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Best of Atlanta 2012 Poets Artists and Madmen

 

Best Of Atlanta 2012 Poets Artists Large


Poets, Artists & Madmen

Best chapter in Atlanta's LGBTQ story BOA Award Winner

Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse
The final chapter closed on Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse on January 28, 2012, ending the bookstore's 18-year reign as a crucial focal point and gathering spot for Atlanta's LGBTQ communities and their supporters. Phillip Rafshoon opened Outwrite in 1993 in the Midtown Promenade shopping centermore...
The final chapter closed on Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse on January 28, 2012, ending the bookstore's 18-year reign as a crucial focal point and gathering spot for Atlanta's LGBTQ communities and their supporters. Phillip Rafshoon opened Outwrite in 1993 in the Midtown Promenade shopping center before moving it to its larger and final location at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in 1996, helping transform that corner from dreary intersection to bustling destination. The shop, its porch, and even the sidewalk outside became memorable gathering spots for readings, meetings, vigils, celebrations, and protests. Outwrite drew a steady stream of visitors, neighborhood regulars, and gay youth looking for a safe place to meet, have coffee, and chat. There were book-signings by celebrities including RuPaul, Star Jones, Greg Louganis, Chelsea Handler, Roseanne Barr, and Chastity Bono. Outwrite also hosted a steady stream of literary giants such as Armistead Maupin, David Sedaris, Edmund White, and Alan Hollinghurst. Despite its popularity, Outwrite faced the challenges shared by many independent bookstores in recent years. Rising rents, the economic downturn, and changes in the way people buy and read books eventually forced the shop to close for good. Outwrite acted as a crucial hub for the LGBQT community and helped the city earn its title as the Gay Capital of the South. less...

Best emerging visual artist BOA Award Winner

Micah Stansell
It's kind of a big deal when the High Museum decides to show a local artist's work. It's an even bigger deal when it decides to blanket the museum's exterior with it. In August, 350 feet of wall space surrounding Sifly Piazza was illuminated by Micah Stansell's five-channel sound and video installationmore...
It's kind of a big deal when the High Museum decides to show a local artist's work. It's an even bigger deal when it decides to blanket the museum's exterior with it. In August, 350 feet of wall space surrounding Sifly Piazza was illuminated by Micah Stansell's five-channel sound and video installation The Water and the Blood, the result of his 2011 Working Artist Project award that also showed at MOCA GA last fall. Like 2010's Between You and Me and the search for the exceptional, his 2012 collaboration with gloATL, The Water and the Blood was a beautifully mellow pondering of memory. Stansell, who often collaborates with his wife Whitney, shows a particularly Southern knack for visual storytelling steeped in nostalgia that we haven't been able to forget. www.micahstansell.com. less...

Best case of ATLwood in action BOA Award Winner

V/H/S
It's great that Atlanta has become a regional hub for television and film production and we get to play spot-the-landmark in Hollywood movies. It's even better when local filmmakers draw national attention without compromising their ideas, which is the case with V/H/S. A hit at this year's Sundance Filmmore...
It's great that Atlanta has become a regional hub for television and film production and we get to play spot-the-landmark in Hollywood movies. It's even better when local filmmakers draw national attention without compromising their ideas, which is the case with V/H/S. A hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the found-footage horror anthology film features a chapter from Atlanta's David Bruckner of the Studio Outpost filmmaking collective. Co-written with Nick Tecosky and filmed at local venues such as Star Bar, V/H/S puts local terror talent alongside work from the likes of House of the Devil's Ti West. An entry at this year's Atlanta Film Festival, V/H/S opens in theaters in October, so miss it at your own risk. www.magnetreleasing.com/vhs. less...

Best place to witness the local arts renaissance BOA Award Winner

In just three years, the Goat Farm Arts Center has gone from well-kept secret to Atlanta art institution. The rustic 12-acre compound first began to draw artists in the 1980s when sculptors, musicians, painters, and photographers flocked to the studio spaces in the Victorian-era former cotton gin. Anthonymore...
In just three years, the Goat Farm Arts Center has gone from well-kept secret to Atlanta art institution. The rustic 12-acre compound first began to draw artists in the 1980s when sculptors, musicians, painters, and photographers flocked to the studio spaces in the Victorian-era former cotton gin. Anthony Harper and Chris Melhouse of Hallister Development gained control of the property in 2008 with an eye toward creating a mixed-use development of condos, boutiques, and galleries. The economic downturn stifled those plans, and the partners turned the property into a center for the arts. The Goat Farm is now the permanent home of dance company gloATL, theater troupes the Collective Project and Saiah, and arts publication BurnAway.org. The number of events hosted there has exploded in the past two years, including concerts, performances, fundraisers, benefits, readings, screenings, meetings, parties, conferences, and more. In August, gloATL announced the collaborative series Tanz Farm, a full performance season of international contemporary dance. We'd never heard of this place a few years ago; now it seems like we're there every week. less...

