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Best Of Atlanta 2010 Poets Artists Large


Poets, Artists & Madmen

Atlanta’s art scene is on the verge of something significant — teetering between making it and breaking it. Long regarded as a creative hodgepodge, the city’s poets, artists and madmen have worked tirelessly in the last year to help redefine the city’s artistic identity. They attracted international attention with the colossal grassroots street art conference Living Walls, improved our public art profile with gloATL and Art on the Beltline, and cultivated the kind of TV- and filmmaking-friendly environment that’s allowed for the conversion of Lakewood Fairgrounds into a Hollywood-worthy soundstage, and the local filming of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” So what does the future hold for the arts in Atlanta? Can we build on the momentum we’ve recently gained? Judging from the last year’s creative outpouring, the scales are tipped in the right direction.

— Debbie Michaud

Best dance company

gloATL
The emergence of dancemaker Lauri Stallings’ GLOATL over the past year has been the artistic equivalent of a fire alarm going off in the middle of the night. Stallings and her troupe are interlopers; invaders of public space and consciousness. Their method of attack is rooted in Gaga, a performancemore...
The emergence of dancemaker Lauri Stallings’ GLOATL over the past year has been the artistic equivalent of a fire alarm going off in the middle of the night. Stallings and her troupe are interlopers; invaders of public space and consciousness. Their method of attack is rooted in Gaga, a performance technique pioneered by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. Gaga’s so-called “movement language” has a balletic herky-jerkiness that bursts with athleticism and emotion. With gloATL, Stallings has eschewed the traditional stage format for venues such as Lenox Mall, the streets of Castleberry Hill, and the Woodruff Arts Center campus for her 360-degree audience/performer experiences. gloATL’s 2009-10 season concluded with the epic multimedia performance Roem, setting the stage (so to speak) for the company’s largest public work to date, scheduled for this fall. www.gloatl.com less...

Best graphic novelist

Andy Runton
Terms like “subtlety,” “innocence,” and “whimsy” seldom describe contemporary graphic novels, but of all the creators in our lively, local comic book scene, Lilburn’s ANDY RUNTON produces the most persistently impressive work with his dialogue-free, kid-oriented title Owly, which givesmore...
Terms like “subtlety,” “innocence,” and “whimsy” seldom describe contemporary graphic novels, but of all the creators in our lively, local comic book scene, Lilburn’s ANDY RUNTON produces the most persistently impressive work with his dialogue-free, kid-oriented title Owly, which gives “cute” a good name. Move over, Winnie the Pooh. www.andyrunton.com/comics.html less...

Best guest actor to throw his money around

Mike Daisey
Powerhouse monologist MIKE DAISEY took the Alliance Theatre by storm last spring. Marrying the verbal and thematic ingenuity of the late Spalding Gray with the volcanic indignation of Lewis Black, Daisey took on money and materialism with The Last Cargo Cult, then trained his incisive eye on the problemsmore...
Powerhouse monologist MIKE DAISEY took the Alliance Theatre by storm last spring. Marrying the verbal and thematic ingenuity of the late Spalding Gray with the volcanic indignation of Lewis Black, Daisey took on money and materialism with The Last Cargo Cult, then trained his incisive eye on the problems of contemporary stagecraft with his one-night performance of How Theater Failed America. Atlanta may have literally gotten more out of Daisey than he put in. In Cargo Cult, Daisey conducted a sociological experiment by converting his fee for each performance into cash and giving it away to his audience as they entered. At the end of the show, Daisey politely requested the money be returned. His Atlanta run left him more deeply in the red than any other city. If that makes Daisey reluctant to return, we have only ourselves to blame. mikedaisey.blogspot.com less...

Best local comedian

Andy Sandford

Best local male actor

E. Roger Mitchell
A mainstay of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, E. ROGER MITCHELL proves the best kind of utility player by putting fresh spins on vivid roles from Ceremonies in Dark Old Men’s urban operator Blue Haven to Gem of the Ocean’s bereft Citizen Barlow. Perhaps Mitchell’s most impressive qualitymore...
A mainstay of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, E. ROGER MITCHELL proves the best kind of utility player by putting fresh spins on vivid roles from Ceremonies in Dark Old Men’s urban operator Blue Haven to Gem of the Ocean’s bereft Citizen Barlow. Perhaps Mitchell’s most impressive quality is his ability to take a sketchy character, such as The Sunset Limited’s saintly ex-con, and invest it with dignity and gravitas. Mitchell can reliably make mediocre material strong, and strong material masterful. less...

Best play

Fair Use
Ironically, Alliance Theatre Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition finalist FAIR USE proved to be more felicitous and satisfying than any of the Kendeda’s storied winners to date. Actor’s Express’ Freddie Ashley snapped up Sarah Gubbins’ ingenious and witty examination of workplace romancemore...
Ironically, Alliance Theatre Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition finalist FAIR USE proved to be more felicitous and satisfying than any of the Kendeda’s storied winners to date. Actor’s Express’ Freddie Ashley snapped up Sarah Gubbins’ ingenious and witty examination of workplace romance and intellectual property, which demonstrates its own points by turning into a nimble riff on Cyrano de Bergerac for the online, gay-friendly age. Fair Use proves that a play doesn’t need historical settings or heavyweight subject matter to explore rich ideas and the nature of relationships. less...

