater than to honor the STARLIGHT SIX DRIVE-IN? Once considered a dinosaur, the drive-in has undergone a mild renaissance in recent years as fans have grown weary of overpriced tickets, mall parking and smaller screens.more...
What better way to celebrate the nation's 75th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater than to honor the STARLIGHT SIX DRIVE-IN? Once considered a dinosaur, the drive-in has undergone a mild renaissance in recent years as fans have grown weary of overpriced tickets, mall parking and smaller screens. The Starlight not only alleviates all of these headaches, but also offers a variety of movie-watching opportunities, best exemplified in the summer-standout events Monster Bash and Drive-Invasion. While we fret that increasing gas prices might make film fans retreat to their home-entertainment systems and Netflix subscriptions, we have faith that we'll never, as Danny Zucco once lamented, feel stranded at the drive-in. less...

Best Theater Premiere BOA Award Winner

As I Lay Dying
For sheer gonzo creativity, combined with an impressive grounding in American literature and Southern culture, AS I LAY DYING revealed a more fertile imagination than any 10 other stage plays. The inaugural production of Haverty Marionettes, Michael Haverty's puppet-based adaptation of William Faulkner'smore...
For sheer gonzo creativity, combined with an impressive grounding in American literature and Southern culture, AS I LAY DYING revealed a more fertile imagination than any 10 other stage plays. The inaugural production of Haverty Marionettes, Michael Haverty's puppet-based adaptation of William Faulkner's classic novel drew influences from sources as diverse as folk art, carnival games and old-timey music. As I Lay Dying offered a unique prism for reviewing Faulkner's stream-of-consciousness tale of 1930s Mississippi, and established Haverty Marionettes as an intriguing company to watch in the future. www.havertymarionettes.org. less...

Best Theatrical Eulogy BOA Award Winner

A Song for Coretta
When Atlanta playwright/novelist Pearl Cleage paid theatrical tribute to the late Coretta Scott King, she chose to focus on the Civil Rights leader's legacy rather than the details of her life. Cleage's play A SONG FOR CORETTA, staged last winter at 7 Stages, presented five African-American women standingmore...
When Atlanta playwright/novelist Pearl Cleage paid theatrical tribute to the late Coretta Scott King, she chose to focus on the Civil Rights leader's legacy rather than the details of her life. Cleage's play A SONG FOR CORETTA, staged last winter at 7 Stages, presented five African-American women standing in line outside Ebenezer Baptist Church to pay their final respects to King. Their subsequent conversation and conflicts shed light on the successes of the Civil Rights Movement as well as its unfinished business, and made A Song for Coretta far more thoughtful and knotty than the kind of safe, standard biographical drama we could have expected. www.pearlcleage.net. less...

Best Use of a Screen BOA Award Winner

PLAZA THEATRE co-owners Jonathan and Gayle Rej often find themselves squeezed out of the market when it comes to booking current top-notch indie films. So in a brilliant case of lemons to lemonade, the owners have turned the Plaza into a multidisciplinary pop-culture facility. There's the Silver Screammore...
PLAZA THEATRE co-owners Jonathan and Gayle Rej often find themselves squeezed out of the market when it comes to booking current top-notch indie films. So in a brilliant case of lemons to lemonade, the owners have turned the Plaza into a multidisciplinary pop-culture facility. There's the Silver Scream Spook Show, with campy performances announcing monster/sci-fi thrillers; the Art and Movie Series, with local artists exhibiting works tied to film screenings; Summer Camp, with special screenings of cult classics such as Xanadu; and special events like hosting actor Crispin Glover and his new movie It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE last August. In doing so, the Plaza remains the hippest and most diverse movie theater in town. less...

FAVORITE SON: Best Dance Performance BOA Award Winner

big
Before it even hit the stage, the Atlanta Ballet's season-closing production of big, featuring OutKast's Big Boi, was the subject of a New York Times article. But you don't give a dance performance high marks because of national press or celebrity collaborators. You do, however, honor it for the audacitymore...
Before it even hit the stage, the Atlanta Ballet's season-closing production of big, featuring OutKast's Big Boi, was the subject of a New York Times article. But you don't give a dance performance high marks because of national press or celebrity collaborators. You do, however, honor it for the audacity of saying to the world that ballet needs to continue to grow and challenge itself, even if it forces people to question whether it's ballet at all (or, as some suggested with big, modern dance). A palpable energy crackled from the sometimes turbulent (and uneven) marriage of ballet and hip-hop, but the impact that both forms have had on Atlanta's cultural scene over the years makes the combination long overdue. Kudos to our very own Mr. Big, Atlanta Ballet artistic director John McFall, and resident choreographer Lauri Stallings for stepping up to the plate (and the mic). www.atlantaballet.com. less...