Best theater company BOA Award Winner

Downtown Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit enters its 35th anniversary season on a roll, having staged one of the best plays in its recent history with Red. Artistic director Tom Key, normally the sunniest of actors, gave a moody, impassioned performance as painter Mark Rothko, with Jimi Kocina keeping upmore...
Downtown Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit enters its 35th anniversary season on a roll, having staged one of the best plays in its recent history with Red. Artistic director Tom Key, normally the sunniest of actors, gave a moody, impassioned performance as painter Mark Rothko, with Jimi Kocina keeping up as a hungry young apprentice eager to learn and to challenge the celebrity artist's ideas about creativity and integrity. On the other the side of the coin, the terrific family show A Wrinkle in Time offered a fusion of whimsical characters, imaginative design, and a potentially disturbing theme about the power of totalitarianism. Even such lesser shows as Freud's Last Session and the world premiere of The Green Book featured impeccable acting and a willingness to engage audiences with potent, heady ideas. The Outfit's home at the Balzer Theater gives theater fans the best reason to visit downtown. less...

Best branching out while spreading roots BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Ballet
The Atlanta Ballet branched out this season by working with some of the most impressive names in choreography, performing challenging pieces by the likes of Jorma Elo, Wayne McGregor, and Twyla Tharp. It was equally impressive to watch the ballet spread its roots locally, developing world premieres bymore...
The Atlanta Ballet branched out this season by working with some of the most impressive names in choreography, performing challenging pieces by the likes of Jorma Elo, Wayne McGregor, and Twyla Tharp. It was equally impressive to watch the ballet spread its roots locally, developing world premieres by Atlanta-based artists such as Juel D. Lane, company member Tara Lee, and principal dancer John Welker, whose intimate new company-within-a-company WabiSabi brought site-specific chamber performances to the mountains of North Georgia, the gazebo of Woodruff Park, and the fountains of the Botanical Garden. less...

Best local poet BOA Award Winner

Natasha Trethewey
Decatur's reputation as a bastion of literature precedes it. The seven-year-old Decatur Book Festival proudly holds the title of largest independent book festival in the country. Dozens of writers such as Joshilyn Jackson, Kevin Young, Josh Russell, and Terra Elan McVoy (DBF program director) call themore...
Decatur's reputation as a bastion of literature precedes it. The seven-year-old Decatur Book Festival proudly holds the title of largest independent book festival in the country. Dozens of writers such as Joshilyn Jackson, Kevin Young, Josh Russell, and Terra Elan McVoy (DBF program director) call the mini-city home. But in 2012, the bookish enclave's cachet was secured in the history books when local author and Emory professor Natasha Trethewey was named the 2012-13 U.S. Poet Laureate. Trethewey, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for her poetry collection Native Guard, is only the second Southerner and African-American ever honored with the award. (Robert Penn Warren was the original laureate in 1986 and Rita Dove received the title in 1993.) Trethewey's poems and prose are meditations on family, race, memory, identity, and place inspired by her experience growing up biracial in the South. She began writing poetry after her mother was murdered by her stepfather "to make sense of what had happened," she told the Associated Press this year. In August, Trethewey launched her fourth collection of poems, Thrall, with the keynote address at the Decatur Book Festival. www.poets.org/ntret. less...

Best reinvention of the reading series BOA Award Winner

Reading is a quiet, solitary pursuit, generally reserved for moments of peace, reflection - of not yelling, as it were. And yet, there exists Write Club, a bombastic crew of yellers, hooters, and hollerers that gathers the second Wednesday of every month at the Red Room in Decatur to wage literarymore...
Reading is a quiet, solitary pursuit, generally reserved for moments of peace, reflection - of not yelling, as it were. And yet, there exists Write Club, a bombastic crew of yellers, hooters, and hollerers that gathers the second Wednesday of every month at the Red Room in Decatur to wage literary warfare at a piercing decibel. Consigliere Myke Johns and Viceroy Nicholas Tecosky helm the rowdy bunch, which comes to witness three wordy bouts, each a face-off between two different readers. The readers prepare original works based on opposing themes - lost vs. found, sink vs. swim - and have seven minutes to perform. Combatants battle for honor and charity, with a blue ribbon panel deciding the winners based on the precise science of listening to audience applause. It's fun, it's loud, and the stories are damn good. $10-$25 donation. 627 E. College Ave., Decatur. www.writeclubatlanta.com. less...

Best rising theater company BOA Award Winner

For a new company to produce a distinguished season at a time of crisis for Atlanta theater is an especially impressive feat. As established theaters are struggling financially or shuttering, Fabrefaction Theatre has managed to become a formidable presence. In its third season, the small theater in Westmore...
For a new company to produce a distinguished season at a time of crisis for Atlanta theater is an especially impressive feat. As established theaters are struggling financially or shuttering, Fabrefaction Theatre has managed to become a formidable presence. In its third season, the small theater in West Midtown, founded by Christina and Evelyn Hoff, showed its range in the 2011-2012 season with a bloody and creepy Sweeney Todd, a Christmas-themed Rocky Horror Show, a smart, witty, in-the-round Tartuffe, and a musical Titanic. Cool shows, snazzy lobby, educational programs, productions for kids, a great theater space, and a black box to boot. The whole package helped the theater solidify a faithful core audience while reaching out to new ones. less...

