Giant sculptures return to Atlanta Botanical Garden on May 5

imaginary worlds botanical garden

THE GIANT TOPIARY EXHIBITION Imaginary Worlds returns May 5 to the Atlanta Botanical Garden with an all-new menagerie of living plant sculptures. The show runs through Oct. 28 and can be seen at both the Midtown and Gainesville locations.

Photos: Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photos: Atlanta Botanical Garden

Imaginary Worlds first lumbered into the Garden in 2013/14, returning now by popular demand and mostly with creations that have never been seen before. The sculptures, which will be seen inside and out, are mostly custom-made and come from  the nonprofit International Mosaiculture of Montreal.

The  sculptures — steel forms covered in soil-and-sphagnum moss and planted with thousands of meticulously groomed plants — will be staged in 14 installations. In Midtown, look for a giant phoenix towering over the Alston Overlook, as a mermaid lounging beside Howell Fountain, a massive dragon and sleeping princess near the Great Lawn, a peacock inside the Fuqua Orchid Center, and three camels making their way through the Skyline Garden. The Gainesville landscape, meanwhile, will see such characters as a friendly ogre, panda bears and frolicking frogs.

The process began taking root about six months ago when conceptual drawings were done in Montreal, metal frames were fabricated and plant palettes were chosen. The empty frames were shipped to Atlanta in January, where the Garden’s horticulturists began covering them with a mesh fabric and stuffing them with soil. More than 200,000 plants, mostly annuals, were inserted one by one. The sculptures were built in sections and planted inside a greenhouse outside the city, then trucked to the Garden when the weather warmed for assembly. 

The exhibit is free with Garden admission ($21.95; $15.95 ages 3-12; under 3 and Garden members free in Midtown). From May through October, the Garden is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; and 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Thursday featuring illuminated sculptures and Cocktails in the Garden. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.876.5859.


"A Viewing of Subconsciousness" by Todd Alexander

The Art Institute of Atlanta is proud to have on display in the Janet Day Gallery, artist Todd Alexander's newest show “A Viewing of Subconsciousness.” This bold, large scale exhibition of mixed-media paintings brings forth a profound impact to the viewer.

Todd Alexander, formerly from Atlanta, is a working artist who is armed with imagery, technique, talent and emotion inspired by all walks of life. Born into a family of artists, at a young age Todd experimented with watercolor and oil mediums, as well as hand-thrown pottery. He then pursued scientific and medical illustration at the University of Georgia, working afterward to produce anatomically driven creations for the medical industry. Todd’s creativity has evolved as he re-entered the studio, again picking up once familiar paints and exploring alternative ways to express himself and his subjects.

Through charcoal, paint and collage, Todd allows no boundaries. For him, it’s not about the finished product as much as the journey of discovering emotions and sharing them. His most recent productions evoke the state of balance towards which he strives, using mixed-media of paper, canvas and other elements to align reality with interpretation of dimension. Multiple layers of epoxy, gel medium, and paint allow for a new, and at times unexpected, lens for the viewer to look through and more actively participate with the image.

The works found herein distill universal emotions. Subjects take the viewer to different planes in a view of the subconsciousness - inviting curiosity and contemplation. Collectively they deliver new levels of validation and self-awareness.

The exhibition runs January 22nd- March 2nd. The opening is Thursday, Feb. 8th from 7:00- 10PM - RSVP to There will be an artist’s lecture in the gallery on March 1st 12-2:00pm. The Art Institute/ Janet Day Gallery is located at 6600 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd 100 Embassy Row, Atlanta, GA 30328.



Alvin Ailey


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs Feb. 14-18 at the Fox Theatre. Tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. 

“ALMOST SPIRITUAL.” That’s how Robert Battle describes Atlanta’s passion for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

“The black experience,” says Ailey artistic director Robert Battle, “is not a one-note samba.” Photo: Andrew Eccles

“The black experience,” says Ailey artistic director Robert Battle, “is not a one-note samba.” Photo: Andrew Eccles

“The love and electricity we feel every time we’re there is the kind of excitement and commitment that’s usually reserved for pop culture — like for rock stars,” says Battle, artistic director of the nation’s pre-eminent modern dance company.

This visit the 32-member company — in which no one is a star but everyone dances like one — brings 13 pieces for six performances. You’d need to attend four of the six to see them all. What you can count on is plenty of powerful, athletic dance and Revelations as the finale. The spirit-rousing, visually stunning piece created by founder Alvin Ailey dates to 1960.

Revelations is a light in a dark place,” Battle says from New York. “As we look at this world and our country, Revelations gives us a sense that tomorrow the sun will shine.”

Battle, on the job since 2011, is the third artistic director in Ailey’s 60-year history. He was chosen by his predecessor, Judith Jamison, just as she was chosen by Ailey himself. Battle’s Mass, created in 2004 for the Juilliard School, is new this year to Ailey dancers.

He was inspired to create it after seeing a choral performance of Verdi’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall. “I found myself inspired by the sort of pageantry of a chorus of a hundred people, even how they entered in a somber way and the precise way they organized themselves on the risers, the juxtaposition of it all.

“When they sang,” he says, “the juxtaposition was their voice, like a passport to the world that could travel freely.” The choir leader “was almost like the preacher figure or chosen one born out of the mass. I found myself thinking about it all — the individual, the group or huddled mass, the chosen one freeing himself from the group.”

You never know where you’ll find inspiration, he says.

A scene from the Robert Battle-choreographed “Mass.” Top of page: “Twyla Tharp’s Golden Section.” Photos: Paul Kolnik

A scene from the Robert Battle-choreographed “Mass.” Top of page: “Twyla Tharp’s Golden Section.” Photos: Paul Kolnik

Battle’s choreography often features sharp, ritualistic movements and intricate patterns. He’s comfortable endorsing one phrase used to describe his style: rapid-fire movement. “My last name is Battle, and I think that says it all.”

