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Best of Atlanta 2017 Poets Artists and Madmen

 

Poets Critics Lin Main Large





Poets, Artists & Madmen

The case could be made that 2017 was the year that art in Atlanta fought back — literally and figuratively.
Just look at what happened when City officials tried to exert undue control over murals being painted on private property: Local artists weren’t having it, and a group took the matter to court and won; that’s a literal fight.

On the metaphorical side of the equation, our fair city’s assemblage of creators — perhaps in an attempt to stem a seemingly growing tide of homogeneous “art” that many fear comes with big-money development — broke with established entities, took their work to more nontraditional spaces, and stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight in a big way.

The hope is that this creative clap back is more of a movement than a moment. In coming years, the ATL is only going to get more affluent and less-diverse in terms of population. But we’ve got faith that the work done by the Poets, Artists and Madmen highlighted in this edition of CL’s Best of Atlanta will set the tone for our cultural progression as a city for generations to come.


— Carlton Hargro


Featured


Best curator

Karen Comer Lowe Chastain Arts Center
KAREN COMER LOWE, director of the Chastain Arts Center, has been putting in great work for years, but she made major waves this summer when she curated a buzz-worthy exhibition for celebrated artist Hebru Brantley. With the show, titled Clay Pigeons, Lowe was able to coax the Chicago-based Clark Atlantamore...

KAREN COMER LOWE, director of the Chastain Arts Center, has been putting in great work for years, but she made major waves this summer when she curated a buzz-worthy exhibition for celebrated artist Hebru Brantley. With the show, titled Clay Pigeons, Lowe was able to coax the Chicago-based Clark Atlanta University graduate to mount his first solo exhibit in the ATL in four years — one that tackled social issues like police brutality and racism in ways he’d never displayed before. But helming Clay Pigeons was just the latest major move for Lowe, who’s built a career on throwing shine to super-talented artists — such as Yanique Norman, Fabian Williams and Fahamu Pecou — early in their artistic development. And with a lauded new collection featuring the work of Cosmo Whyte currently hanging at the Center, she shows no signs of slowing down or changing course. www.ocaatlanta.com/chastain.

art by Hebru Brantley

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best comic book writer

Van Jensen
VAN JENSEN started out his career in comics nearly 10 years ago writing off-kilter indie comics, but it didn’t take long for him to snag assignments writing big-time superhero comics for the mainstream publishers. This year, however, he made a return to his offbeat roots with a handful of choice gigsmore...
VAN JENSEN started out his career in comics nearly 10 years ago writing off-kilter indie comics, but it didn’t take long for him to snag assignments writing big-time superhero comics for the mainstream publishers. This year, however, he made a return to his offbeat roots with a handful of choice gigs from a gaggle of comic houses: the science fiction series Fallen Suns (out this month), a graphic novel adaptation of the James Bond classic Casino Royale (to be released in October), and the Deep South crime thriller Two Dead he’s creating with March illustrator Nate Powell (coming in 2018), among other projects. He also carved out time to direct his first short film, titled Pisser, about a guy’s mission to take a spatter-free, well, piss. And, on top of all that, the guy even works with local schools, teaching kids how to make their own comics. So, while he may not being writing about spandex-clad heroes at the moment, he’s banging out a superhuman-level workload — and we’re all better as a result. www.twitter.com/van_jensen. less...

Best reason to be excited about the future of dance in Atlanta

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre Westside Cultural Arts Center
TERMINUS MODERN BALLET THEATRE doesn’t make its debut until October, but we can’t help but be hyped about the possibilities this company presents. Made up of a veritable supergroup of five principal dancers — Heath Gill, Tara Lee, John Welker, Rachel Van Buskirk and Christian Clark — who formerlymore...

TERMINUS MODERN BALLET THEATRE doesn’t make its debut until October, but we can’t help but be hyped about the possibilities this company presents. Made up of a veritable supergroup of five principal dancers — Heath Gill, Tara Lee, John Welker, Rachel Van Buskirk and Christian Clark — who formerly performed with Atlanta Ballet, this scrappy new venture promises (as its name suggests) to meld modern and ballet influences and create works that channel the unique spirit of our city. And the fact that they’ll be taking the stage in a newly constructed space within the Westside Cultural Arts Center (a spot that’s not exactly associated with dance) makes their impending unveiling even more unconventional … and exciting. 760 10th St. N.W. www.terminus-serenbe.com.