Best Art Exhibit in a Gallery BOA Award Winner

Jim Dine's The Lost Boy

Best Book by a Local Author BOA Award Winner

Two Truths and a Lie by Scott Turner Schofield

Best Film Festival BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Film Festival

Best Local Actor on the National Scene BOA Award Winner

Julia Roberts

Best Public Access TV Show BOA Award Winner

"Georgia Traveler"

Best Local Filmmaker BOA Award Winner

Tyler Perry

Best Local Male Actor BOA Award Winner

Chris Kayser

Best New Trend in the Arts BOA Award Winner

Lowbrow art

Best Stage Director BOA Award Winner

Jeff Watkins (The New American Shakespeare Tavern)

Best Advocate for the Arts BOA Award Winner

WonderRoot

Best Emerging Visual Artist BOA Award Winner

Mark Collins

Best Local Female Actor BOA Award Winner

Alison Hastings

Best Local Poet BOA Award Winner

Kodac Harrison

Best Dance Performance BOA Award Winner

Transformotion (Alliance Theatre)

Best Local Author BOA Award Winner

Hollis Gillespie

Best Local Playwright BOA Award Winner

Steve Yockey

Best Opening BOA Award Winner

Damn Dirty Ape

Best Touring Play BOA Award Winner

Avenue Q

Best Art Event BOA Award Winner

At First Sight II
We were blown away by the chutzpah of Denise Lira-Ratinoff's AT FIRST SIGHT II – a series of light boxes and videos displayed not in a pristine white-walled commercial space, or some too-hip-for-words underground grotto, but in a loading dock off 16th Street in Midtown. The one-night affairmore...
We were blown away by the chutzpah of Denise Lira-Ratinoff's AT FIRST SIGHT II – a series of light boxes and videos displayed not in a pristine white-walled commercial space, or some too-hip-for-words underground grotto, but in a loading dock off 16th Street in Midtown. The one-night affair was appropriately chilly for Lira-Ratinoff's photographs depicting the vanishing glaciers of the far, far south – Patagonia, to be exact – in stunning, ephemeral beauty. Engulfing darkness and a haunting soundscape completed the mood. Chances are you missed it; most did. But we wish others would follow Lira-Ratinoff's lead and create small pockets of magic here, there and everywhere. www.openmade.com. less...

Best Art Exhibit in a Gallery BOA Award Winner

Jim Dine's The Lost Boy

Best Book by a Local Author BOA Award Winner

Two Truths and a Lie by Scott Turner Schofield

Best Established Visual Artist BOA Award Winner

Rocio Rodriguez

Best Film Festival BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Film Festival

Best Local Actor on the National Scene BOA Award Winner

Julia Roberts

Best Local Male Actor BOA Award Winner

Chris Kayser
CHRIS KAYSER has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Atlanta's finest leading men, giving a particularly memorable performance in Actor's Express' enigmatic Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) in 2007. He affirmed the depth and flexibility of his craft with two shows in 2008. In the Alliance Theatre's Eurydice,more...
CHRIS KAYSER has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Atlanta's finest leading men, giving a particularly memorable performance in Actor's Express' enigmatic Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) in 2007. He affirmed the depth and flexibility of his craft with two shows in 2008. In the Alliance Theatre's Eurydice, he offered a heartbreaking portrayal of a father who wouldn't let a little thing like being dead get in the way of his love for his daughter. Kayser offered some of the most implosive work of his career in Georgia Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice as the despised moneylender Shylock. One of Shakespeare's most problematic roles, Kayser played the character not as a vengeful villain but as an intelligent man twisted by a lifetime of anti-Semitism in Venice, with his sadistic behavior emerging as a misguided act of defiance. With work like that, what will he do for an encore? atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/eurydice/Content?oid=453632. less...

Best Local Online Visual Arts Writing BOA Award Winner

Jerry Cullum
JERRY CULLUM started dropping poetic science about art at his blog Counterforces and Other Little Jokes last year. Cullum beats back the darkness of art ignorance, unafraid to weave Olafur Eliasson, YouTube and the Finno-Ugric artists of Estonia into a continuous tapestry of art-savvy ruminations. We'remore...
JERRY CULLUM started dropping poetic science about art at his blog Counterforces and Other Little Jokes last year. Cullum beats back the darkness of art ignorance, unafraid to weave Olafur Eliasson, YouTube and the Finno-Ugric artists of Estonia into a continuous tapestry of art-savvy ruminations. We're glad someone with his feet so firmly planted in the art community and his head so clearly reaching for the intellectual stratosphere has given himself a place to talk back. And a place where anyone can listen in. counterforces.blogspot.com. less...