Best sign the Beltline is ready for movement BOA Award Winner

Dance on the Beltline
The streetcar isn't quite here yet, but dance on the Beltline certainly sparked our imagination about the potential for new movement in the city. In the last year, dancer/choreographer Helen Hale, with local arts organization Dashboard Co-op, hosted the abundant dance feast Anti-Manners; gloATL exploredmore...
The streetcar isn't quite here yet, but dance on the Beltline certainly sparked our imagination about the potential for new movement in the city. In the last year, dancer/choreographer Helen Hale, with local arts organization Dashboard Co-op, hosted the abundant dance feast Anti-Manners; gloATL explored a sewer overflow facility in Float; the dancers of Crossover Movement Arts dressed as steampunk time-travelers and grooved to the improvisational jazz of the Zentropy ensemble; and Beacon Dance explored the element of earth as part of its Elemental Project. All of them got us ready to get moving, too. www.beltline.org. less...

Best actor BOA Award Winner

Dan Triandiflou
An Atlanta actor and improv comedian for years, Dan Triandiflou achieved some hysterical career highs in 2012. His uproarious turn as a high-strung country club golfer in Aurora Theatre's The Fox on the Fairway, a showcase of superb slapstick, only served as a warm-up for The Revengeance. In the strenuousmore...
An Atlanta actor and improv comedian for years, Dan Triandiflou achieved some hysterical career highs in 2012. His uproarious turn as a high-strung country club golfer in Aurora Theatre's The Fox on the Fairway, a showcase of superb slapstick, only served as a warm-up for The Revengeance. In the strenuous two-man show with the equally inexhaustible Kevin Gillese of Dad's Garage, Triandiflou approximated the comedic equivalent of a chameleon on fast-forward, alternating from sea captains to tough cops to John Malkovich and showing the kind of comedic timing that can segue from over-the-top mania to laid-back calm within the same sentence. less...

Best art space worth the drive BOA Award Winner

What art-related business could you possibly have in rural northwest Georgia, you ask? We'll tell ya: Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens. Located about an hour and a half northwest of Atlanta, Paradise Gardens is the stuff-filled 2.5-acre legacy of late folk artist, banjo picker, and bicycle handymanmore...
What art-related business could you possibly have in rural northwest Georgia, you ask? We'll tell ya: Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens. Located about an hour and a half northwest of Atlanta, Paradise Gardens is the stuff-filled 2.5-acre legacy of late folk artist, banjo picker, and bicycle handyman Howard Finster. Finster bought the swampy lot in 1961, drained it himself, and, by decree of The Lord, filled the grounds over the next 40 years with thousands of works in his manic and pious style, including a maze-like mosaic garden, and the property's crowning glory, the World's Folk Art Chapel. After Finster's death in 2001, ownership changed hands multiple times and the property fell into disrepair as valuable artworks were lost, sold, or destroyed by the elements. But last December, Chattooga County bought the property for $125,000, founded the Paradise Garden Foundation, and initiated a revitalization effort. In April, Paradise Gardens was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Two months later it was awarded a $445,000 grant from ArtPlace. The outdoor museum reopened in May after an intense cleanup and beautification effort that has transformed the property, an effort that foundation executive director Jordan Poole hopes will also translate into a boost for the local economy. less...

Best Barbershop BOA Award Winner

Rooster's

More info:


gillesdeleuzecommittedsuicideandsowilldrphil.com @blakebutler


Blake Butler reads at Roll the Dice: A Night of Literary Heresy at WonderRoot, 2010.

Best comedian BOA Award Winner

Evan Fowler
Many young comedians treat Atlanta as a proving ground to build their stand-up chops before moving to New York or Los Angeles. Catch Evan Fowler while you can: Although the lanky, blond 30-year-old started his stand-up comedy career only three years ago, he's quickly become a polished joke-teller withmore...
Many young comedians treat Atlanta as a proving ground to build their stand-up chops before moving to New York or Los Angeles. Catch Evan Fowler while you can: Although the lanky, blond 30-year-old started his stand-up comedy career only three years ago, he's quickly become a polished joke-teller with bad-boy charisma to spare. Like many of his peers, Fowler adeptly cracks jokes about pop culture and drugs, both on stage and via Twitter: "Just had the very distinct odor of meth waft by me while standing outside of a Taco Bell. It was like Conyers saying, 'Welcome back.'" But he can also launch into outlandish personal stories about getting fired from Chili's or crashing fancy auctions that make him sound like a pothead Huckleberry Finn for the 21st century. <i>www.twitter.com/ThatEvanFowler. less...

Best dancer BOA Award Winner

Blake Beckham
When we saw American Muscle, we knew she had some great moves. When we saw PLOT, we knew she could build a dizzying sense of drama and mystery in her work. And when we saw Threshold, we knew she could realize even the most elaborate visions in a challenging dance environment. But beyond all this, Blakemore...
When we saw American Muscle, we knew she had some great moves. When we saw PLOT, we knew she could build a dizzying sense of drama and mystery in her work. And when we saw Threshold, we knew she could realize even the most elaborate visions in a challenging dance environment. But beyond all this, Blake Beckham has consistently shown a strong commitment to creating community and opportunities for other artists. It's not always about her, and that's just one more reason we're all about her. www.bdancing.com. less...