(From left - Rachel Van Buskirk, Heath Gill, Christian Clark, John Welker and Tara Lee)

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best film festival

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
It’s hard nailing down one singular reason why the ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL is the city’s best, so here are a few: 1) It consistently serves up dozens of high-quality big- and small-budget shorts and feature-length films; 2) screenings take place at theaters across the city at a wide range ofmore...
It’s hard nailing down one singular reason why the ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL is the city’s best, so here are a few: 1) It consistently serves up dozens of high-quality big- and small-budget shorts and feature-length films; 2) screenings take place at theaters across the city at a wide range of days and times (this year there were more than 200); 3) audiences have copious opportunities to interact with filmmakers and other folks behind the camera; 3) and, maybe most importantly, despite being a festival that focuses on the experiences of Jewish people, the AJFF offers a lineup of films that are diverse in style, subject matter, geographical origin and more, sure to appeal to movie lovers of all backgrounds. www.ajff.org. less...

Best gallery for otherground art

Kai Lin Art Kai Lin Art Gallery
Attend an opening at KAI LIN ART and you’ll be struck by the diversity of the folks in attendance: a congregation of all races, ages and levels of artistic expertise. That audience diversity is undoubtedly due to the divergent range of art that hangs on the gallery’s walls — which this past yearmore...

Attend an opening at KAI LIN ART and you’ll be struck by the diversity of the folks in attendance: a congregation of all races, ages and levels of artistic expertise. That audience diversity is undoubtedly due to the divergent range of art that hangs on the gallery’s walls — which this past year displayed the surreal paintings of Thomas Turner, the pop art of Chris Hobé, the patterned portraits of Lela Brunet and many more. Founded in 2008 by owner/director Yu-Kai Lin, Kai Lin Art’s mission to promote “emerging and established artists in the Southeast and beyond” is one that adds to the richness of Atlanta, on a cultural and a social level. 999 Brady Ave. N.W., Suite 7. 404-408-4248. www.kailinart.com.

(art by Tim Kent)

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best comedic mover and shaker

Ian Aber
A good comedian can make any audience laugh and an even better comedian can create opportunities for others to make people laugh. All a comic needs is wits and a stage and IAN ABER has been building up stages left and right across Atlanta. Blink and the busy jokesmith will have a new show with a new,more...

A good comedian can make any audience laugh and an even better comedian can create opportunities for others to make people laugh. All a comic needs is wits and a stage and IAN ABER has been building up stages left and right across Atlanta. Blink and the busy jokesmith will have a new show with a new, innovative angle. Whether it’s an audience-swap experiment in a ballroom, an LGBTQ-themed variety show in a club, or a grilled-cheese-studded affair in an alt room, Aber is growing the comedy scene and growing his career in the process. It’s not just the quantity of rooms Aber puts together that’s impressive, but the deliberate and thoughtful way he builds his lineups, seeking to lift up those who sometimes are not as visible in comedy. www.comedyian.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best theatrical artistic director

Kenny Leon
Although KENNY LEON garnered national interest again this past December when he directed NBC’s live-TV rendition of the musical Hairspray, it’s the Tony Award winner’s work with the Atlanta-based True Colors Theatre Company that earns major props from us. Founded in 2002, True Colors has been amore...
Although KENNY LEON garnered national interest again this past December when he directed NBC’s live-TV rendition of the musical Hairspray, it’s the Tony Award winner’s work with the Atlanta-based True Colors Theatre Company that earns major props from us. Founded in 2002, True Colors has been a catalyst behind some of the city’s most relevant and topical theatrical productions, with Leon — the company’s artistic director and co-founder — at the helm. Its most recent season of plays, for example, touched on the nation’s public school system and mental illness, among other real-life issues — but done in a way that’s not heavy-handed or preachy. Add to that the fact that True Color’s productions are held at the Southwest Arts Center, bringing quality theater to communities that have often been overlooked, and it’s clear Leon’s influence reverberates well beyond the stage. www.kennyleon.com. less...

Best (freaky) free outdoor art gallery

Doll's Head Trail
Out past the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, heading south on Moreland Avenue is an Atlanta cultural gem: the mythical DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL. Created by ATL’s Joel Slaton, the trail is an outsider art exhibit with enough weirdness and compelling art made from refuse to leave you contemplating its existencemore...