Best trend in the arts

Art parties
Atlanta’s art scene has experienced a changing of the guard over the past couple of years: The collective has become king. And while the twenty- and thirtysomethings behind the city’s nascent art co-ops, galleries and organizations have displayed remarkable entrepreneurial savvy, and ushered in amore...
Atlanta’s art scene has experienced a changing of the guard over the past couple of years: The collective has become king. And while the twenty- and thirtysomethings behind the city’s nascent art co-ops, galleries and organizations have displayed remarkable entrepreneurial savvy, and ushered in a new generation of nonprofits, they’ve also shown that they know how to party. ART PARTIES such as Dashboard Co-op’s launch event at the cavernous Blue Tower Gallery, Dodekapus’ mad art show-cum-ice-sculpting-rave, BurnAway’s fundraising extravaganza, and round two of the underground local art and music fest ARTlantis are a mere sampling of the past year’s social calendar. The parties ring with the energy of those who are making up the rules as they go. What’s more, the art is good and just keeps getting better. We’re not saying an art show has to have fire dancers to be fun ... but it sure as hell doesn’t hurt. less...

Best black box theater

Dad’s Garage Top Shelf Dad's Garage Theatre
An intimate venue even by the minuscule standards of black box spaces, DAD’S GARAGE TOP SHELF offers an incubator of raw local talent, notably Griefers, written by and starring Randy Havens and Christian Danley, as well as the latest work from artists such as Steve Yockey, Alison Hastings, Erin Burnettmore...
An intimate venue even by the minuscule standards of black box spaces, DAD’S GARAGE TOP SHELF offers an incubator of raw local talent, notably Griefers, written by and starring Randy Havens and Christian Danley, as well as the latest work from artists such as Steve Yockey, Alison Hastings, Erin Burnett and Matt Myers. Bonus: It’s easy to drink beer there. 280 Elizabeth St., Suite C-101. 404-523-3141. www.dadsgarage.com. less...

Best collective artistic “Oh, hell naw!”

March on the Capitol
When artists, arts organizations and their supporters first learned last April that the Georgia House of Representative’s proposed state budget for 2011 eliminated funds for the Georgia Council for the Arts, the response was swift. The arts community sprang into action to oppose the cuts, includingmore...
When artists, arts organizations and their supporters first learned last April that the Georgia House of Representative’s proposed state budget for 2011 eliminated funds for the Georgia Council for the Arts, the response was swift. The arts community sprang into action to oppose the cuts, including circulating a petition that gathered more than 2,000 signatures in a matter of days. The protesting culminated in a MARCH ON THE CAPITOL April 19 comprising several hundred people, complete with pithy signs, dancing, music, singing, speeches and generally colorful commotion. The following day, the Senate Appropriations Committee modified the budget, which was later approved, allotting approximately $890,000 for the GCA. It was a wake-up call for members of the local art community, who learned the hard way that you’ve got to fight for your right to be arty. less...

Best public art event

Living Walls: The City Speaks

Best gallery

Whitespace Whitespace Gallery
With its exposed brick walls and airy, modern layout, Susan Bridges’ Inman Park carriage-house-turned-gallery WHITESPACE is at once nostalgic and modern. The same can be said for the art Bridges welcomes into the space: Standout shows of the past year include local husband-and-wife team Whitney andmore...
With its exposed brick walls and airy, modern layout, Susan Bridges’ Inman Park carriage-house-turned-gallery WHITESPACE is at once nostalgic and modern. The same can be said for the art Bridges welcomes into the space: Standout shows of the past year include local husband-and-wife team Whitney and Micah Stansell’s multimedia collaboration Past. Perfect. Continuous., and the Caroline Lathan-Stiefel-curated adventure in color and texture Seepages. 814 Edgewood Ave. 404-688-1892. www.whitespace814.com. less...

Best local female actor

Shelby Hofer
In recent years, Atlantans have been short-changed the charms of PushPush Theater co-founder SHELBY HOFER, primarily due to her having a child. Hofer renewed her credentials as one of Atlanta’s best comic actresses with PushPush’s one-woman show 101 Humiliating Stories by Lisa Kron. A tour-de-forcemore...
In recent years, Atlantans have been short-changed the charms of PushPush Theater co-founder SHELBY HOFER, primarily due to her having a child. Hofer renewed her credentials as one of Atlanta’s best comic actresses with PushPush’s one-woman show 101 Humiliating Stories by Lisa Kron. A tour-de-force of shameful admissions and self-conscious behavior, Stories provided a showcase of Hofer’s spot-on timing, from mortifying anecdotes to asides to the audience to such awkward episodes as falling asleep on stage. PushPush extended Stories several times, but really, could continue to show it every week without it getting old. www.pushpushtheater.com less...

Best movie theater

Plaza Theater Plaza Theatre
None of Atlanta’s slick corporate cinema chains feels as much like a picture show by and for the community as the 71-year-old PLAZA THEATRE. The scruffy but comfy movie house currently specializes in new art-house films, creative events such as Silver Scream Spook Show, and monthly screenings of themore...
None of Atlanta’s slick corporate cinema chains feels as much like a picture show by and for the community as the 71-year-old PLAZA THEATRE. The scruffy but comfy movie house currently specializes in new art-house films, creative events such as Silver Scream Spook Show, and monthly screenings of the cult hit The Room. At the Plaza, the love of film practically fills the air, like the smell of popcorn. 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com. less...

Best photo finish

Julian Cox
It’s safe to say that the last five years JULIAN COX has spent as the curator of photography at the High have been some of the museum’s most productive, and arguably its most impressive. Exhibitions such as Harry Callahan: Eleanor in 2007, 2008’s Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rightsmore...
It’s safe to say that the last five years JULIAN COX has spent as the curator of photography at the High have been some of the museum’s most productive, and arguably its most impressive. Exhibitions such as Harry Callahan: Eleanor in 2007, 2008’s Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968, and most recently, Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer have raised the museum’s profile and helped pad its permanent collection. For the “Picturing the South” series, Cox wrangled commissions from photographer Alec Soth that now call the High home. Among the best of the nation’s photography scholars, Cox was appointed as Founding Curator of Photography for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Chief Curator of the de Young Museum in July. We’re sad to see him go, but thanks to his diligent efforts at building the museum’s permanent collection in truly meaningful ways, we have plenty to remember him by. 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4444. www.high.org. less...

