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Your Source For The Arts In Atlanta

Brooklyn artist Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama's portrait. Amy Sherald, a Georgia native who lives in Baltimore, painted Michelle Obama's portrait. (Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery)

What to see, hear and do: Obama portraits, Kevn Kinney, “Snowy Day,” more

ART+DESIGN

They may be the most talked about portraits in recent memory, and now they’re here in Atlanta. Starting Friday, the anything-but-conventional official paintings of former president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will be on display at the High Museum of Art. Kehinde Wiley painted president Obama surrounded by leaves and flowers, while Amy Sherald’s portrait of the former First Lady celebrates her love of fashion; she is wrapped in a bold geometric gown. The exhibit features a short video that gives background on the commissioning of the paintings by the National Portrait Gallery. Reservations required. Tickets $16.50 for members and non-members. Through March 20. Masks required for all visitors over 2.

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Native American artists are getting their moment in the sun in Atlanta. Less than a month after Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger closed at the Carlos Museum, Walk in Beauty opened this week at the Zuckerman Museum of Art. The group exhibit highlights Native American artists and features prints from the museum’s permanent collection as well as contemporary prints produced by Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, a studio located on Oregon’s Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. In collaboration with the Bentley Rare Book Museum, the exhibition also includes a unique selection of Cherokee artifacts and documents. Open daily except Sunday and Monday. Masks encouraged for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

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To kick off its new show, New Art for a New Year378 Gallery in Candler Park will present artist talks on Saturday at 4 p.m. Artist Lucy Luckovich will discuss her distinctive and poetic oil paintings, and Chris Neuenschwander (Noosh!) will speak about the creation of his fantastical creatures crafted in wood. New Art for a New Year also features paintings by Sarah and Gina Kirlew. Reception to follow. Visitors required to wear masks and maintain social distance in the gallery.

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MUSIC

Kinnara will reprise a much-praised performance of David Lang’s the little match girl passion on Saturday, alongside a work the group commissioned from American composer Heather Gilligan, Southern Dissonance: Portraits of a New South. That composition will draw from the words of iconic Georgia civil rights activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Alice Walker, President Jimmy Carter and Stacey Abrams. The concert will be before a live audience at Glenn Memorial Chapel on the Emory University campus at 8 p.m., and will also be livestreamed. Both are free. For the live audience, proof of vaccination and masks are required.

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Drivin N Cryin bandleader Kevn Kinney (above) performs a rare solo acoustic show Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic. Kinney has released several solo acoustic albums, often collaborating with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck. Drivin N Cryin formed in 1985 and the Atlanta rock band is still quite active. Its signature song is Kinney’s “Straight To Hell,” which was also recorded by Darius Rucker. Tickets start at $15. Masks are required when not eating or drinking.

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THEATER

Between recovering from the holidays and dodging Omicron, Atlanta theater has been slow sledding since Christmas. But shows for adult theatergoers start to pick up with Feeding Beatrice, a thriller with dark comedy elements opening at Aurora Theatre on January 20. Lurie and June, a Black couple who just became homeowners, get way more than they bargained for when they encounter a surprise feature of the new abode, a ravenously hungry ghost of a young White girl from the early 20th century. Through February 6. Masks required unless actively eating or drinking.

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Snow is in the forecast at the Center for Puppetry Arts, which will celebrate the white stuff with its first of several shows based on beloved books, The Snowy Day and Other Stories, opening Friday. Basing its musical play on the Caldecott Medal-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats, Mesner Puppet Theater of Kansas City, Missouri, celebrates the first snowfall of the year with snowball fights, snow angels and other snow play. Through January 30. Masks required for all visitors.

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While The Comedy of Errors continues at Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern (through February 6; proof of vaccination and masks required), the Atlanta Shakespeare Company offers another option for those who would prefer a Bard-related performance from the comfort and safety of home. You can stream Fat Juliet, a solo show written and performed by Bridget McCarthy, which explores snapshots of life as a young woman arrives at an identity and grapples with the way others see her. The 57-minute show is described as “part stand-up, part movement piece, all direct address.” Watch it here for free.

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BOOKS

On Monday afternoon, author Mary Frances Early will discuss her memoir, The Quiet Trailblazer, which documents her experiences as one of the first African American students to enroll at the University of Georgia. Early will share memories of her regular conversations with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and her career teaching music, starting in segregated schools and later becoming the music director of an entire school system. Early will be in conversation with Emory University’s Hank Klibanoff for the Atlanta History Center’s Author Talks program. The virtual event at 2 p.m. is free, but registration is required.

 

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