A Critic's Notebook: 10th & Peachtree gets a rolling stone

Zachary Coffin's fun public art piece arrives in Midtown, a Whitney curator speaks at ACAC, and Aubrey Longley-Cook serves up some long-awaited face

The weather has been pretty miserable lately, but we nonetheless had some fun outdoors when we happened upon the Zachary Coffin piece Rockspinner, a public artwork that was recently installed at the corner of 10th and Peachtree. The Midtown Alliance has leased the work, consisting of a ten ton granite boulder from the Nevada mountains attached to a spinning base, from the Atlanta-based artist for three years.

It's not difficult to turn, but it does take a good push to get it going - you definitely get a sense of the huge mass of the thing - but once it's moving, it's surprisingly easy to keep it revolving. It will even stay turning for a while after you've left, as it does in the video above. Next time you're up that way, do give it a whirl.

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When we're not spinning rocks, we like to think about art, and there'll be no better place to do that this weekend than the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. On Saturday morning at 11 a.m. (in ACAC's snazzy new lecture space, no less), renowned artist, curator, writer, and teacher Michelle Grabner will speak about all her various activities, the most intriguing of which currently is her role as one of the three curators of this year's Whitney Biennial. For more information, visit ACAC's website.



Grabner will be serving up some art theory in the morning, but artist Aubrey Longley-Cook will be serving up some face in the evening. Longley-Cook's long-awaited exhibition Serving Face opens on Saturday night at the Erikson Clock building in Atlanta's Castleberry Hill neighborhood. The central work, a brief animation of RuPaul pain-stakingly created by a group of 35 volunteer cross-stitchers, will have its world premiere as a looping video.

The evening, which also includes drag performances from Lavonia Elberton, Ellisorous Rex, Cayenne Rouge, Xee Xee Bow Dong, and Brigitte Bidet, promises to be one of the top art events of the year. Check out my interview with Longley-Cook in this week's Creative Loafing.


We all know the Atlanta Beltline is one of the most genius ideas ever. Come learn more about the man behind it.

Ryan Gravel originally outlined the idea of turning the old rail lines that circle Atlanta into trails and a string of parks in his 1999 master's degree thesis at Georgia Tech.

And the rest, as they say, is history. And it's also our future. Gravel gives a lecture entitled "Public Space, Civic Identity, and the Cultivation of a New Atlanta" on Thursday, December 12, at 7 p.m. at the High Museum. This event is free, but seating is limited. Reserve up to two free tickets at the event's website. (The event website says your ticket stub will also get you into the museum after the lecture, so that seems to indicate you'll get free admission to the museum, as well. Hard to beat that).