Best event to drive Atlanta over the edge BOA Award Winner

Curated by gloATL founder Lauri Stallings and sponsored by a grant from the Loridans Foundation, the Rialto Center for the Art's inaugural Off the Edge dance festival brought renowned visiting artists such as Lar Lubovitch, Keigwin + Company, and Gallim Dance to the stage for two nights of performances.more...
Curated by gloATL founder Lauri Stallings and sponsored by a grant from the Loridans Foundation, the Rialto Center for the Art's inaugural Off the Edge dance festival brought renowned visiting artists such as Lar Lubovitch, Keigwin + Company, and Gallim Dance to the stage for two nights of performances. The visitors stuck around to partner with local companies and schools for residencies: Israeli dance legend Rina Schenfeld led dance classes at Kennesaw State University, while Atlanta's Zoetic Dance Ensemble hosted Seattle-based zoe|juniper, and Spelman worked with Los Angeles' BodyTraffic. Two nights of free public performances, panel discussions, and artist exchanges ensured Atlanta's first Off the Edge had a defining sense of purpose and character. less...

Best local trend in the arts BOA Award Winner

Immersive art exhibits
A subconscious tendency emerged among a handful of artists, gallerists, and curators this year for producing immersive art exhibits. In particular, shows at Get This! and Beep Beep galleries, and another by Dashboard Co-op in a vacant Summerhill bungalow, looked to installations to transform familiarmore...
A subconscious tendency emerged among a handful of artists, gallerists, and curators this year for producing immersive art exhibits. In particular, shows at Get This! and Beep Beep galleries, and another by Dashboard Co-op in a vacant Summerhill bungalow, looked to installations to transform familiar spaces into moody set pieces. Ben Roosevelt's The Blue Flame, a physical manifestation of a dream Roosevelt had about Iggy Pop, Samuel Coleridge, Dante, and conceptual artist Joseph Beuys, converted Get This! Gallery into a faux dive bar reminiscent of the one in "Twin Peaks," complete with wood paneling and live karaoke. At Beep Beep Gallery, Jason Kofke and Chris Chambers collaborated on The Ends, an ode to the analog, the transience of technology, and the fear mongering that pervades our collective modern psyche. An '80s-era Pontiac Fiero was wedged into the small gallery space and surrounded with digital ephemera (old MacBooks, a video yearbook) and references to 1986's Challenger shuttle disaster. Dashboard Co-op curated Nathan Sharratt's Come. Inside Me., a compelling performance-based installation about family, home, sense memory, and the circle of life. In all three cases, the risk-taking paid off to create some of the year's most spectacular and transportive experiences. less...

Best reason to hole up in a cardboard box BOA Award Winner

Threshold
Even creating the sparest of shows in the humblest of venues can be a financial and logistical challenge for many Atlanta dance companies, so it was especially impressive to see the Lucky Penny produce Threshold in August. Blake Beckham's ambitious vision included a performance for three dancers in amore...
Even creating the sparest of shows in the humblest of venues can be a financial and logistical challenge for many Atlanta dance companies, so it was especially impressive to see the Lucky Penny produce Threshold in August. Blake Beckham's ambitious vision included a performance for three dancers in a structurally sound two-story house made entirely of cardboard. The innovative dream team of architects Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam designed the house, and more than 100 visual artists, designers, and volunteers helped realize the project with more than 50,000 square feet of paper products. The cardboard architecture provided a fascinating, dreamlike setting for Beckham's primal and visceral contemplation of interior and exterior spaces. The show unequivocally raised the bar for what's possible for independent dance in Atlanta. www.theluckypennyatl.blogspot.com. less...

Best run of the show BOA Award Winner

Theatre in the Square
In March, the board of directors of Theatre in the Square voted to close the cash-strapped playhouse against the wishes of its founder and producing director Palmer Wells. Even in less acrimonious circumstances, the loss of the Marietta-based playhouse would have been a painful blow. In 1982, Wells andmore...
In March, the board of directors of Theatre in the Square voted to close the cash-strapped playhouse against the wishes of its founder and producing director Palmer Wells. Even in less acrimonious circumstances, the loss of the Marietta-based playhouse would have been a painful blow. In 1982, Wells and partner Michael Horne launched the theater, which quickly seemed to find the ideal balance between audience-pleasing chestnuts like the oft-remounted musical Smoke on the Mountain and provocative new works, including Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Richard Greenburg's Take Me Out. Despite a 1993 dispute with the Cobb County Commission, which withdrew its funding for all arts over the theater's production of the gay-themed Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Theatre in the Square was clearly a home away from home for its subscribers and long-time model for small local theaters. less...

Best visiting artist BOA Award Winner

The Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre won another feather for its cap when novelist Stephen King and roots rocker John Mellencamp chose the Atlanta playhouse for the world premiere of their new musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. When Ghost Brothers made its long-awaited debut in April, themore...
The Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre won another feather for its cap when novelist Stephen King and roots rocker John Mellencamp chose the Atlanta playhouse for the world premiere of their new musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. When Ghost Brothers made its long-awaited debut in April, the show's MVP proved to be T Bone Burnett as music director. Thanks to the legendary music producer and his sound design team, Ghost Brothers' tale of intergenerational family secrets sounded like a dream, with possibly the richest instrumentation and most crystalline audio clarity the Alliance Theatre has ever delivered. Burnett ensured that Ghost Brothers became a kind of sonic spectacle, from its hammering, world-shaking blues numbers to rollicking country-and-Western tunes to its supernatural sound effects. Now how can we get him back? less...