Best sign that Atlanta’s a new mini-Hollywood

“The Walking Dead”
Between Tyler Perry’s Atlanta-based media empire, Georgia’s financial incentives for film production, and Screen Gems’ new deal to convert Lakewood Fairgrounds into a soundstage, the A has increasingly raised its profile as a destination for making movies and television shows. Perhaps no projectmore...
Between Tyler Perry’s Atlanta-based media empire, Georgia’s financial incentives for film production, and Screen Gems’ new deal to convert Lakewood Fairgrounds into a soundstage, the A has increasingly raised its profile as a destination for making movies and television shows. Perhaps no project could do more for the city’s cachet than the local filming of “THE WALKING DEAD,” American Movie Classics’ undead miniseries developed by director Frank Darabont and based on the cult graphic novel series of the same name. AMC is essentially the new HBO, boasting such critically acclaimed fare as “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” If “The Walking Dead” lives up to those shows when it debuts in November, it could boost our cool factor by several orders of magnitude. Either way, it’s always fun having zombies around. &emdash;www.amctv.com/originals/The-Walking-Dead less...

Best stage director

Freddie Ashley
Actor’s Express artistic director FREDDIE ASHLEY benefits from the law of averages in this category: He’s such a prolific director that if you’ve seen a vivid or imaginative production recently, odds are he helmed it. Ashley’s coming off a particularly fulsome season that included the memory-hauntedmore...
Actor’s Express artistic director FREDDIE ASHLEY benefits from the law of averages in this category: He’s such a prolific director that if you’ve seen a vivid or imaginative production recently, odds are he helmed it. Ashley’s coming off a particularly fulsome season that included the memory-haunted musical Grey Gardens, the intimate musical A Catered Affair, and the showbiz satire-turned-fightfest Slasher. In Ashley’s shows, the actors make graceful transitions between powerful emotional beats without ever letting the snappy pace flag. Here’s hoping Ashley keeps up the pace as well. www.actors-express.com less...

Best use of Krog Street tunnel

FU BP Time-Lapse Video
As BP’s busted well continued to gush oil into the Gulf of Mexico nearly two months after the Deep Water Horizon’s “blowout preventer” failed to deliver as promised on April 20, a couple of locals took to the Krog Street tunnel to voice their frustration, painting “fu bp” above the DeKalbmore...
As BP’s busted well continued to gush oil into the Gulf of Mexico nearly two months after the Deep Water Horizon’s “blowout preventer” failed to deliver as promised on April 20, a couple of locals took to the Krog Street tunnel to voice their frustration, painting “fu bp” above the DeKalb Avenue entrance. The best part, though, was the FU BP TIME-LAPSE VIDEO that circulated the following day. It showed the pair working from the middle of the night into the wee hours of the morning, ducking for cover as cop cars pass, and quickly accumulated upward of 11,000 views on YouTube. less...

Best blockbuster theater

Cobb Energy Performance Arts Centre Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
The corporate name may not be inspirational, but every other aspect of the COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE never fails to impress, from its sleek exterior to its luxurious lobby to the comfy seats and fine acoustics and sight-lines of the 2,750-seat auditorium. Plus, the Centre’s logistical easemore...
The corporate name may not be inspirational, but every other aspect of the COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE never fails to impress, from its sleek exterior to its luxurious lobby to the comfy seats and fine acoustics and sight-lines of the 2,750-seat auditorium. Plus, the Centre’s logistical ease puts the audience focus where it belongs: on artists like the performers of the Atlanta Ballet and Atlanta Opera. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. 770-916-2800. www.cobbenergycentre.com. less...

Best emerging visual artist

Lucha Rodriguez

Best playwright

Peter Hardy
As artistic director of Essential Theatre, PETER HARDY has been Atlanta’s de facto midwife of new local plays. In the summer of 2010, however, Hardy put the spotlight on his own script, Sally and Glen at the Palace, and the nostalgic dramedy packed enough punch to upstage many of Essential’s productionsmore...
As artistic director of Essential Theatre, PETER HARDY has been Atlanta’s de facto midwife of new local plays. In the summer of 2010, however, Hardy put the spotlight on his own script, Sally and Glen at the Palace, and the nostalgic dramedy packed enough punch to upstage many of Essential’s productions going back for years. www.essentialtheatre.com less...

Best poet

Paul Guest

Best public art performance

John Q’s Memory Flash
Working with an old house in the historic Old Fourth Ward, a softball field, a vacant lot, and a growth of kudzu behind a strip mall, JOHN Q’S MEMORY FLASH uncovered Atlanta’s queer history in the most typical of places. Oral histories from Jolly Twelve member Freddy Styles, drag queen Billy Jones,more...
Working with an old house in the historic Old Fourth Ward, a softball field, a vacant lot, and a growth of kudzu behind a strip mall, JOHN Q’S MEMORY FLASH uncovered Atlanta’s queer history in the most typical of places. Oral histories from Jolly Twelve member Freddy Styles, drag queen Billy Jones, and softball players from the Atlanta Tomboys informed Memory Flash’s installations and performances, and created an unforgettably resonant connection between the past and present. www.fluxprojects.org less...