Best Public Access TV Show BOA Award Winner

"Georgia Traveler"

Best Artist on the Brink of World Domination BOA Award Winner

Jiha Moon
Down here south of the 35th parallel, there's no shortage of peach-related imagery. But no one's quite got the angle on it like painter JIHA MOON. The Korea-born Atlantan not only brings out the erotic side of Georgia's favorite fruit, but throws in Microsoft butterflies, toxic clouds, surreal kimonosmore...
Down here south of the 35th parallel, there's no shortage of peach-related imagery. But no one's quite got the angle on it like painter JIHA MOON. The Korea-born Atlantan not only brings out the erotic side of Georgia's favorite fruit, but throws in Microsoft butterflies, toxic clouds, surreal kimonos and airborne tree limbs swirling in the fantasy space of a postmodern Hokusai purgatory. Art spaces around the country – from Moti Hasson Gallery in New York to Houston's Museum of Fine Arts – have taken notice, and Atlanta's Saltworks Gallery made sure to bring Moon to a hometown crowd. We're sure it won't be long before she's orbiting around the rest of us mere mortals high in the art stratosphere. www.jihamoon.com. less...

Best Emerging Visual Artist BOA Award Winner

Cullen Washington Jr.

Best Local Filmmaker BOA Award Winner

Tyler Perry

Best Local Male Actor BOA Award Winner

Chris Kayser

Best New Trend in the Arts BOA Award Winner

Lowbrow art

Best Opening BOA Award Winner

Something Like a Fahamenon

Best Public Art Wrangling BOA Award Winner

A (New) Genre Landscape
Thank goodness artist and curator Stuart Keeler hightailed it out of cold Chicago to land squarely in the center of Atlanta's fitful and fractious public art scene. The sweeping vision of his public art project A (NEW) GENRE LANDSCAPE allowed the city to get a better view of underexposed artists suchmore...
Thank goodness artist and curator Stuart Keeler hightailed it out of cold Chicago to land squarely in the center of Atlanta's fitful and fractious public art scene. The sweeping vision of his public art project A (NEW) GENRE LANDSCAPE allowed the city to get a better view of underexposed artists such as Ruth Stanford, Craig Dongoski and Michael Reese by putting their temporary, community-based works (and the work of 14 other artists) in 12 of Atlanta's parks and green spaces. Not that Keeler and the artists were in it alone. The city's support in the form of administrators Eddie Granderson and Rob Witherspoon, along with a modest sum of cash, helped to wrench Atlanta into the 21st-century public-art dialogue. www.ocaatlanta.com. less...

Best Stage Director BOA Award Winner

Jeff Watkins (The New American Shakespeare Tavern)

Best Theater BOA Award Winner

As Atlanta's largest playhouse, the ALLIANCE THEATRE usually commands such big audiences and so many resources, it doesn't seem to need a boost from anywhere else. For the 2007-08 season, however, the Alliance refused to rest on such laurels as its 2007 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre, and offeredmore...
As Atlanta's largest playhouse, the ALLIANCE THEATRE usually commands such big audiences and so many resources, it doesn't seem to need a boost from anywhere else. For the 2007-08 season, however, the Alliance refused to rest on such laurels as its 2007 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre, and offered one of its most ambitious and satisfying slates in memory. Highlights included the luminous cabaret-style revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, the revisionist take on Greek mythology Eurydice, and artistic director Susan V. Booth's charged production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Doubt. Musicals such as The Women of Brewster Place and Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies offered plenty of flash, while the world premiere of In the Red and Brown Water turned out to be the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition's best discovery yet. The 2008-09 season looks to be even more eventful. less...