Best actress BOA Award Winner

Bethany Anne Lind

Best onstage doomed love affair BOA Award Winner

Lucia Di Lammermoor
Gorgeous voices, awesome sets, amazing music, outrageous drama. The Atlanta Opera brought the famous story of emotionally fragile Scottish lass Lucia and her doomed love for a man from a rival clan to the stage for its November 2011 production of Lucia Di Lammermoor, and gave Atlanta one of its mostmore...
Gorgeous voices, awesome sets, amazing music, outrageous drama. The Atlanta Opera brought the famous story of emotionally fragile Scottish lass Lucia and her doomed love for a man from a rival clan to the stage for its November 2011 production of Lucia Di Lammermoor, and gave Atlanta one of its most romantic and exciting nights at the theater in ages. Soprano Georgia Jarman showed off some impressive vocal gymnastics in the role of Lucia, and the cast, chorus, and Atlanta Opera orchestra sounded polished and lively. Between-scene projections of Sir Walter Scott's source text made us feel all post-modern and fuzzy inside, while Erhard Rom's set designs had a wonderful cinematic flare: There was something distinctly Southern in the decaying mansions, moss-covered forests, and crumbling tombstones. The evening was capped off with gallons of stage blood and a beautiful bel canto aria. less...

Best comedy venue BOA Award Winner

The Punchline

Best film festival BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Best opening BOA Award Winner

The Glass Ceiling Shattered

Best film series BOA Award Winner

WonderRoot's Generally Local, Mostly Independent Film Series

Best local male actor BOA Award Winner

TIE: Dan Triandiflou and Topher Payne

Best book event BOA Award Winner

Decatur Book Festival

Best local playwright BOA Award Winner

Topher Payne

Best neighborhood for the arts BOA Award Winner

Old Fourth Ward

Best photographer BOA Award Winner

Shawn Evans

Best stage director BOA Award Winner

Marium Khalid

Best art exhibit in a gallery BOA Award Winner

The Glass Ceiling Shattered

Best dance performance BOA Award Winner

Maa

Best neighborhood art walk BOA Award Winner

Castleberry Hill

Best new trend in the arts BOA Award Winner

Free Art Friday

Best book by a local author BOA Award Winner

The Delivery Guy by Mikel K

Best gallery BOA Award Winner

Alan Avery Art Company

Best local author BOA Award Winner

Mikel K

Best local poet BOA Award Winner

Mikel K

Best chapter in Atlanta's LGBTQ story BOA Award Winner

Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse
The final chapter closed on Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse on January 28, 2012, ending the bookstore's 18-year reign as a crucial focal point and gathering spot for Atlanta's LGBTQ communities and their supporters. Phillip Rafshoon opened Outwrite in 1993 in the Midtown Promenade shopping centermore...
The final chapter closed on Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse on January 28, 2012, ending the bookstore's 18-year reign as a crucial focal point and gathering spot for Atlanta's LGBTQ communities and their supporters. Phillip Rafshoon opened Outwrite in 1993 in the Midtown Promenade shopping center before moving it to its larger and final location at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in 1996, helping transform that corner from dreary intersection to bustling destination. The shop, its porch, and even the sidewalk outside became memorable gathering spots for readings, meetings, vigils, celebrations, and protests. Outwrite drew a steady stream of visitors, neighborhood regulars, and gay youth looking for a safe place to meet, have coffee, and chat. There were book-signings by celebrities including RuPaul, Star Jones, Greg Louganis, Chelsea Handler, Roseanne Barr, and Chastity Bono. Outwrite also hosted a steady stream of literary giants such as Armistead Maupin, David Sedaris, Edmund White, and Alan Hollinghurst. Despite its popularity, Outwrite faced the challenges shared by many independent bookstores in recent years. Rising rents, the economic downturn, and changes in the way people buy and read books eventually forced the shop to close for good. Outwrite acted as a crucial hub for the LGBQT community and helped the city earn its title as the Gay Capital of the South. less...

Best comedy venue BOA Award Winner

The Punchline

Best emerging visual artist BOA Award Winner

Micah Stansell
It's kind of a big deal when the High Museum decides to show a local artist's work. It's an even bigger deal when it decides to blanket the museum's exterior with it. In August, 350 feet of wall space surrounding Sifly Piazza was illuminated by Micah Stansell's five-channel sound and video installationmore...
It's kind of a big deal when the High Museum decides to show a local artist's work. It's an even bigger deal when it decides to blanket the museum's exterior with it. In August, 350 feet of wall space surrounding Sifly Piazza was illuminated by Micah Stansell's five-channel sound and video installation The Water and the Blood, the result of his 2011 Working Artist Project award that also showed at MOCA GA last fall. Like 2010's Between You and Me and the search for the exceptional, his 2012 collaboration with gloATL, The Water and the Blood was a beautifully mellow pondering of memory. Stansell, who often collaborates with his wife Whitney, shows a particularly Southern knack for visual storytelling steeped in nostalgia that we haven't been able to forget. www.micahstansell.com. less...