Best reason to navigate the urban jungle

Art on the Beltline
Forget gallery walls, this year artists have been vying for representation in public spaces, most significantly as part of the sprawling, multidisciplinary project ART ON THE BELTLINE. Intended to boost awareness of the size and scope of the proposed 22-mile loop of parks, trails and transit, and itsmore...
Forget gallery walls, this year artists have been vying for representation in public spaces, most significantly as part of the sprawling, multidisciplinary project ART ON THE BELTLINE. Intended to boost awareness of the size and scope of the proposed 22-mile loop of parks, trails and transit, and its potential impact on you and me and our fair city, the multipart exhibit has featured everything from a poignant performance art and installation piece by Hormuz Minina to Jeffry Loy’s glowing steel flower pods. www.beltline.org less...

Best underground art space

Mint Gallery MINT Gallery
Tucked away in the nether regions of the Sampson Street Lofts, MINT GALLERY makes itself known with an unassuming orange door. The artist-run nonprofit gallery is practically ground zero for projects from Atlanta’s emerging creatives. Owners/operators Erica Jamison and Mike Germon maintain a freneticmore...
Tucked away in the nether regions of the Sampson Street Lofts, MINT GALLERY makes itself known with an unassuming orange door. The artist-run nonprofit gallery is practically ground zero for projects from Atlanta’s emerging creatives. Owners/operators Erica Jamison and Mike Germon maintain a frenetic pace conceiving of inspired artist collabos (Joe Tsambiras, Sam Parker and the Paper Twins’ Here We Hide); killer group shows (Solid Gold); and hosting hot-shit guest curators (Ben Goldman and Jason Travis), while co-founder Andrew Bellury acts as liaison for MINT exhibitions at other venues around town. 684-B John Wesley Dobbs Ave. mintgallery.blogspot.com. less...

Best fiction author

Blake Butler
Scorch Atlas author BLAKE BUTLER doesn’t just write fiction, he creates interlocking worlds, apocalyptic visions raining gravel or glass or glitter. His thin volumes swell to the size of several books as you read them. Catch him locally at his Solar Anus reading series, where he’s usually introducingmore...
Scorch Atlas author BLAKE BUTLER doesn’t just write fiction, he creates interlocking worlds, apocalyptic visions raining gravel or glass or glitter. His thin volumes swell to the size of several books as you read them. Catch him locally at his Solar Anus reading series, where he’s usually introducing other talents from small and independent presses. www.gillesdeleuzecommittedsuicideandsowilldrphil.com less...

Best nonfiction author

Mara Shalhoup
After reading MARA SHALHOUP’s vivid and kaleidoscopic exploration of the Black Mafia Family, BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family, you’ll never be able to look at Atlanta’s streets, Buckhead’s mansions, or a line of cocaine the same again. Whether she’s recountingmore...

After reading MARA SHALHOUP’s vivid and kaleidoscopic exploration of the Black Mafia Family, BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family, you’ll never be able to look at Atlanta’s streets, Buckhead’s mansions, or a line of cocaine the same again. Whether she’s recounting the bright lights and big heads at a high-end nightclub or parsing the machinations of a Byzantine federal investigation, Shalhoup is a sure-footed investigator of organized crime. www.bmfbook.com


Full disclosure: Shalhoup is CL’s editor in chief. Arts freelancer Wyatt Williams chose Shalhoup for this award and wrote the blurb. We trust that Wyatt was in no way influenced by Shalhoup’s role at CL when he made this selection.

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Best theater company

Aurora Theatre Aurora Theatre
Perhaps something’s in the water in Lawrenceville. Since AURORA THEATRE debuted its new playhouse there in 2007, the once-tame suburban theater has seen increasing creative dividends. In the past season, Aurora debuted the Georgia Gwinnett College Lab Series of innovative scripts at its new black boxmore...
Perhaps something’s in the water in Lawrenceville. Since AURORA THEATRE debuted its new playhouse there in 2007, the once-tame suburban theater has seen increasing creative dividends. In the past season, Aurora debuted the Georgia Gwinnett College Lab Series of innovative scripts at its new black box theater, where you can see the likes of the funny, quirky boom and the intriguing, upcoming The Circumference of a Squirrel, starring Daniel May. The programming has branched out from familiar theatrical warhorses and included such coups as the regional premiere of A Catered Affair with Glenn Rainey, and hit a high watermark with Tranced, a twisty political thriller on a par with the best work of Actor’s Express, Horizon Theatre and Alliance Hertz Stage. Like Marietta’s Theatre in the Square, Aurora strikes just the right balance between pleasing its audience and challenging its artists. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222. www.auroratheatre.com. less...

Best gallery

Young Blood Gallery & Boutique Young Blood Gallery

Runner-up: Beep Beep Gallery


696 Charles Allen Drive, 404-429-3320, www.beepbeepgallery.com

Best local female actor

Alison Hastings
Runner-up: Lauren Kraselsky

Best local male actor

Tyler Perry

www.tylerperry.com


Runner-up: Chris Kayser

Best neighborhood art walk

Castleberry Hill Castleberry Hill

castleberryhill.org


Runner-up: Westside


wadatlanta.org

Best new trend in the arts

The Beltline

www.beltline.org


Runner-up: Public art

Best opening

Here We Hide by Paper Twins, Joe Tsambiras and Sam Parker MINT Gallery

Runner-up: Supernatural Conductor by Shana Robbins


Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 535 Means St. N.W., 404-688-1970, www.thecontemporary.org

Best play

Spoon: The Musical at Dad’s Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre

Runner-up: Hamlet! The Musical at The New American Shakespeare Tavern


499 Peachtree St., 404-874-5299, www.shakespearetavern.com

Best public artwork

The Beltline

www.beltline.org


Runner-up: Krog Street Tunnel

Best theater company

Dad’s Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre

Runner-up: The New American Shakespeare Tavern


499 Peachtree St., 404-874-5299, www.shakespearetavern.com

Best underground art space

Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery

Runner-up: WonderRoot


982 Memorial Drive S.E., 404-254-5955, www.wonderroot.org

Best book by a local author

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Runner-up: The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Best book event

Decatur Book Festival

www.decaturbookfestival.com


Runner-up: Readings at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse


991 Piedmont Avenue N.E., 404-607-0082, www.outwritebooks.com/

Best film festival

Atlanta Film Festival 365

atlantafilmfestival.com


Runner-up: Atlanta Jewish Film Festival


www.ajff.org

Best local comedian

Joe Pettis

www.joepettis.com


Runner-up: Rodney “Rotknee” Leete

Best photographer

Ryan Purcell

www.ohsnapkid.com


Runner-up: Maximus Smith


www.modelmayhem.com

Best touring play

The Phantom of the Opera at Fox Theatre

Runner-up: Wicked at Fox Theatre


660 Peachtree St. N.E., 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org/

Best venue for stand-up comedy

Laughing Skull Lounge Laughing Skull Lounge

Runner-up: The Punchline


280 Hilderbrand Drive N.E., 404-252-5233, www.punchline.com

Public art event

The Beltline

www.beltline.org


Runner-up: Atlanta Dogwood Festival


www.dogwood.org

Best established visual artist

Fahamu Pecou

www.fahamupecouart.com


Runner-up: R. Land


rlandart.com

Best gallery spotlighting local artists

Beep Beep Gallery Beep Beep Gallery

Runner-up: Young Blood Gallery & Boutique


636 N. Highland Ave. N.E., 404-254-4127, youngbloodgallery.com

Best museum

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art

Runner-up: Fernbank Museum of Natural History


767 Clifton Road, 404-929-6300, www.fernbankmuseum.org

Best place to hear spoken word

Java Monkey Java Monkey

Runner-up: Apache Cafe


64 Third St. N.W., 404-876-5436, www.apachecafe.info

Best place to see a movie

Landmark Midtown Art Cinema Landmark Midtown Art Cinema

Runner-up: Plaza Theatre


1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-873-1939, www.plazaatlanta.com

Best sketch comedy troupe or venue

Dad’s Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre

Runner-up: Sketchworks Theatre


3041 N. Decatur Road, Scottdale, 404-499-8181, www.sketchworkscomedy.com

Best art exhibit in a gallery

Here We Hide at MINT Gallery MINT Gallery

Runner-up: Inside at Wm Turner Gallery


112 Krog St. N.E., 404-577-4500, www.wmturnergallery.com

Best art party

Art Papers Art Auction

Best dance performance

Koru by Dance 101 Dance 101
Runner-up: Staibdance

Best film series

Splatter Cinema at Plaza Theatre Plaza Theatre

Runner-up: Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival at Fox Theatre


660 Peachtree St. N.E., 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org

Best indie crafter

Becky Striepe AND Christy Petterson

Becky Striepe: www.glueandglitter.com


Christy Petterson: abardis.wordpress.com


Runner-up: Lorigami


lorigami.com

Best art exhibit in a museum

The Allure of the Automobile High Museum of Art

Runner-up: Dali: The Late Work


High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., 404-733-4444, www.high.org

Best improv group

Dad’s Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre

Runner-up: Whole World Improv Theatre


1216 Spring St. N.W., 404-817-7529, wholeworldtheatre.com

Best local arts blog

Burnaway

www.burnaway.org


Runner-up: ArtsCriticATL


www.artscriticatl.com

Best local author

Hollis Gillespie

Best local playwright

Topher Payne

www.topherpayne.com


Runner-up: Tyler Perry


www.tylerperry.com

Best local poet

Kodac Harrison

www.kodacharrison.com


Runners-up:


Mikel K


www.185cool.com/mikelkpoet/


AND


Natasha Trethewey


blueflowerarts.com/natasha-trethewey

Best dance company

gloATL
The emergence of dancemaker Lauri Stallings’ GLOATL over the past year has been the artistic equivalent of a fire alarm going off in the middle of the night. Stallings and her troupe are interlopers; invaders of public space and consciousness. Their method of attack is rooted in Gaga, a performancemore...
The emergence of dancemaker Lauri Stallings’ GLOATL over the past year has been the artistic equivalent of a fire alarm going off in the middle of the night. Stallings and her troupe are interlopers; invaders of public space and consciousness. Their method of attack is rooted in Gaga, a performance technique pioneered by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. Gaga’s so-called “movement language” has a balletic herky-jerkiness that bursts with athleticism and emotion. With gloATL, Stallings has eschewed the traditional stage format for venues such as Lenox Mall, the streets of Castleberry Hill, and the Woodruff Arts Center campus for her 360-degree audience/performer experiences. gloATL’s 2009-10 season concluded with the epic multimedia performance Roem, setting the stage (so to speak) for the company’s largest public work to date, scheduled for this fall. www.gloatl.com less...