Out past the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, heading south on Moreland Avenue is an Atlanta cultural gem: the mythical DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL. Created by ATL’s Joel Slaton, the trail is an outsider art exhibit with enough weirdness and compelling art made from refuse to leave you contemplating its existence for days. The trail is part of a bigger path at Constitution Lakes, a DeKalb County park that includes some wonderful boardwalks across swampy terrain and hiking trails. Among bird songs and occasional train whistles, discombobulated dolls, broken TVs and rusted car parts have been repurposed into ingenious monuments to modern follies. Found objects, which otherwise might litter the trail, are reconstructed into thought-provoking moments. Freaky and provocative, cheesy and authentic, the Doll’s Head Trail is completely original and strangely beautiful. Constitution Lakes Park, 1305 S. River Industrial Boulevard.

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best YouTuber

Qaadir F. Howard
QAADIR F. HOWARD is one of Atlanta’s master “draggers” — i.e., he excels at taking people, places and things to task in front of a camera in the most hilarious ways. Click on over to his popular YouTube channel and check him ripping the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Donald Trump and even his co-workers,more...
QAADIR F. HOWARD is one of Atlanta’s master “draggers” — i.e., he excels at taking people, places and things to task in front of a camera in the most hilarious ways. Click on over to his popular YouTube channel and check him ripping the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Donald Trump and even his co-workers, all served up utilizing his trademarked rapid-fire delivery style. His clips are straight-up confessional vlogs with minimal editing, but what they lack in bells and whistles, Howard makes up for in uncensored, no-holds-barred reading. Bottom line: Dude is a trip. www.youtube.com/user/Timaya. less...

Best stand-up comedian

Mia Jackson
Not many comedians can say they’ve performed at Philips Arena, but to be fair, there aren’t many comedians like MIA JACKSON. The calm, cool and collected stand-up exudes likability on stage, spreading her hilarious wisdom on life, dating and the dangers of stepping on someone’s biscuit. The versatilemore...

Not many comedians can say they’ve performed at Philips Arena, but to be fair, there aren’t many comedians like MIA JACKSON. The calm, cool and collected stand-up exudes likability on stage, spreading her hilarious wisdom on life, dating and the dangers of stepping on someone’s biscuit. The versatile comic has become a favorite of Amy Schumer, but Jackson’s been a favorite of ours for way longer. She makes this nerve-racking craft look easy on stage at a bar, a club, a college, a theater, or on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” (where she was a semi-finalist in 2015). This summer, the bona fide Georgia peach was named a New Face of Comedy at the biggest industry festival, Just For Laughs Montreal. Consequently, it’s only a matter of time until everyone else knows what savvy Atlantans have know for years. www.miajackson.com.

photo by: Ransom Rockwood

less...

Best comedy night/show/late-night marathon

Monday Night Comedy at Star Bar
There’s no place in the world where Monday’s met with excitement — nowhere but Little Five Points. MONDAY NIGHT COMEDY AT STAR BAR, the longest-running comedy show in the A, has been stuffing the smoke-tinged rock venue with the city’s funniest comedians, the up-and-comers, and the doe-eyed first-timersmore...
There’s no place in the world where Monday’s met with excitement — nowhere but Little Five Points. MONDAY NIGHT COMEDY AT STAR BAR, the longest-running comedy show in the A, has been stuffing the smoke-tinged rock venue with the city’s funniest comedians, the up-and-comers, and the doe-eyed first-timers to a passionate crowd for more than a decade. It’s where many dipped their toes in the water for the first time and it’s where they later recorded their first albums. Rodney Leete has been MCing this free weekday marathon of who’s who in not just our local comedy scene but the whole country, as the show has become a favorite drop-in destination for famous funny people like Hannibal Buress, Rory Scovel, Vanessa Bayer and more. 437 Moreland Ave. N.E. 404-500-4942. www.rotkneepresents.com. less...

Best Instagrammer

Tiny Doors ATL
It’s amazing how small artwork can make such a big impact. Of course, we’re talking about the folks at TINY DOORS ATL. The much-loved group behind miniature art installations all over town is dedicated to inspiring “curiosity and exploration” — and its corresponding Instagram page, with moremore...
It’s amazing how small artwork can make such a big impact. Of course, we’re talking about the folks at TINY DOORS ATL. The much-loved group behind miniature art installations all over town is dedicated to inspiring “curiosity and exploration” — and its corresponding Instagram page, with more than 30,000 followers, plays a big role in spreading this message. Just about every day on the ’gram, the organization posts images of the tiny picnic baskets, tiny books, tiny bricks and, you guessed it, tiny house projects it constructs. It’s not high art, but it sure does make people happy. And that’s cool. www.instagram.com/tinydoorsatl. less...