Best film festival BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Best opening BOA Award Winner

The Glass Ceiling Shattered

Best case of ATLwood in action BOA Award Winner

V/H/S
It's great that Atlanta has become a regional hub for television and film production and we get to play spot-the-landmark in Hollywood movies. It's even better when local filmmakers draw national attention without compromising their ideas, which is the case with V/H/S. A hit at this year's Sundance Filmmore...
It's great that Atlanta has become a regional hub for television and film production and we get to play spot-the-landmark in Hollywood movies. It's even better when local filmmakers draw national attention without compromising their ideas, which is the case with V/H/S. A hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the found-footage horror anthology film features a chapter from Atlanta's David Bruckner of the Studio Outpost filmmaking collective. Co-written with Nick Tecosky and filmed at local venues such as Star Bar, V/H/S puts local terror talent alongside work from the likes of House of the Devil's Ti West. An entry at this year's Atlanta Film Festival, V/H/S opens in theaters in October, so miss it at your own risk. www.magnetreleasing.com/vhs. less...

Best film series BOA Award Winner

WonderRoot's Generally Local, Mostly Independent Film Series

Best local male actor BOA Award Winner

TIE: Dan Triandiflou and Topher Payne

Best place to witness the local arts renaissance BOA Award Winner

In just three years, the Goat Farm Arts Center has gone from well-kept secret to Atlanta art institution. The rustic 12-acre compound first began to draw artists in the 1980s when sculptors, musicians, painters, and photographers flocked to the studio spaces in the Victorian-era former cotton gin. Anthonymore...
In just three years, the Goat Farm Arts Center has gone from well-kept secret to Atlanta art institution. The rustic 12-acre compound first began to draw artists in the 1980s when sculptors, musicians, painters, and photographers flocked to the studio spaces in the Victorian-era former cotton gin. Anthony Harper and Chris Melhouse of Hallister Development gained control of the property in 2008 with an eye toward creating a mixed-use development of condos, boutiques, and galleries. The economic downturn stifled those plans, and the partners turned the property into a center for the arts. The Goat Farm is now the permanent home of dance company gloATL, theater troupes the Collective Project and Saiah, and arts publication BurnAway.org. The number of events hosted there has exploded in the past two years, including concerts, performances, fundraisers, benefits, readings, screenings, meetings, parties, conferences, and more. In August, gloATL announced the collaborative series Tanz Farm, a full performance season of international contemporary dance. We'd never heard of this place a few years ago; now it seems like we're there every week. less...

Best theater company BOA Award Winner

Downtown Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit enters its 35th anniversary season on a roll, having staged one of the best plays in its recent history with Red. Artistic director Tom Key, normally the sunniest of actors, gave a moody, impassioned performance as painter Mark Rothko, with Jimi Kocina keeping upmore...
Downtown Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit enters its 35th anniversary season on a roll, having staged one of the best plays in its recent history with Red. Artistic director Tom Key, normally the sunniest of actors, gave a moody, impassioned performance as painter Mark Rothko, with Jimi Kocina keeping up as a hungry young apprentice eager to learn and to challenge the celebrity artist's ideas about creativity and integrity. On the other the side of the coin, the terrific family show A Wrinkle in Time offered a fusion of whimsical characters, imaginative design, and a potentially disturbing theme about the power of totalitarianism. Even such lesser shows as Freud's Last Session and the world premiere of The Green Book featured impeccable acting and a willingness to engage audiences with potent, heady ideas. The Outfit's home at the Balzer Theater gives theater fans the best reason to visit downtown. less...

Best book event BOA Award Winner

Decatur Book Festival

Best branching out while spreading roots BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Ballet
The Atlanta Ballet branched out this season by working with some of the most impressive names in choreography, performing challenging pieces by the likes of Jorma Elo, Wayne McGregor, and Twyla Tharp. It was equally impressive to watch the ballet spread its roots locally, developing world premieres bymore...
The Atlanta Ballet branched out this season by working with some of the most impressive names in choreography, performing challenging pieces by the likes of Jorma Elo, Wayne McGregor, and Twyla Tharp. It was equally impressive to watch the ballet spread its roots locally, developing world premieres by Atlanta-based artists such as Juel D. Lane, company member Tara Lee, and principal dancer John Welker, whose intimate new company-within-a-company WabiSabi brought site-specific chamber performances to the mountains of North Georgia, the gazebo of Woodruff Park, and the fountains of the Botanical Garden. less...

Best local playwright BOA Award Winner

Topher Payne

Best local poet BOA Award Winner

Natasha Trethewey
Decatur's reputation as a bastion of literature precedes it. The seven-year-old Decatur Book Festival proudly holds the title of largest independent book festival in the country. Dozens of writers such as Joshilyn Jackson, Kevin Young, Josh Russell, and Terra Elan McVoy (DBF program director) call themore...
Decatur's reputation as a bastion of literature precedes it. The seven-year-old Decatur Book Festival proudly holds the title of largest independent book festival in the country. Dozens of writers such as Joshilyn Jackson, Kevin Young, Josh Russell, and Terra Elan McVoy (DBF program director) call the mini-city home. But in 2012, the bookish enclave's cachet was secured in the history books when local author and Emory professor Natasha Trethewey was named the 2012-13 U.S. Poet Laureate. Trethewey, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for her poetry collection Native Guard, is only the second Southerner and African-American ever honored with the award. (Robert Penn Warren was the original laureate in 1986 and Rita Dove received the title in 1993.) Trethewey's poems and prose are meditations on family, race, memory, identity, and place inspired by her experience growing up biracial in the South. She began writing poetry after her mother was murdered by her stepfather "to make sense of what had happened," she told the Associated Press this year. In August, Trethewey launched her fourth collection of poems, Thrall, with the keynote address at the Decatur Book Festival. www.poets.org/ntret. less...