Best Advocate for the Arts BOA Award Winner

WonderRoot

Best Art Exhibit in a Museum BOA Award Winner

CINEMA REMIXED AND RELOADED at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art did pretty much everything right. The massive, two-part exhibit brought together a frequently overlooked set of artists – black women working in film, video and other time-based media – and finally offered the perspectivemore...
CINEMA REMIXED AND RELOADED at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art did pretty much everything right. The massive, two-part exhibit brought together a frequently overlooked set of artists – black women working in film, video and other time-based media – and finally offered the perspective and critical analysis that's been due since about the early '80s. In a curatorial tour de force, director Andrea Barnwell Brownlee and Valerie Cassell Oliver (of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston) brought together Wangechi Mutu, Lorna Simpson, Xaviera Simmons and two dozen other artists who'd never shown together before. Excellently installed and smartly presented, Cinema Remixed was a show of national importance, and we're glad we had it in our own back yard. less...

Best Book by a Local Author BOA Award Winner

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

Best Emerging Visual Artist BOA Award Winner

Mark Collins

Best Film Festival BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Film Festival
For sheer variety, quantity and quality of films, the 32-year-old ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL still belongs on the top of the bill of local movie-related events. Parent organization the IMAGE Film & Video Center recently renamed itself Atlanta Film Festival 365 and has shown some welcome stability under executivemore...
For sheer variety, quantity and quality of films, the 32-year-old ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL still belongs on the top of the bill of local movie-related events. Parent organization the IMAGE Film & Video Center recently renamed itself Atlanta Film Festival 365 and has shown some welcome stability under executive director Gabe Wardell and festival director Dan Krovich. Plus, its springtime schedule and convenient central location at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema put Atlanta's best, most welcoming face forward in between screening times. less...

Best Gallery Spotlighting Local Artists BOA Award Winner

Inside a converted carriage house on Edgewood, Susan Bridges' Inman Park gallery WHITESPACE has been supporting and showcasing local talent since its inception in October 2006, and we felt it was high time to make note. In the past 12 months, Mehmet Dogu's Gallery Light Rug, John Otte's Seen | Unseenmore...
Inside a converted carriage house on Edgewood, Susan Bridges' Inman Park gallery WHITESPACE has been supporting and showcasing local talent since its inception in October 2006, and we felt it was high time to make note. In the past 12 months, Mehmet Dogu's Gallery Light Rug, John Otte's Seen | Unseen and Fereydoon Family's Stepping Blind have been outstanding contributions to the local art scene. We love the gallery's thoughtful presentation and abundant respect for these lesser-known artists with big minds and big ambitions. less...

Best Local Actor with a National Platform BOA Award Winner

Jack McBrayer

Best Local Female Actor BOA Award Winner

Courtney Patterson

Best Local Female Actor BOA Award Winner

Alison Hastings

Best Locally Produced TV Show BOA Award Winner

"This Is Atlanta with Alicia Steele"

Best Local Performing Monsters BOA Award Winner

Zombies
What does it say about the Atlanta area that ZOMBIES have become such popular subjects for the arts? The past year saw the national release of the Atlanta-filmed horror flick The Signal, in which a mysterious transmission turns couch potatoes into violent lunatics (not technically zombies, but closemore...
What does it say about the Atlanta area that ZOMBIES have become such popular subjects for the arts? The past year saw the national release of the Atlanta-filmed horror flick The Signal, in which a mysterious transmission turns couch potatoes into violent lunatics (not technically zombies, but close enough). Dad's Garage Theatre produced the world premiere of the stage musical Song of the Living Dead, featuring musical numbers about brain-eating undead ghouls; and zombies crashed a prom in the high school horror-comedy Dance of the Dead filmed in Rome, Ga., and due on DVD in October. Maybe no one who's ever driven in local traffic would be surprised at the proliferation of creatures that embody both mindlessness and rage. At least they're appearing in creative examples of mindless rage. less...

Best Local Poet BOA Award Winner

Kodac Harrison

DARK HORSE: Best Gallery Best Poised for a Sneak Attack BOA Award Winner

With or without the Beijing Olympics, all eyes in the post-American century are destined to turn to China. KIANG GALLERY, with its wide and deep commitment to art by Chinese artists, is bound to be where it's at in the next decade. While some of the names on the Kiang roster are likely to be unknownmore...
With or without the Beijing Olympics, all eyes in the post-American century are destined to turn to China. KIANG GALLERY, with its wide and deep commitment to art by Chinese artists, is bound to be where it's at in the next decade. While some of the names on the Kiang roster are likely to be unknown locally, many are beginning to register seismically on the international scene. We're paying special attention to Danwen Xing, Sze Tsung Leong and relative newcomer Fang Er. Kiang's smart installations and remarkable curatorial eye are just what the Dirty South needs to take a virtual trip to the Dirty East. So long, New York! Cheerio, London! Next stop for the art world: Beijing. less...
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