Best muralist

Fabian "Occasional Superstar" Williams
Even if you don’t know the name FABIAN “OCCASIONAL SUPERSTAR” WILLIAMS, you’ve more than likely seen, or been impacted by, the artist’s work. His massive, vibrant murals — such as his fluorescent portrait of Hosea Williams, which was completed in July, adorn buildings across the city andmore...

Even if you don’t know the name FABIAN “OCCASIONAL SUPERSTAR” WILLIAMS, you’ve more than likely seen, or been impacted by, the artist’s work. His massive, vibrant murals — such as his fluorescent portrait of Hosea Williams, which was completed in July, adorn buildings across the city and serve as both eye-catching visual treats and as multilayered, often-whimsical political statements. And the North Carolina native’s artistic efforts this year extended beyond just creating it: Joining forces with a number of his fellow muralists, Williams successfully battled the City in court over the right to have paintings displayed on private party without excessive government interference. But whether we’re talking advocacy or the creative process, Atlanta’s a better place with Williams here doing his thing. www.occasionalsuperstar.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best internet satirist, or troll with a heart of gold

Zach Lamplugh
Likes, retweets, comments, threads: The internet can be a hot spot for important discussion, but it’s more often a place for people to scream slurs at a meme. Reactionary rage and transparent bids for attention are what inspires ZACH LAMPLUGH and his meta faux-news network Please Share. The comedianmore...
Likes, retweets, comments, threads: The internet can be a hot spot for important discussion, but it’s more often a place for people to scream slurs at a meme. Reactionary rage and transparent bids for attention are what inspires ZACH LAMPLUGH and his meta faux-news network Please Share. The comedian (who’s one-third of the Ladie’s Night sketch group) releases videos on Please Share’s social media platforms where nothing humans do is good enough. Is creating infographics the best way to combat racism? Are unicorn frappuccinos enforcing gender roles? Nah, but Lamplugh makes a hilarious case for it all. Generating millions of views, the good-at-heart satirical videos have succeeded in making Facebook laugh as well as confusing the hell out of the angry web-masses including alt-right garbageman Gavin McInnes. Gavin might not get it, but we do. www.twitter.com/secretgrampuh. www.facebook.com/pleasesharenews. less...

Best mural

Hosea Williams by Fabian Williams (at Studioplex)

Best museum

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art

Best play

Invasion: Christmas Carol Dad's Garage Theatre

Best film made in Atlanta

Baby Driver

www.babydriver-movie.com

photo by: Wilson Webb


Best comedy venue

The Village Theatre

Best established visual artist

Greg Mike

www.gregmike.com

photo by: Lindsey Max

Best mural

I Miss Buckhead by Chris Veal

Best gallery

Whitespace Gallery

Best art exhibition

Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation High Museum of Art

Best dance company

Zoetic Dance Ensemble

Best mural

Hosea Williams by Fabian Williams (at Studioplex)

Best museum

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art

Best play

Invasion: Christmas Carol Dad's Garage Theatre

Best film made in Atlanta

Baby Driver

www.babydriver-movie.com

photo by: Wilson Webb

Best curator

Karen Comer Lowe Chastain Arts Center
KAREN COMER LOWE, director of the Chastain Arts Center, has been putting in great work for years, but she made major waves this summer when she curated a buzz-worthy exhibition for celebrated artist Hebru Brantley. With the show, titled Clay Pigeons, Lowe was able to coax the Chicago-based Clark Atlantamore...