Best neighborhood for the arts BOA Award Winner

Old Fourth Ward

Best photographer BOA Award Winner

Shawn Evans

Best reinvention of the reading series BOA Award Winner

Reading is a quiet, solitary pursuit, generally reserved for moments of peace, reflection - of not yelling, as it were. And yet, there exists Write Club, a bombastic crew of yellers, hooters, and hollerers that gathers the second Wednesday of every month at the Red Room in Decatur to wage literarymore...
Reading is a quiet, solitary pursuit, generally reserved for moments of peace, reflection - of not yelling, as it were. And yet, there exists Write Club, a bombastic crew of yellers, hooters, and hollerers that gathers the second Wednesday of every month at the Red Room in Decatur to wage literary warfare at a piercing decibel. Consigliere Myke Johns and Viceroy Nicholas Tecosky helm the rowdy bunch, which comes to witness three wordy bouts, each a face-off between two different readers. The readers prepare original works based on opposing themes - lost vs. found, sink vs. swim - and have seven minutes to perform. Combatants battle for honor and charity, with a blue ribbon panel deciding the winners based on the precise science of listening to audience applause. It's fun, it's loud, and the stories are damn good. $10-$25 donation. 627 E. College Ave., Decatur. www.writeclubatlanta.com. less...

Best rising theater company BOA Award Winner

For a new company to produce a distinguished season at a time of crisis for Atlanta theater is an especially impressive feat. As established theaters are struggling financially or shuttering, Fabrefaction Theatre has managed to become a formidable presence. In its third season, the small theater in Westmore...
For a new company to produce a distinguished season at a time of crisis for Atlanta theater is an especially impressive feat. As established theaters are struggling financially or shuttering, Fabrefaction Theatre has managed to become a formidable presence. In its third season, the small theater in West Midtown, founded by Christina and Evelyn Hoff, showed its range in the 2011-2012 season with a bloody and creepy Sweeney Todd, a Christmas-themed Rocky Horror Show, a smart, witty, in-the-round Tartuffe, and a musical Titanic. Cool shows, snazzy lobby, educational programs, productions for kids, a great theater space, and a black box to boot. The whole package helped the theater solidify a faithful core audience while reaching out to new ones. less...

Best sign the Beltline is ready for movement BOA Award Winner

Dance on the Beltline
The streetcar isn't quite here yet, but dance on the Beltline certainly sparked our imagination about the potential for new movement in the city. In the last year, dancer/choreographer Helen Hale, with local arts organization Dashboard Co-op, hosted the abundant dance feast Anti-Manners; gloATL exploredmore...
The streetcar isn't quite here yet, but dance on the Beltline certainly sparked our imagination about the potential for new movement in the city. In the last year, dancer/choreographer Helen Hale, with local arts organization Dashboard Co-op, hosted the abundant dance feast Anti-Manners; gloATL explored a sewer overflow facility in Float; the dancers of Crossover Movement Arts dressed as steampunk time-travelers and grooved to the improvisational jazz of the Zentropy ensemble; and Beacon Dance explored the element of earth as part of its Elemental Project. All of them got us ready to get moving, too. www.beltline.org. less...

Best stage director BOA Award Winner

Marium Khalid

Best actor BOA Award Winner

Dan Triandiflou
An Atlanta actor and improv comedian for years, Dan Triandiflou achieved some hysterical career highs in 2012. His uproarious turn as a high-strung country club golfer in Aurora Theatre's The Fox on the Fairway, a showcase of superb slapstick, only served as a warm-up for The Revengeance. In the strenuousmore...
An Atlanta actor and improv comedian for years, Dan Triandiflou achieved some hysterical career highs in 2012. His uproarious turn as a high-strung country club golfer in Aurora Theatre's The Fox on the Fairway, a showcase of superb slapstick, only served as a warm-up for The Revengeance. In the strenuous two-man show with the equally inexhaustible Kevin Gillese of Dad's Garage, Triandiflou approximated the comedic equivalent of a chameleon on fast-forward, alternating from sea captains to tough cops to John Malkovich and showing the kind of comedic timing that can segue from over-the-top mania to laid-back calm within the same sentence. less...

Best art exhibit in a gallery BOA Award Winner

The Glass Ceiling Shattered

Best art space worth the drive BOA Award Winner

What art-related business could you possibly have in rural northwest Georgia, you ask? We'll tell ya: Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens. Located about an hour and a half northwest of Atlanta, Paradise Gardens is the stuff-filled 2.5-acre legacy of late folk artist, banjo picker, and bicycle handymanmore...
What art-related business could you possibly have in rural northwest Georgia, you ask? We'll tell ya: Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens. Located about an hour and a half northwest of Atlanta, Paradise Gardens is the stuff-filled 2.5-acre legacy of late folk artist, banjo picker, and bicycle handyman Howard Finster. Finster bought the swampy lot in 1961, drained it himself, and, by decree of The Lord, filled the grounds over the next 40 years with thousands of works in his manic and pious style, including a maze-like mosaic garden, and the property's crowning glory, the World's Folk Art Chapel. After Finster's death in 2001, ownership changed hands multiple times and the property fell into disrepair as valuable artworks were lost, sold, or destroyed by the elements. But last December, Chattooga County bought the property for $125,000, founded the Paradise Garden Foundation, and initiated a revitalization effort. In April, Paradise Gardens was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Two months later it was awarded a $445,000 grant from ArtPlace. The outdoor museum reopened in May after an intense cleanup and beautification effort that has transformed the property, an effort that foundation executive director Jordan Poole hopes will also translate into a boost for the local economy. less...

