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Global imaging

Atlanta Celebrates Photography broadens its scope

A little over a year ago, it looked like the annual photography festival, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, was headed for the dustbin of history.

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The nonprofit's all-volunteer staff, including co-founders Corinne Adams and Susan Todd-Raque, were burned out and the event appeared to be fizzling.

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But thanks to a generous anonymous donor, ACP found its second wind in 2004 and hired Anne Dennington as its first-ever executive director. In September, a full-time public relations staff member, Dianna Watson, joined the organization.

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While fostering Atlanta's photographic community remains a goal, Dennington says ACP 7's ambitions have grown.

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"Our new mission is to establish Atlanta as one of the top international cities for photography," she says. And if the event continues to build from its already promising lineup of lectures, exhibitions, films and public art projects, then that goal may soon be within sight.

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Following are our top 10 picks for best in show.

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1) Though millions of reality TV viewers would probably beg to differ, hours and hours of self-conscious, 24/7 exhibitionism can't rival the revelatory power of a single, well-timed photograph. A panel of "reality effect" experts — Diane Arbus' daughter Amy Arbus, former Atlanta shutterbug Chris Verene, esteemed documentary photographer Bill Owens, and the new High Museum Curator of Photography Julian Cox — will speak on truth in image-making in the cheekily titled panel discussion We Like to Watch: Realism in Contemporary Photography, moderated by local art blogger, curator and collector Erik Schneider. Sat., Oct. 8, noon-2 p.m. Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, 500 10th St. 404-894-7840. www.ipst.gatech.edu.

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2) In keeping with photography's rep as the most populist art form, ACP is staging another round of its popular My Atlanta event at Piedmont Park's Historic Bath House. Photographers of all levels are encouraged to participate in this public display of photographs on the theme of dance. Judges will award prizes in various categories, including Best Motion Study and Crowd Favorite. Sun., Oct. 9, noon-5 p.m. Piedmont Park Historic Bath House. www.piedmontpark.org.

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3) The highlight of ACP's lecture series this go-around may be Larry Sultan, a photographer who has most recently documented the hardcore sex films being shot in the generic suburban homes of the San Fernando Valley. Thurs., Sept. 29, 7 p.m. Rich Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. www.aca.edu.

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4) ACP's official film curator, Andy Ditzler, along with Shana Wood, has created a five-part film series at Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery that asks the critical question, "Where would photography be without light?" Available Light: The Use of Light in Artists' Films features works by Gordon Matta-Clark, Stan Brakhage and local artists, too. Wed. and Fri., Oct. 7-Nov. 2, 8 p.m., Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery. 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 8. $5. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org.

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5) From Beijing punk bars to Australian veterans clubs, the globe-trotting photographer Beatrix Reinhardt captures the architecture of "fun" in a solo show at Romo Gallery. Through Oct. 25. Tues.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 309 Peters St. 404-222-9955. www.romogallery.com.

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6) New York-based Sze Tsung Leong captures some of the cataclysmic changes going down in History Images, a show about old China being replaced by a modern metropolis that Atlanta viewers will surely relate to. Oct. 7-Nov. 2. Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m. Kiang Gallery, 1545 Peachtree St., Suite 225. 404-892-5477. www.kiang-gallery.com. Sze Tsung lectures Wed., Oct. 5, 5 p.m., at Georgia Tech University's College of Architecture Auditorium, 247 Fourth St.

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7) Former Atlantan Chris Verene will feature the latest work in his ongoing 18-year-long photographic excavation of his birthplace, the dying small town of Galesburg, Ill., in Galesburg: The New Chapters. Through Oct. 22. Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Marcia Wood Gallery, 263 Walker St. 404-827-0030. www.marciawoodgallery.com.

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8) Christopher Sims, based at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, photographs the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, forcing us to see the human beings behind political abstractions and agendas in Homefronts, 2002-2005. Through Nov. 23. Mon.-Thurs., 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. The Showcase School of Photography, Lower Level Gallery, 1135 Sheridan Road. 404-965-2205. www.theshowcaseschool.com.

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9) Longtime Atlanta photographer Billy Howard resurrects his portraiture project of people — from babies to gay men — dying of AIDS in Life, Love & Loss at Arts for All Gallery. In this sad follow-up, the 68 subjects Howard documented in his 1989 book Epitaphs for the Living are now all dead. Through Oct. 28. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 57 Forsyth St. 404-221-1270. www.vsaartsga.org.

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10) The New York-based team of Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar will present an ambitious public art project called Hide-and-Seek at the Atlantic Station complex. Drawing from their research into the Atlanta landscape, the artists will project 3-D digital imagery and animation on the side of AN unoccupied building to evoke the child's game of hide-and-seek in a virtual urban landscape. Oct. 20-Nov. 20, from dusk to 2 a.m., Atlantic Station, intersection of Atlantic Drive and 19th Street. www.atlanticstation.com.



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