Category: Arts

Pavlić awarded National Poetry Series prize

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pavlicv2.jpgProfessor Ed Pavlić is one of our most accomplished faculty members, and even as a star among many, his sterling accomplishments as a poet, critic and cultural interlocutor stand out. His impressive resume recently received another bolded line as a winner of the Open Competition from the NPS for 2014:

The National Poetry Series recently announced the five winners of its 2014 Open Competition, which included "Let's Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno" by the University of Georgia's Ed Pavlić, a professor of English and creative writing in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

The National Poetry Series arranges publication of the winning books, scheduled to be released in summer 2015. The prize also includes a cash award, which has been raised to $10,000 from $1,000 thanks to a grant from the Lannan Foundation, which has awarded literary prizes since 1989.

About 1,200 manuscripts are entered for the open competition each year.

"Since the late 1970s, arguably more than any other American literary institution, the National Poetry Series has helped produce and publicize a portrait of our culture's real diversity, which is also its actuality," Pavlić said. "In a culture in which evidence, everywhere, seems designed, chillingly, to prove that all power is financial power and that all news is, at bottom, financial news, the Lannan Foundation's generous support of the NPS supports one crucial-at times seemingly powerless-need of the culture: that it be empowered, in ways against itself, for itself."

And indeed that is no small thing. In a society where money serves as the great indicator, it is notable that the NPS prize has been pushed into wider recognition with the increased prize purse. The publication of "Lets Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno" by Fence Books is the more important aspect, but if more people pay attention because of the added cultural currency (sorry), then all the better. Great job and congratulations to Pavlić.

 

Athens Photographers at the Dodd

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Lachowski-PhotoTopos1-Canon-AF35ML.jpgFriday evening, September 12 is a big evening for openings at the Lamar Dodd School of Art galleries, which will open four new exhibitions at once with a reception beginning at 6 p.m.:

LDSOA Galleries celebrates the opening of four new exhibitions: Ry Rocklen: Local Color in Gallery 307; Photo Topos 1 featuring Rinne Allen, Michael Lachowski, and Carl Martin in Gallery 101, Zipporah Thompson: Menagerie in the Suite Gallery, and Jessica Machacek + Ella Weber: Suspended Preservatives in the Plaza & Bridge Galleries

The Photo Topos 1 show, curated by Dodd associate director Asen Kirin, is of particular interest as it showcases the work of three prominent Athens photographers and represents a new direction for the Galleries. Lots of great work. See you at the Dodd tomorrow.

Image: Michael Lachowski: Canon AF35ML 1982, 2014

Sculptor Ry Rocklen to lecture September 9

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RyR.jpgVisiting artist and Gallery Artist-in-Resident Ry Rocklen will discuss the work he has created while in Athens as well as comment on his recent sculptural pieces in porcelain and his furniture enterprise Trophy Modern. Rocklen's exhibition of work, Local Color, made largely in tandem with students at the Lamar Dodd School of Art will open on September 12th in Gallery 307. His lecture is on Tuesday Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in room S151 of the Dodd:

Rocklen began his career studying with Charles Ray at the University of California, Los Angeles, and continued at the University of Southern California where he received his Master of Fine Arts degree. Rocklen has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, most recently holding solo exhibitions at Praz-Delavallade in Paris, France, and UNTITLED in New York. His work is in the collections of the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the MoCA Library at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 

Alum to direct University Theatre production, "Clybourne Park"

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UGA-Clybourne-Park-2014_0.jpgThe Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title was taken from the Langston Hughes poem "Harlem" (also known as "A Dream Deferred") for a story based on a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. A Raisin in the Sun was made into a film (1961), a musical (1973), and a TV film (1989), and a spinoff production of Hansberry's classic, "Clybourne Park," won both a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Now, "Clybourne Park" comes to UGA in a new University Theatre production beginning September 25:

Directed by Paul Pierce, State Theater of Georgia artistic director and a UGA alumnus, this satiric comedy about race and real estate follows one house over 50 years—from the era of segregation to gentrification.

Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, an Olivier Award and the Pulitzer Prize, the play begins in 1958 with homeowners learning that a black family has bought a house in their all-white neighborhood in Chicago, depicting events immediately following those in the classic play. Act two takes the audience to the same house in 2008 as a white family is buying and renovating the house, now in a predominantly black neighborhood, and the roles are reversed.