KAREN COMER LOWE, director of the Chastain Arts Center, has been putting in great work for years, but she made major waves this summer when she curated a buzz-worthy exhibition for celebrated artist Hebru Brantley. With the show, titled Clay Pigeons, Lowe was able to coax the Chicago-based Clark Atlanta University graduate to mount his first solo exhibit in the ATL in four years — one that tackled social issues like police brutality and racism in ways he’d never displayed before. But helming Clay Pigeons was just the latest major move for Lowe, who’s built a career on throwing shine to super-talented artists — such as Yanique Norman, Fabian Williams and Fahamu Pecou — early in their artistic development. And with a lauded new collection featuring the work of Cosmo Whyte currently hanging at the Center, she shows no signs of slowing down or changing course. www.ocaatlanta.com/chastain.

art by Hebru Brantley

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best comic book writer

Van Jensen
VAN JENSEN started out his career in comics nearly 10 years ago writing off-kilter indie comics, but it didn’t take long for him to snag assignments writing big-time superhero comics for the mainstream publishers. This year, however, he made a return to his offbeat roots with a handful of choice gigsmore...
VAN JENSEN started out his career in comics nearly 10 years ago writing off-kilter indie comics, but it didn’t take long for him to snag assignments writing big-time superhero comics for the mainstream publishers. This year, however, he made a return to his offbeat roots with a handful of choice gigs from a gaggle of comic houses: the science fiction series Fallen Suns (out this month), a graphic novel adaptation of the James Bond classic Casino Royale (to be released in October), and the Deep South crime thriller Two Dead he’s creating with March illustrator Nate Powell (coming in 2018), among other projects. He also carved out time to direct his first short film, titled Pisser, about a guy’s mission to take a spatter-free, well, piss. And, on top of all that, the guy even works with local schools, teaching kids how to make their own comics. So, while he may not being writing about spandex-clad heroes at the moment, he’s banging out a superhuman-level workload — and we’re all better as a result. www.twitter.com/van_jensen. less...

Best comedy venue

The Village Theatre

Best reason to be excited about the future of dance in Atlanta

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre Westside Cultural Arts Center
TERMINUS MODERN BALLET THEATRE doesn’t make its debut until October, but we can’t help but be hyped about the possibilities this company presents. Made up of a veritable supergroup of five principal dancers — Heath Gill, Tara Lee, John Welker, Rachel Van Buskirk and Christian Clark — who formerlymore...

TERMINUS MODERN BALLET THEATRE doesn’t make its debut until October, but we can’t help but be hyped about the possibilities this company presents. Made up of a veritable supergroup of five principal dancers — Heath Gill, Tara Lee, John Welker, Rachel Van Buskirk and Christian Clark — who formerly performed with Atlanta Ballet, this scrappy new venture promises (as its name suggests) to meld modern and ballet influences and create works that channel the unique spirit of our city. And the fact that they’ll be taking the stage in a newly constructed space within the Westside Cultural Arts Center (a spot that’s not exactly associated with dance) makes their impending unveiling even more unconventional … and exciting. 760 10th St. N.W. www.terminus-serenbe.com.

(From left - Rachel Van Buskirk, Heath Gill, Christian Clark, John Welker and Tara Lee)

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best film festival

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
It’s hard nailing down one singular reason why the ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL is the city’s best, so here are a few: 1) It consistently serves up dozens of high-quality big- and small-budget shorts and feature-length films; 2) screenings take place at theaters across the city at a wide range ofmore...
It’s hard nailing down one singular reason why the ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL is the city’s best, so here are a few: 1) It consistently serves up dozens of high-quality big- and small-budget shorts and feature-length films; 2) screenings take place at theaters across the city at a wide range of days and times (this year there were more than 200); 3) audiences have copious opportunities to interact with filmmakers and other folks behind the camera; 3) and, maybe most importantly, despite being a festival that focuses on the experiences of Jewish people, the AJFF offers a lineup of films that are diverse in style, subject matter, geographical origin and more, sure to appeal to movie lovers of all backgrounds. www.ajff.org. less...

Best established visual artist

Greg Mike

www.gregmike.com

photo by: Lindsey Max

Best gallery for otherground art

Kai Lin Art Kai Lin Art Gallery
Attend an opening at KAI LIN ART and you’ll be struck by the diversity of the folks in attendance: a congregation of all races, ages and levels of artistic expertise. That audience diversity is undoubtedly due to the divergent range of art that hangs on the gallery’s walls — which this past yearmore...