Best gallery

Young Blood Gallery & Boutique Young Blood Gallery

Runner-up: Beep Beep Gallery


696 Charles Allen Drive, 404-429-3320, www.beepbeepgallery.com

Best graphic novelist

Andy Runton
Terms like “subtlety,” “innocence,” and “whimsy” seldom describe contemporary graphic novels, but of all the creators in our lively, local comic book scene, Lilburn’s ANDY RUNTON produces the most persistently impressive work with his dialogue-free, kid-oriented title Owly, which givesmore...
Terms like “subtlety,” “innocence,” and “whimsy” seldom describe contemporary graphic novels, but of all the creators in our lively, local comic book scene, Lilburn’s ANDY RUNTON produces the most persistently impressive work with his dialogue-free, kid-oriented title Owly, which gives “cute” a good name. Move over, Winnie the Pooh. www.andyrunton.com/comics.html less...

Best guest actor to throw his money around

Mike Daisey
Powerhouse monologist MIKE DAISEY took the Alliance Theatre by storm last spring. Marrying the verbal and thematic ingenuity of the late Spalding Gray with the volcanic indignation of Lewis Black, Daisey took on money and materialism with The Last Cargo Cult, then trained his incisive eye on the problemsmore...
Powerhouse monologist MIKE DAISEY took the Alliance Theatre by storm last spring. Marrying the verbal and thematic ingenuity of the late Spalding Gray with the volcanic indignation of Lewis Black, Daisey took on money and materialism with The Last Cargo Cult, then trained his incisive eye on the problems of contemporary stagecraft with his one-night performance of How Theater Failed America. Atlanta may have literally gotten more out of Daisey than he put in. In Cargo Cult, Daisey conducted a sociological experiment by converting his fee for each performance into cash and giving it away to his audience as they entered. At the end of the show, Daisey politely requested the money be returned. His Atlanta run left him more deeply in the red than any other city. If that makes Daisey reluctant to return, we have only ourselves to blame. mikedaisey.blogspot.com less...

Best local comedian

Andy Sandford

Best local female actor

Alison Hastings
Runner-up: Lauren Kraselsky

Best local male actor

E. Roger Mitchell
A mainstay of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, E. ROGER MITCHELL proves the best kind of utility player by putting fresh spins on vivid roles from Ceremonies in Dark Old Men’s urban operator Blue Haven to Gem of the Ocean’s bereft Citizen Barlow. Perhaps Mitchell’s most impressive qualitymore...
A mainstay of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, E. ROGER MITCHELL proves the best kind of utility player by putting fresh spins on vivid roles from Ceremonies in Dark Old Men’s urban operator Blue Haven to Gem of the Ocean’s bereft Citizen Barlow. Perhaps Mitchell’s most impressive quality is his ability to take a sketchy character, such as The Sunset Limited’s saintly ex-con, and invest it with dignity and gravitas. Mitchell can reliably make mediocre material strong, and strong material masterful. less...

Best local male actor

Tyler Perry

www.tylerperry.com


Runner-up: Chris Kayser

Best neighborhood art walk

Castleberry Hill Castleberry Hill

castleberryhill.org


Runner-up: Westside


wadatlanta.org

Best new trend in the arts

The Beltline

www.beltline.org


Runner-up: Public art

Best opening

Here We Hide by Paper Twins, Joe Tsambiras and Sam Parker MINT Gallery

Runner-up: Supernatural Conductor by Shana Robbins


Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 535 Means St. N.W., 404-688-1970, www.thecontemporary.org

Best play

Fair Use
Ironically, Alliance Theatre Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition finalist FAIR USE proved to be more felicitous and satisfying than any of the Kendeda’s storied winners to date. Actor’s Express’ Freddie Ashley snapped up Sarah Gubbins’ ingenious and witty examination of workplace romancemore...
Ironically, Alliance Theatre Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition finalist FAIR USE proved to be more felicitous and satisfying than any of the Kendeda’s storied winners to date. Actor’s Express’ Freddie Ashley snapped up Sarah Gubbins’ ingenious and witty examination of workplace romance and intellectual property, which demonstrates its own points by turning into a nimble riff on Cyrano de Bergerac for the online, gay-friendly age. Fair Use proves that a play doesn’t need historical settings or heavyweight subject matter to explore rich ideas and the nature of relationships. less...

Best play

Spoon: The Musical at Dad’s Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre

Runner-up: Hamlet! The Musical at The New American Shakespeare Tavern


499 Peachtree St., 404-874-5299, www.shakespearetavern.com

Best public artwork

The Beltline

www.beltline.org


Runner-up: Krog Street Tunnel

Best theater company

Dad’s Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre

Runner-up: The New American Shakespeare Tavern


499 Peachtree St., 404-874-5299, www.shakespearetavern.com

Best trend in the arts

Art parties
Atlanta’s art scene has experienced a changing of the guard over the past couple of years: The collective has become king. And while the twenty- and thirtysomethings behind the city’s nascent art co-ops, galleries and organizations have displayed remarkable entrepreneurial savvy, and ushered in amore...
Atlanta’s art scene has experienced a changing of the guard over the past couple of years: The collective has become king. And while the twenty- and thirtysomethings behind the city’s nascent art co-ops, galleries and organizations have displayed remarkable entrepreneurial savvy, and ushered in a new generation of nonprofits, they’ve also shown that they know how to party. ART PARTIES such as Dashboard Co-op’s launch event at the cavernous Blue Tower Gallery, Dodekapus’ mad art show-cum-ice-sculpting-rave, BurnAway’s fundraising extravaganza, and round two of the underground local art and music fest ARTlantis are a mere sampling of the past year’s social calendar. The parties ring with the energy of those who are making up the rules as they go. What’s more, the art is good and just keeps getting better. We’re not saying an art show has to have fire dancers to be fun ... but it sure as hell doesn’t hurt. less...