This reversal provides humor while raising the racial issues associated with historical redlining, fair housing policies and contemporary gentrification. The same actors play the characters in both act one and act two, emphasizing the connection between events half a century apart. Costumes and the décor of the home change drastically while the people and situations remain reminiscent despite the reversal of roles.

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Performances will be held Sept. 25-26 and 30 and Oct. 1-3 at 8 p.m. with matinees Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building's Cellar Theatre.

We're glad to welcome Pierce back to campus, and kudos to University Theatre for bringing back a renowned alum to work with our current students. Get your tickets here.

2nd Thursday Scholarship Concert Series

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UGASO_11_0.jpgThe Hugh Hodgson School of Music revs up the fall semester with the first concert in the 2nd Thursday Scholarship Concert Series on Thursday Sept. 11, with a new start time at 7:30 p.m.:

Pianist Damon Denton will appear as featured soloist with the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 11 in Hodgson Concert Hall.

In addition to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major “Eroica,” one of the most beloved compositions in the Western music canon, the UGA Symphony Orchestra—directed by Mark Cedel—will showcase Denton during its performance of George Gershwin’s “Concerto in F.”

“One of the reasons I love this composition is because it highlights the piano and orchestra in equal measure,” said Denton, a faculty accompanist in the Hodgson School, speaking of “Concerto in F.” “It gives the entire orchestra—not just the piano, but all the wonderful musicians onstage—a chance to shine.”

As one of the country’s most celebrated composers, Gershwin had an affinity for combining distinctly American idioms, including jazz, the blues and ragtime, into his compositions. “Concerto in F,” while more closely tied to classical concerto tradition than “Rhapsody in Blue,” incorporates many of the sounds, textures and harmonies for which Gershwin is known.

“The concerto is all about real life,” Denton said. “It mirrors the street—cars honking, crowds cheering, dirty streets and bright lights. Gershwin’s work is distinctly American music that joyously reflects American life as opposed to abstract melody.”

We know the semester is fully geared up when the Symphony orchestra opens the 2nd Thursday season. Take advantage of these wonderful cultural offerings all year long and help support our students in the Hodgson School by purchasing season tickets. Great concerts and wonderful musical experiences await. See you at Hodgson Hall.

2014-15 Dodd Professorial Chair: Zoe Strauss

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Strauss2_380_255auto.jpgThe Lamar Dodd School of Art welcomes Philadelphia-based photographer Zoe Strauss to campus as this year's Dodd Professorial Chair:

For a decade between 2001 and 2010, Philadelphia photographer Zoe Strauss (b. 1970) showed her photographic works once a year in a public space beneath an I-95 highway overpass in South Philadelphia. In these annual one-day exhibitions, Strauss mounted her color photographs to the concrete bridge supports and viewers could buy photocopies for five dollars. Through portraits and documents of houses and signage, Strauss looked unflinchingly at the economic struggles and hardscrabble lives of residents in her own community and other parts of the United States. She describes her work as "an epic narrative about the beauty and struggle of everyday life." Strauss, a self-taught photographer and political activist, sees her work as a type of social intervention, and she has often used billboards and public meetings as venues. This exhibition is a mid-career retrospective and the first critical assessment of her decade-long project.

Strauss' Dodd Chair lecture is on Tuesday September 2 at 5:30 p.m. in room S151 of the school of art. The lecture is free and the public is invited to attend.

Image: Zoe Strauss, Mattress Flip Front, 2001. Courtesy International Center of Photography.

2014-15 University Theatre Season

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Fine_Arts.jpgThe richness of cultural choices - programming, in the common parlance - in our campus community instills a great sense of contact, exploration and inspiration. The new University Theatre season is an extraordinarily thoughtful repertoire of new and old that promises many great nights on its venerable stages:

[The] 2014-2015 lineup, which includes the 2012 Tony Award Winning "Raisin in the Sun" spinoff "Clybourne Park," a stage adaptation of literary and film classic "The Great Gatsby" presented as part of the UGA Spotlight on the Arts Festival, Shakespeare's classic comedy "Much Ado About Nothing" and the biting satire "Mein Kampf."