Attend an opening at KAI LIN ART and you’ll be struck by the diversity of the folks in attendance: a congregation of all races, ages and levels of artistic expertise. That audience diversity is undoubtedly due to the divergent range of art that hangs on the gallery’s walls — which this past year displayed the surreal paintings of Thomas Turner, the pop art of Chris Hobé, the patterned portraits of Lela Brunet and many more. Founded in 2008 by owner/director Yu-Kai Lin, Kai Lin Art’s mission to promote “emerging and established artists in the Southeast and beyond” is one that adds to the richness of Atlanta, on a cultural and a social level. 999 Brady Ave. N.W., Suite 7. 404-408-4248. www.kailinart.com.

(art by Tim Kent)

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best comedic mover and shaker

Ian Aber
A good comedian can make any audience laugh and an even better comedian can create opportunities for others to make people laugh. All a comic needs is wits and a stage and IAN ABER has been building up stages left and right across Atlanta. Blink and the busy jokesmith will have a new show with a new,more...

A good comedian can make any audience laugh and an even better comedian can create opportunities for others to make people laugh. All a comic needs is wits and a stage and IAN ABER has been building up stages left and right across Atlanta. Blink and the busy jokesmith will have a new show with a new, innovative angle. Whether it’s an audience-swap experiment in a ballroom, an LGBTQ-themed variety show in a club, or a grilled-cheese-studded affair in an alt room, Aber is growing the comedy scene and growing his career in the process. It’s not just the quantity of rooms Aber puts together that’s impressive, but the deliberate and thoughtful way he builds his lineups, seeking to lift up those who sometimes are not as visible in comedy. www.comedyian.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best theatrical artistic director

Kenny Leon
Although KENNY LEON garnered national interest again this past December when he directed NBC’s live-TV rendition of the musical Hairspray, it’s the Tony Award winner’s work with the Atlanta-based True Colors Theatre Company that earns major props from us. Founded in 2002, True Colors has been amore...
Although KENNY LEON garnered national interest again this past December when he directed NBC’s live-TV rendition of the musical Hairspray, it’s the Tony Award winner’s work with the Atlanta-based True Colors Theatre Company that earns major props from us. Founded in 2002, True Colors has been a catalyst behind some of the city’s most relevant and topical theatrical productions, with Leon — the company’s artistic director and co-founder — at the helm. Its most recent season of plays, for example, touched on the nation’s public school system and mental illness, among other real-life issues — but done in a way that’s not heavy-handed or preachy. Add to that the fact that True Color’s productions are held at the Southwest Arts Center, bringing quality theater to communities that have often been overlooked, and it’s clear Leon’s influence reverberates well beyond the stage. www.kennyleon.com. less...

Best (freaky) free outdoor art gallery

Doll's Head Trail
Out past the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, heading south on Moreland Avenue is an Atlanta cultural gem: the mythical DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL. Created by ATL’s Joel Slaton, the trail is an outsider art exhibit with enough weirdness and compelling art made from refuse to leave you contemplating its existencemore...

Out past the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, heading south on Moreland Avenue is an Atlanta cultural gem: the mythical DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL. Created by ATL’s Joel Slaton, the trail is an outsider art exhibit with enough weirdness and compelling art made from refuse to leave you contemplating its existence for days. The trail is part of a bigger path at Constitution Lakes, a DeKalb County park that includes some wonderful boardwalks across swampy terrain and hiking trails. Among bird songs and occasional train whistles, discombobulated dolls, broken TVs and rusted car parts have been repurposed into ingenious monuments to modern follies. Found objects, which otherwise might litter the trail, are reconstructed into thought-provoking moments. Freaky and provocative, cheesy and authentic, the Doll’s Head Trail is completely original and strangely beautiful. Constitution Lakes Park, 1305 S. River Industrial Boulevard.

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best YouTuber

Qaadir F. Howard
QAADIR F. HOWARD is one of Atlanta’s master “draggers” — i.e., he excels at taking people, places and things to task in front of a camera in the most hilarious ways. Click on over to his popular YouTube channel and check him ripping the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Donald Trump and even his co-workers,more...
QAADIR F. HOWARD is one of Atlanta’s master “draggers” — i.e., he excels at taking people, places and things to task in front of a camera in the most hilarious ways. Click on over to his popular YouTube channel and check him ripping the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Donald Trump and even his co-workers, all served up utilizing his trademarked rapid-fire delivery style. His clips are straight-up confessional vlogs with minimal editing, but what they lack in bells and whistles, Howard makes up for in uncensored, no-holds-barred reading. Bottom line: Dude is a trip. www.youtube.com/user/Timaya. less...

