The Fresh makers

New arts collective introduces Atlanta to NoNo

Attention followers of Atlanta's indie arts scene: Here's three new words to add to the vernacular — "Fifth Class," "NoNo" and "Fresh."

Fifth Class refers to a new artist collective, consisting of six locals whose talents vary from traditional visual arts to theater and multimedia events.

NoNo is a new art and performance space, so-named for its proximity to the intersection of North Avenue and Northside Drive.

And Fresh indicates the exhibition-cum-kickoff event introducing Atlanta to both Fifth Class and NoNo.

Fifth Class got its start as Introduction, producers of MJQ Concourse's popular Monday night multimedia art parties. With Fresh, co-founder Errol Crane says Fifth Class taps into some of the same energy of the MJQ parties, but he thinks this event will be "exponentially more."

"We've got so much space," says Crane. "I feel like we're the first people to really use this space to its fullest."

Indeed, Fifth Class members were worried initially about filling NoNo's 7,500-square-foot warehouse space with art for the juried exhibition, but co-curator Chantelle Minarcine says they were overwhelmed with entrants. Which may explain why Fresh serves up works from 70 visual artists, with media ranging from painting and sculpture to Flash animation.

"This is planned as all over the board," says Minarcine. "As we were jurying we tried to choose a piece from each genre, from each discipline."

In true art party fashion, the exhibition's opening reception offers freakishly eclectic performances: live music ranging from electronica to "hillbilly Southern gothic rock," two puppet shows and a set by Seaberg Acrobatic Poetry — "septuagenarian acrobats who perform and read poetry at the same time, sometimes in the nude," Crane says.

Crane's already lining up another menu of performances for the closing party, and is also planning a music night with Eyedrum.

"We thought we'd really have to build up to something like this, but NoNo is really letting us go through with it," Crane says. "It's nice to start out with a bang, I think."

Fresh opens Fri., May 17, at 8 p.m. and runs through June 7 at NoNo, 595 North Ave. Donations accepted at the door. 404-756-0987.??