This year's season offers new and old classics, from Shakespeare to Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" and adaptations and spin-offs of classic literature. It also contains new offerings, such as Catherine Trieschmann's "Hot Georgia Sunday" and George Tabori's "Mein Kampf," a satirical sendup of Adolf Hitler's failure as an artist that led him to pursue his other dream—of taking over the world. "A Lesson Before Dying," based on the Ernest Gaines novel examining the life of an innocent man on death row in 1948 Louisiana

The literary sensibililty of this roster alone has tremendous appeal. I already have my favorites. Get your season tickets today.

Image: Fine Arts Theatre by Cassandra Wright.

LDSOA alums in residence at Bemis Center

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Plakas1.jpgCongratulations to Rachel Dubuque (MFA '13) and Justin Plakas (MFA '12) who were selected to live and work at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NB this summer:

The two are part of an international group of 18 artists who were selected out of a pool of 800, working on individual projects for a funded cycle of three months.

"It has been an amazingly transformative experience," Plakas said.

GMOA Museum Mix features Pylon, Athens cultural scene exhibits

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Museum_Mix_DJ_Michael_Lachowski_in_1983.jpg

A late-night art party at the Georgia Museum of Art this Thursday night from 8- midnight will harken back to the 1970s and 1980s music and art scene here in Athens and is surely not to be missed.  Known as Museum Mix, this free event will feature snacks and refreshments, access to all of the museum’s galleries until midnight and a DJ set by Michael Lachowski, co-founder of and bass player for the seminal athens band Pylon.

The summer Museum Mix is inspired by the exhibition "Shapes That Talk to Me: The Athens Scene, 1975-85." The DJ will be Michael Lachowski, co-founder of and bass player for the seminal Athens band Pylon. Lachowski will play records that Pylon members and others listened to during the early years of the Athens music scene, including music by Pere Ubu, The Ramones, Public Image Ltd, Talking Heads, Cabaret Voltaire, Elvis Costello, Suicide, Kraftwerk and many more.

Lachowski, who also handles public relations for the museum and helped organize "Shapes That Talk to Me," said, "The social scene that the early Athens music scene came out of was based around art students, art faculty and visual art itself-but our parties were also fueled by new music from outside Athens. Because access to new music was always a challenge, the communal sharing of new acquisitions in social contexts was taken seriously. While we were dancing and cavorting, we were absorbing an education in music-the influences that shaped Pylon and other bands-and that's the music I want to revisit at this hot summer Museum Mix."

The “Shapes That Talk to Me” exhibit and the Museum Mix event are being held in conjunction with Art Rocks Athens, a festival exploring the works of art and music that established Athens as a cultural center.  Art Rocks Athens and the accompanying exhibits and events is continuing the tradition of UGA and the Athens cultural scene influencing each other. Through December, venues across Athens are taking part in the collaborative celebration with exhibitions, films, lectures and more.  View more about Art Rocks Athens here.

'Mafia on Prozac' production begins July 23

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An unusual summer theatre production begins its international run at the university next week:

"Mafia on Prozac," the hit off-Broadway comedy by Edward Allan Baker, July 23-25 at 8 p.m. in the Cellar Theatre of the Fine Arts Building.

The company will move to Atlanta's Hangar Theatre for a performance July 26 from 8:50-9:35 p.m. and then on to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland Aug. 1-2 and 4-9.

The production is a collaboration between two long-time colleagues at separate universities: Ray Paolino, UGA's director of theatre, and Barry Pearson, provost of the State University of New York Purchase College. The two pooled resources to bring a professional-level production to the Edinburgh Festival with Pearson serving as the play's director and Paolino as a lead actor in the role of Tee.

Also on board from UGA is department of theatre and film studies faculty member T. Anthony Marotta in the lead role of Jay; master of fine arts in theatre graduate student Zack Byrd as the stage manager; and alumnus Michael Stille in the role of Matt. The production and tour are funded by the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the President's Venture Fund, a Provost's Summer Research Grant and the Purchase College Foundation.

A late July treat that is not to be missed. Get your tickets the evening of each performance at the Fine Arts Theatre box office.