Best underground art space

Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery

Runner-up: WonderRoot


982 Memorial Drive S.E., 404-254-5955, www.wonderroot.org

Best black box theater

Dad’s Garage Top Shelf Dad's Garage Theatre
An intimate venue even by the minuscule standards of black box spaces, DAD’S GARAGE TOP SHELF offers an incubator of raw local talent, notably Griefers, written by and starring Randy Havens and Christian Danley, as well as the latest work from artists such as Steve Yockey, Alison Hastings, Erin Burnettmore...
An intimate venue even by the minuscule standards of black box spaces, DAD’S GARAGE TOP SHELF offers an incubator of raw local talent, notably Griefers, written by and starring Randy Havens and Christian Danley, as well as the latest work from artists such as Steve Yockey, Alison Hastings, Erin Burnett and Matt Myers. Bonus: It’s easy to drink beer there. 280 Elizabeth St., Suite C-101. 404-523-3141. www.dadsgarage.com. less...

Best book by a local author

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Runner-up: The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Best book event

Decatur Book Festival

www.decaturbookfestival.com


Runner-up: Readings at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse


991 Piedmont Avenue N.E., 404-607-0082, www.outwritebooks.com/

Best collective artistic “Oh, hell naw!”

March on the Capitol
When artists, arts organizations and their supporters first learned last April that the Georgia House of Representative’s proposed state budget for 2011 eliminated funds for the Georgia Council for the Arts, the response was swift. The arts community sprang into action to oppose the cuts, includingmore...
When artists, arts organizations and their supporters first learned last April that the Georgia House of Representative’s proposed state budget for 2011 eliminated funds for the Georgia Council for the Arts, the response was swift. The arts community sprang into action to oppose the cuts, including circulating a petition that gathered more than 2,000 signatures in a matter of days. The protesting culminated in a MARCH ON THE CAPITOL April 19 comprising several hundred people, complete with pithy signs, dancing, music, singing, speeches and generally colorful commotion. The following day, the Senate Appropriations Committee modified the budget, which was later approved, allotting approximately $890,000 for the GCA. It was a wake-up call for members of the local art community, who learned the hard way that you’ve got to fight for your right to be arty. less...

Best film festival

Atlanta Film Festival 365

atlantafilmfestival.com


Runner-up: Atlanta Jewish Film Festival


www.ajff.org

Best local comedian

Joe Pettis

www.joepettis.com


Runner-up: Rodney “Rotknee” Leete

Best photographer

Ryan Purcell

www.ohsnapkid.com


Runner-up: Maximus Smith


www.modelmayhem.com

Best public art event

Living Walls: The City Speaks

Best touring play

The Phantom of the Opera at Fox Theatre

Runner-up: Wicked at Fox Theatre


660 Peachtree St. N.E., 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org/

Best venue for stand-up comedy

Laughing Skull Lounge Laughing Skull Lounge

Runner-up: The Punchline


280 Hilderbrand Drive N.E., 404-252-5233, www.punchline.com

Public art event

The Beltline

www.beltline.org


Runner-up: Atlanta Dogwood Festival


www.dogwood.org

Best established visual artist

Fahamu Pecou

www.fahamupecouart.com


Runner-up: R. Land


rlandart.com

Best gallery

Whitespace Whitespace Gallery
With its exposed brick walls and airy, modern layout, Susan Bridges’ Inman Park carriage-house-turned-gallery WHITESPACE is at once nostalgic and modern. The same can be said for the art Bridges welcomes into the space: Standout shows of the past year include local husband-and-wife team Whitney andmore...
With its exposed brick walls and airy, modern layout, Susan Bridges’ Inman Park carriage-house-turned-gallery WHITESPACE is at once nostalgic and modern. The same can be said for the art Bridges welcomes into the space: Standout shows of the past year include local husband-and-wife team Whitney and Micah Stansell’s multimedia collaboration Past. Perfect. Continuous., and the Caroline Lathan-Stiefel-curated adventure in color and texture Seepages. 814 Edgewood Ave. 404-688-1892. www.whitespace814.com. less...

Best gallery spotlighting local artists

Beep Beep Gallery Beep Beep Gallery

Runner-up: Young Blood Gallery & Boutique


636 N. Highland Ave. N.E., 404-254-4127, youngbloodgallery.com

Best local female actor

Shelby Hofer
In recent years, Atlantans have been short-changed the charms of PushPush Theater co-founder SHELBY HOFER, primarily due to her having a child. Hofer renewed her credentials as one of Atlanta’s best comic actresses with PushPush’s one-woman show 101 Humiliating Stories by Lisa Kron. A tour-de-forcemore...
In recent years, Atlantans have been short-changed the charms of PushPush Theater co-founder SHELBY HOFER, primarily due to her having a child. Hofer renewed her credentials as one of Atlanta’s best comic actresses with PushPush’s one-woman show 101 Humiliating Stories by Lisa Kron. A tour-de-force of shameful admissions and self-conscious behavior, Stories provided a showcase of Hofer’s spot-on timing, from mortifying anecdotes to asides to the audience to such awkward episodes as falling asleep on stage. PushPush extended Stories several times, but really, could continue to show it every week without it getting old. www.pushpushtheater.com less...

Best movie theater

Plaza Theater Plaza Theatre
None of Atlanta’s slick corporate cinema chains feels as much like a picture show by and for the community as the 71-year-old PLAZA THEATRE. The scruffy but comfy movie house currently specializes in new art-house films, creative events such as Silver Scream Spook Show, and monthly screenings of themore...
None of Atlanta’s slick corporate cinema chains feels as much like a picture show by and for the community as the 71-year-old PLAZA THEATRE. The scruffy but comfy movie house currently specializes in new art-house films, creative events such as Silver Scream Spook Show, and monthly screenings of the cult hit The Room. At the Plaza, the love of film practically fills the air, like the smell of popcorn. 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com. less...

