Arts Agenda - May 2021


Photo credit: Courtesy of The High
LITHOGRAPH ON PAPER: John S. de Martelly, “Looking at the Sunshine,’ 1942, now on view at the High.

High Museum of Art. Award-winning Georgia native David Driskell  (1931-2020) is at the center of Icons of Nature and History, co-organized by Atlanta’s High Museum of Art and the Portland Museum of Art. As the first posthumous survey of his career, the exhibit reflects on Driskell’s seven decades of artistry with works from museums, private collections, and the artist’s estate. As an artist, he created paintings, collages, and prints frequently read in relationship to the Black Arts movement and Afrocentrism. Driskell made significant contributions to African American art as a field of study. He taught and mentored many students through his years at schools such as the University of Maryland, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Culture, and his alma mater, Howard University. During his time as a curator, museums such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Atlanta’s High Museum mounted Driskell’s exhibitions. He was also an art advisor to celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey. Catch this traveling collection before it leaves for Portland in May! Through May 9. Our Good Earth: Rural Life and American Art. When imagining the birth of America, one can’t help but picture a rural life and honest farmers. Even now, as America is much more than farmland, artists are still drawn to images of the countryside. Through prints, drawings, and photographs, the exhibition explores the human connection with nature. Artists include Winslow Homer, Marion Greenwood, Lewis Hine, Andrew Wyeth, and more. The High aims to highlight its collection’s diversity in this compelling pastoral. Through August 1. Timed tickets required, see here for safety guidelines, times, and pricing. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-733-4400.

Atlanta Contemporary. At this year’s Atlanta Biennial, curator Dr. Jordan Amirkhani brings together 30 contemporary artists to present a bold snapshot of the Southeast in 2021 with Of Care and Destruction. Through painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, video, and photography, the exhibition confronts social issues caused by issues like COVID-19, racism, and inequality. It discusses the essential role that art plays at this moment in time. Virtual Remains takes you out of the traditional white cube for its portion of the Atlanta Biennial. Like Of Care and Destruction__, it addresses current social issues like inequality and racism. In one installation, Danielle Deadwyler incorporates performance, video, and sculpture to tell the story of the Black laborers who constructed the Atlanta railway corridor. Other installations include experimental and documentary films, collages of fabricated archives, and more. Through August 1. Free. Timed tickets required, see here for visitor and safety guidelines. Noon-5 p.m. Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat.; noon-8 p.m. Thurs.; noon-4 p.m. Sun. Atlanta Contemporary Museum, 535 Means St. N.W. 404-688-1970.

Jackson Fine Art.. Jackson Fine Art is ringing in spring with two powerful exhibitions of new work from two innovative, female photographers, Cig Harvey’s Eat Flowers and Angela West’s Persephone. Both series demonstrate spring’s symbol of rebirth, depicting images of lively blossoms, soft scenery, and beautiful colors. Harvey’s installation combines photography, letterpress text, and sculpture, while West uses paint on a series of landscape photos. Harvey will be available to sign her recent, award-winning books from 12:30 p.m.-2:3- p.m. on May 8. Exhibit through May 15. Free. Open by appointment only, see website for times and safety guidelines, Jackson Fine Art, 3115 East Shadowlawn Ave. N.E. 404-233-3739.

Westside Cultural Arts Center. People have marveled at the beauty of the Sistine Chapel for five centuries. The timeless masterpiece attracts thousands of people a year to the Vatican, but with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition, a one-of-a-kind recreation, you can see it with your own eyes right here in Atlanta! Awaken your inner art-lover and get lost in the never-before-seen perspectives given by the exhibition’s innovative staging and technology. This event is COVID-safe and kid-friendly, so mask up, bring the kids, and don’t miss this travelling show! Through May 23. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (last entry at 5 p.m.) Thurs.–Sun., see here for pricing, times, and safety guidelines. Westside Cultural Arts Center, 760 10th St. N.W., 404-561-9914,

Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. In recognition of their contributions to the community, the month-long 2021 Spring Benefit: Honoring Women Artists in Service of the Community exhibition features original works by Lucinda Bunnen, Tina Dunkley, and Susan Cofer. Bunnen, an accomplished photographer, generously donates to the continuation of important nonprofits in the area. Dunkley, a multi-talented artist, curates Clark Atlanta University’s collection of African American art. Cofer, a gifted portrait artist, has supported individual artists and institutions through her philanthropy. Without these women, Atlanta would likely not be the art hub it is today. Come out and show appreciation to the artists that keep things alive. Through May 15. Free-$5. Noon-4 p.m. Tues.–Sat. Advance tickets only, see here for visitor and safety guidelines. Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, 75 Bennett St. N.W. 404-367-8700.