Best mural

I Miss Buckhead by Chris Veal

Best gallery

Whitespace Gallery

Best art exhibition

Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation High Museum of Art

Best stand-up comedian

Mia Jackson
Not many comedians can say they’ve performed at Philips Arena, but to be fair, there aren’t many comedians like MIA JACKSON. The calm, cool and collected stand-up exudes likability on stage, spreading her hilarious wisdom on life, dating and the dangers of stepping on someone’s biscuit. The versatilemore...

Not many comedians can say they’ve performed at Philips Arena, but to be fair, there aren’t many comedians like MIA JACKSON. The calm, cool and collected stand-up exudes likability on stage, spreading her hilarious wisdom on life, dating and the dangers of stepping on someone’s biscuit. The versatile comic has become a favorite of Amy Schumer, but Jackson’s been a favorite of ours for way longer. She makes this nerve-racking craft look easy on stage at a bar, a club, a college, a theater, or on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” (where she was a semi-finalist in 2015). This summer, the bona fide Georgia peach was named a New Face of Comedy at the biggest industry festival, Just For Laughs Montreal. Consequently, it’s only a matter of time until everyone else knows what savvy Atlantans have know for years. www.miajackson.com.

photo by: Ransom Rockwood

less...

Best comedy night/show/late-night marathon

Monday Night Comedy at Star Bar
There’s no place in the world where Monday’s met with excitement — nowhere but Little Five Points. MONDAY NIGHT COMEDY AT STAR BAR, the longest-running comedy show in the A, has been stuffing the smoke-tinged rock venue with the city’s funniest comedians, the up-and-comers, and the doe-eyed first-timersmore...
There’s no place in the world where Monday’s met with excitement — nowhere but Little Five Points. MONDAY NIGHT COMEDY AT STAR BAR, the longest-running comedy show in the A, has been stuffing the smoke-tinged rock venue with the city’s funniest comedians, the up-and-comers, and the doe-eyed first-timers to a passionate crowd for more than a decade. It’s where many dipped their toes in the water for the first time and it’s where they later recorded their first albums. Rodney Leete has been MCing this free weekday marathon of who’s who in not just our local comedy scene but the whole country, as the show has become a favorite drop-in destination for famous funny people like Hannibal Buress, Rory Scovel, Vanessa Bayer and more. 437 Moreland Ave. N.E. 404-500-4942. www.rotkneepresents.com. less...

Best Instagrammer

Tiny Doors ATL
It’s amazing how small artwork can make such a big impact. Of course, we’re talking about the folks at TINY DOORS ATL. The much-loved group behind miniature art installations all over town is dedicated to inspiring “curiosity and exploration” — and its corresponding Instagram page, with moremore...
It’s amazing how small artwork can make such a big impact. Of course, we’re talking about the folks at TINY DOORS ATL. The much-loved group behind miniature art installations all over town is dedicated to inspiring “curiosity and exploration” — and its corresponding Instagram page, with more than 30,000 followers, plays a big role in spreading this message. Just about every day on the ’gram, the organization posts images of the tiny picnic baskets, tiny books, tiny bricks and, you guessed it, tiny house projects it constructs. It’s not high art, but it sure does make people happy. And that’s cool. www.instagram.com/tinydoorsatl. less...

Best dance company

Zoetic Dance Ensemble

Best muralist

Fabian "Occasional Superstar" Williams
Even if you don’t know the name FABIAN “OCCASIONAL SUPERSTAR” WILLIAMS, you’ve more than likely seen, or been impacted by, the artist’s work. His massive, vibrant murals — such as his fluorescent portrait of Hosea Williams, which was completed in July, adorn buildings across the city andmore...

Even if you don’t know the name FABIAN “OCCASIONAL SUPERSTAR” WILLIAMS, you’ve more than likely seen, or been impacted by, the artist’s work. His massive, vibrant murals — such as his fluorescent portrait of Hosea Williams, which was completed in July, adorn buildings across the city and serve as both eye-catching visual treats and as multilayered, often-whimsical political statements. And the North Carolina native’s artistic efforts this year extended beyond just creating it: Joining forces with a number of his fellow muralists, Williams successfully battled the City in court over the right to have paintings displayed on private party without excessive government interference. But whether we’re talking advocacy or the creative process, Atlanta’s a better place with Williams here doing his thing. www.occasionalsuperstar.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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