Best Barbershop BOA Award Winner

Rooster's

More info:


gillesdeleuzecommittedsuicideandsowilldrphil.com @blakebutler


Blake Butler reads at Roll the Dice: A Night of Literary Heresy at WonderRoot, 2010.

Best comedian BOA Award Winner

Evan Fowler
Many young comedians treat Atlanta as a proving ground to build their stand-up chops before moving to New York or Los Angeles. Catch Evan Fowler while you can: Although the lanky, blond 30-year-old started his stand-up comedy career only three years ago, he's quickly become a polished joke-teller withmore...
Many young comedians treat Atlanta as a proving ground to build their stand-up chops before moving to New York or Los Angeles. Catch Evan Fowler while you can: Although the lanky, blond 30-year-old started his stand-up comedy career only three years ago, he's quickly become a polished joke-teller with bad-boy charisma to spare. Like many of his peers, Fowler adeptly cracks jokes about pop culture and drugs, both on stage and via Twitter: "Just had the very distinct odor of meth waft by me while standing outside of a Taco Bell. It was like Conyers saying, 'Welcome back.'" But he can also launch into outlandish personal stories about getting fired from Chili's or crashing fancy auctions that make him sound like a pothead Huckleberry Finn for the 21st century. <i>www.twitter.com/ThatEvanFowler. less...

Best dance performance BOA Award Winner

Maa

Best dancer BOA Award Winner

Blake Beckham
When we saw American Muscle, we knew she had some great moves. When we saw PLOT, we knew she could build a dizzying sense of drama and mystery in her work. And when we saw Threshold, we knew she could realize even the most elaborate visions in a challenging dance environment. But beyond all this, Blakemore...
When we saw American Muscle, we knew she had some great moves. When we saw PLOT, we knew she could build a dizzying sense of drama and mystery in her work. And when we saw Threshold, we knew she could realize even the most elaborate visions in a challenging dance environment. But beyond all this, Blake Beckham has consistently shown a strong commitment to creating community and opportunities for other artists. It's not always about her, and that's just one more reason we're all about her. www.bdancing.com. less...

Best event to drive Atlanta over the edge BOA Award Winner

Curated by gloATL founder Lauri Stallings and sponsored by a grant from the Loridans Foundation, the Rialto Center for the Art's inaugural Off the Edge dance festival brought renowned visiting artists such as Lar Lubovitch, Keigwin + Company, and Gallim Dance to the stage for two nights of performances.more...
Curated by gloATL founder Lauri Stallings and sponsored by a grant from the Loridans Foundation, the Rialto Center for the Art's inaugural Off the Edge dance festival brought renowned visiting artists such as Lar Lubovitch, Keigwin + Company, and Gallim Dance to the stage for two nights of performances. The visitors stuck around to partner with local companies and schools for residencies: Israeli dance legend Rina Schenfeld led dance classes at Kennesaw State University, while Atlanta's Zoetic Dance Ensemble hosted Seattle-based zoe|juniper, and Spelman worked with Los Angeles' BodyTraffic. Two nights of free public performances, panel discussions, and artist exchanges ensured Atlanta's first Off the Edge had a defining sense of purpose and character. less...

Best local trend in the arts BOA Award Winner

Immersive art exhibits
A subconscious tendency emerged among a handful of artists, gallerists, and curators this year for producing immersive art exhibits. In particular, shows at Get This! and Beep Beep galleries, and another by Dashboard Co-op in a vacant Summerhill bungalow, looked to installations to transform familiarmore...
A subconscious tendency emerged among a handful of artists, gallerists, and curators this year for producing immersive art exhibits. In particular, shows at Get This! and Beep Beep galleries, and another by Dashboard Co-op in a vacant Summerhill bungalow, looked to installations to transform familiar spaces into moody set pieces. Ben Roosevelt's The Blue Flame, a physical manifestation of a dream Roosevelt had about Iggy Pop, Samuel Coleridge, Dante, and conceptual artist Joseph Beuys, converted Get This! Gallery into a faux dive bar reminiscent of the one in "Twin Peaks," complete with wood paneling and live karaoke. At Beep Beep Gallery, Jason Kofke and Chris Chambers collaborated on The Ends, an ode to the analog, the transience of technology, and the fear mongering that pervades our collective modern psyche. An '80s-era Pontiac Fiero was wedged into the small gallery space and surrounded with digital ephemera (old MacBooks, a video yearbook) and references to 1986's Challenger shuttle disaster. Dashboard Co-op curated Nathan Sharratt's Come. Inside Me., a compelling performance-based installation about family, home, sense memory, and the circle of life. In all three cases, the risk-taking paid off to create some of the year's most spectacular and transportive experiences. less...

Best neighborhood art walk BOA Award Winner

Castleberry Hill

Best new trend in the arts BOA Award Winner

Free Art Friday
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