Working: A Musical. Since 1977, Working: A Musical has graced stages for seven different productions. People can’t seem to get enough of this Tony award-nominated show. Now featuring two new songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the story is as fresh as ever. The Alliance’s outside, COVID-friendly “Under the Tent Series” takes place rain or shine, and allows you to buy pods with your friends to view the show while socially distancing with others. Food and drink are available for purchase. Through June 6. See site for pricing, performance schedules, and safety guidelines. Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-733-4650


Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Van Gogh’s art at this traveling light and sound spectacular! The Pratt-Pullman Yard will host this cutting-edge exhibition featuring two-story projections of the artist’s most famous works. The experience also includes separate galleries that document his life through informational panels, recreations, and activities. One activity is the virtual reality interactive which offers the user a 10-minute journey through “A day in the life of the Artist.” The 20,000 square feet of space allows for social distancing and masks are required. This COVID-friendly exhibition is child-friendly, too, so bring the whole family along for this beautiful and educational trip. Opens May 19. Through August 1. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat.-Sun. (time slots available every half hour) Pratt Pullman Yards, Building 1, Rogers St. N.E.

Hermitage: The Power of Art. Visit St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum, home of the world’s largest collection of paintings, from the comfort of your couch. The documentary takes you on a vivid journey through two and a half centuries of art. Pieces range from Egyptian antiques and prehistoric art to modern and impressionist. Historically, the Hermitage has been a meeting place for great, creative minds to connect in Russia. $10. May 26-June 1. Runtime: 90 minutes. For tickets, dates, and times, see here


High Museum of Art. The two most prominent figures of 20th-century art need no introduction.  Calder-Picasso hit Paris last year, and now it’s coming to Atlanta this summer, presenting pieces that demonstrate Calder and Picasso’s revolutionary innovation and enduring influence. Over a hundred paintings, sculptures, and works on paper are featured, as well as Calder’s early wire figures and inventive works by Picasso in every media. The exhibition focuses on exploration of the void, a defining component of abstract art. June 26-September 19. Timed tickets required, see for safety guidelines, times, and pricing. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-733-4400.


High Museum of Art. This summer, Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting offers a fascinating, touring exhibition exploring lighting design over the last century. The galleries will display nearly 80 lighting examples from twinkling, futuristic structures to vintage lamps and hanging lights. Designers include Achille Castiglioni, Greta Magnusson Grossman, Ingo Maurer, and others. The exhibition is split into three sections: “Typologies,” “The Lightbulb,” and “Quality of Light,” and features immersive experiences like DRIFT’s “Flylight” (2015), which puts the user in a room with interactive LED lights. This event is a unique one you won’t want to miss. July 2– September 26. Timed tickets required, see for safety guidelines, times and pricing. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-733-4400.

DYE COUPLER PRINT: Sandy Skoglund, ‘Gathering Paradise,’ 1991, 47 x 60 ½ inches. One of over one hundred images – many of them never before on view – showcased in ‘Underexposed: Women Photographers from the Collection,’ presented at the High through August 1. COURTESY THE HIGH


Hamilton. Kick off the post-quarantine season right with one of Broadway’s biggest hits. Hamilton holds the record for the most Tony Award nominations in history with 16 total, and has won one of the highest number of Tonys to date, at 11 — including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Choreography. Can you get bigger than that? Follow the story of Alexander Hamilton as he and pre-revolutionary America rise together, set against a modern-sounding score. These are rescheduled dates from 2020, so if you bought tickets last year, now’s your chance to finally see the show people can’t stop talking about. August 25–September 26. For tickets, times, and safety guidelines, see Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-881-2100.


High Museum of Art. Marking the museum’s first partnership with the Art Bridges Foundation, the High will present Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe, September 3–January 9, 2022. Featuring nearly 60 works drawn from the museum’s leading collection of the self-taught artist’s art, the exhibition is the first major presentation of Rowe’s work in more than 20 years and the first to consider her practice as a radical act of self-expression and liberation in the post-civil rights-era South. For the last 15 years of her life, self-taught artist Nellie Mae Rowe (1900-1982) lived on a busy thoroughfare just outside of Atlanta and welcomed visitors to her “Playhouse,” which she decorated with found-object installations, handmade dolls, chewing-gum sculptures and hundreds of drawings. Timed tickets required, see for safety guidelines, times and pricing. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-733-4400.


High Museum of Art. Twenty-five years ago, the High started commissioning photographers from across the world to explore the American South. Now, for the first time ever, it will bring all the pieces together for Picturing the South: 25 Years. The collection creates a diverse and complex archive of Southern history, including Dawoud Bey’s over-life-sized portraits of Atlanta high school students and photographs from Sally Mann’s Motherland series, as well as new commissions by An-My Lê, Sheila Pree Bright, and Jim Goldberg. November 5 2021–February 6 2022.

Fox Theatre. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher revitalizes Fiddler on the Roof, the longest-running Broadway musical, this fall at the Fox. The show tells the story of Tevye, a Russian milkman in the early 1900s, and his attempts to keep Jewish traditions in his family despite outside influences. With fresh choreography, a stellar cast, and a wonderful orchestra accompanying, the performance brings an iconic tale to a new generation. November 9-14. For more details, see Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-881-2100.