Best museum

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art

Runner-up: Fernbank Museum of Natural History


767 Clifton Road, 404-929-6300, www.fernbankmuseum.org

Best photo finish

Julian Cox
It’s safe to say that the last five years JULIAN COX has spent as the curator of photography at the High have been some of the museum’s most productive, and arguably its most impressive. Exhibitions such as Harry Callahan: Eleanor in 2007, 2008’s Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rightsmore...
It’s safe to say that the last five years JULIAN COX has spent as the curator of photography at the High have been some of the museum’s most productive, and arguably its most impressive. Exhibitions such as Harry Callahan: Eleanor in 2007, 2008’s Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968, and most recently, Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer have raised the museum’s profile and helped pad its permanent collection. For the “Picturing the South” series, Cox wrangled commissions from photographer Alec Soth that now call the High home. Among the best of the nation’s photography scholars, Cox was appointed as Founding Curator of Photography for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Chief Curator of the de Young Museum in July. We’re sad to see him go, but thanks to his diligent efforts at building the museum’s permanent collection in truly meaningful ways, we have plenty to remember him by. 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4444. www.high.org. less...

Best place to hear spoken word

Java Monkey Java Monkey

Runner-up: Apache Cafe


64 Third St. N.W., 404-876-5436, www.apachecafe.info

Best place to see a movie

Landmark Midtown Art Cinema Landmark Midtown Art Cinema

Runner-up: Plaza Theatre


1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-873-1939, www.plazaatlanta.com

Best sign that Atlanta’s a new mini-Hollywood

“The Walking Dead”
Between Tyler Perry’s Atlanta-based media empire, Georgia’s financial incentives for film production, and Screen Gems’ new deal to convert Lakewood Fairgrounds into a soundstage, the A has increasingly raised its profile as a destination for making movies and television shows. Perhaps no projectmore...
Between Tyler Perry’s Atlanta-based media empire, Georgia’s financial incentives for film production, and Screen Gems’ new deal to convert Lakewood Fairgrounds into a soundstage, the A has increasingly raised its profile as a destination for making movies and television shows. Perhaps no project could do more for the city’s cachet than the local filming of “THE WALKING DEAD,” American Movie Classics’ undead miniseries developed by director Frank Darabont and based on the cult graphic novel series of the same name. AMC is essentially the new HBO, boasting such critically acclaimed fare as “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” If “The Walking Dead” lives up to those shows when it debuts in November, it could boost our cool factor by several orders of magnitude. Either way, it’s always fun having zombies around. &emdash;www.amctv.com/originals/The-Walking-Dead less...

Best sketch comedy troupe or venue

Dad’s Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre

Runner-up: Sketchworks Theatre


3041 N. Decatur Road, Scottdale, 404-499-8181, www.sketchworkscomedy.com

Best stage director

Freddie Ashley
Actor’s Express artistic director FREDDIE ASHLEY benefits from the law of averages in this category: He’s such a prolific director that if you’ve seen a vivid or imaginative production recently, odds are he helmed it. Ashley’s coming off a particularly fulsome season that included the memory-hauntedmore...
Actor’s Express artistic director FREDDIE ASHLEY benefits from the law of averages in this category: He’s such a prolific director that if you’ve seen a vivid or imaginative production recently, odds are he helmed it. Ashley’s coming off a particularly fulsome season that included the memory-haunted musical Grey Gardens, the intimate musical A Catered Affair, and the showbiz satire-turned-fightfest Slasher. In Ashley’s shows, the actors make graceful transitions between powerful emotional beats without ever letting the snappy pace flag. Here’s hoping Ashley keeps up the pace as well. www.actors-express.com less...

Best use of Krog Street tunnel

FU BP Time-Lapse Video
As BP’s busted well continued to gush oil into the Gulf of Mexico nearly two months after the Deep Water Horizon’s “blowout preventer” failed to deliver as promised on April 20, a couple of locals took to the Krog Street tunnel to voice their frustration, painting “fu bp” above the DeKalbmore...
As BP’s busted well continued to gush oil into the Gulf of Mexico nearly two months after the Deep Water Horizon’s “blowout preventer” failed to deliver as promised on April 20, a couple of locals took to the Krog Street tunnel to voice their frustration, painting “fu bp” above the DeKalb Avenue entrance. The best part, though, was the FU BP TIME-LAPSE VIDEO that circulated the following day. It showed the pair working from the middle of the night into the wee hours of the morning, ducking for cover as cop cars pass, and quickly accumulated upward of 11,000 views on YouTube. less...

Best art exhibit in a gallery

Here We Hide at MINT Gallery MINT Gallery

Runner-up: Inside at Wm Turner Gallery


112 Krog St. N.E., 404-577-4500, www.wmturnergallery.com

Best art party

Art Papers Art Auction

Best blockbuster theater

Cobb Energy Performance Arts Centre Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
The corporate name may not be inspirational, but every other aspect of the COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE never fails to impress, from its sleek exterior to its luxurious lobby to the comfy seats and fine acoustics and sight-lines of the 2,750-seat auditorium. Plus, the Centre’s logistical easemore...
The corporate name may not be inspirational, but every other aspect of the COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE never fails to impress, from its sleek exterior to its luxurious lobby to the comfy seats and fine acoustics and sight-lines of the 2,750-seat auditorium. Plus, the Centre’s logistical ease puts the audience focus where it belongs: on artists like the performers of the Atlanta Ballet and Atlanta Opera. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. 770-916-2800. www.cobbenergycentre.com. less...
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