As always, Ailey audiences can expect some social consciousness in the program. A highlight is likely to be Shelter, created in 1988 by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder and artistic director of Urban Bush Women, the Brooklyn- dance troupe whose works often illuminate the disenfranchised.

Ailey dancers first performed the 22-minute Shelter, described as a hard-hitting interpretation on homelessness, 25 years ago. This is its first revival in 15 years.

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s “Shelter.” Photo: Paul Kolnik

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s “Shelter.” Photo: Paul Kolnik

One day in New York, Zollar says, she found herself stepping over a homeless person. “When it became normal and didn’t have any impact —when I stopped seeing it — that is when I thought we were losing portions of our humanity.”

Since the piece premiered, New York’s homeless population has tripled to 63,000, according to a recent NBC News estimate. Georgia has about 14,000 homeless people.

Battle sees Shelter’s relevance expanding. “I think we’re having to think about shelter and protection in larger ways. There’s a real fear out there of needing shelter from the very laws that are supposed to protect you.”

At least two other pieces in the lineup date to the 1980s, as well:

TWYLA THARP’S THE GOLDEN SECTION (1983). This 16-minute piece, set to a New Wave score by David Byrne, was the finale to Tharp’s The Catherine Wheel, an acclaimed 1981 project. Two years later, it became a stand-alone piece “celebrated for its expression of blissful joy.” In 2006, The New Yorker described Ailey’s re-staging as “daring, driving choreography with breathtaking leaps.”

STACK-UP  by Talley Beatty (1982). Beatty’s piece examines “an urban landscape and all the things that can happen within that context,” says Battle. More plot-driven than most Ailey pieces, it’s a colorful, energetic number of physical pyrotechnics done to a disco vibe from the Fearless Four, Grover Washington Jr. and Earth, Wind & Fire.

An Ailey performance promises a wide range of themes, moods and emotions. “The black experience,” Battle says, “is not a one-note samba.”


Erik Madigan Heck: "Old Future" Opening at Jackson Fine Art

Jackson Fine Art is thrilled to officially announce their first Atlanta exhibition of work by acclaimed fashion photographer Erik Madigan Heck, one of the most innovative and exciting young artists in contemporary photography. Heck's painterly large scale photographs are at once classic and futuristic, with influences ranging from Gustav Klimt and Edgar Degas to the high contrast color and visionary design of Pop Art or Michel Gondry.

This intersection of past and present lends both Heck's first monograph and our exhibition their title – Old Future.  As Susan Bright writes in her contribution to the book, published by Abrams in 2017, "Heck flies into the future with his back turned – he faces history, allowing it to turn back on itself, reassigning and regrouping it with each new project." Vulture named Old Future one of the top 10 photography books of 2017. 

Heck's otherworldy imagery is mostly created in-camera, with only minor modifications done in post-production, and all of his photographs are naturally lit. 

In the past 12 months, Erik Madigan Heck has been exhibited in London, New York, and Minneapolis, with exhibitions forthcoming in Switzerland, Toronto, and Dubai. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times MagazineVanity FairTIMEThe New Yorker, and Harper's Bazaar UK. In 2013 he became one of the youngest photographers to receive the prestigious ICP Infinity Award, and in 2015 was awarded with the Art Directors Club’s Gold Medal and the AI-IP American Photography award for his Old Masters Portfolio, published by The New York Times Magazine. He lives and works in Connecticut and New York City. 

Join Jackson Fine Art on Friday, January 26 for an opening reception to Future Old from 6-8PM. Jackson Fine Art is located at 3115 East Shadowlawn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305. For more information about Jackson Fine Art and their artists, visit



Join the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces (AFFPS) on Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21, 2018, as they celebrate the fifth annual Callanwolde Arts Festival. The award-winning, two-day indoor festival is located in one of Atlanta’s most distinctive historic properties, the 27,000-square foot Callanwolde Mansion in Druid Hills, and features approximately 86 painters, photographers, sculptors, metalwork, glass artists, jewelers and more.  The festival, which is open to all ages, will also offer artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, food trucks with healthy alternatives, and live music and dance performances. Admission is $5 at the door.

Art lovers are also invited to take advantage of the ticketed V.I.P. Preview Sales Party on Friday, January 19th from 6 to 9 p.m.  Upon arrival, guests will be greeted with a glass of wine to sip on as they stroll throughout the historic home and will be the first to view and shop the artwork showcased at this year’s festival.  Guests are also invited to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres while they mix and mingle with the artists and enjoy live acoustic music.  Admission to the V.I.P. Preview Sales Party is $20 and is open to all ages. Tickets can be purchased at the door.  For more information visit   


Sunday Funday at Wynwood with #thePageofAlex

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and/or any day of the week is always a funday at Wynwood Walls. I have been a number of times but this was my first time visiting the ever-changing mural art destination with my partner Alex Page (a.k.a.) thePageofAlex. Wynwood serves as the perfect backdrop to photos and selfies - something we took advantage of. You can really make a day of it at Wynwood, as did we, with their wide selection of markets, trendy dining and curated showrooms and boutiques - all that will cool you down from the hot Miami sun! Make sure you add Wynwood Walls to your travel agenda next time you're in Miami and have an artful day!



indie craft experience diy

Indie Craft Experience (ICE), purveyors of dynamic craft markets and pop-up shops, is hosting a two-day shopping event celebrating summer like no other on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4, 2017.  Dazzling Atlanta since 2005 when they debuted the inaugural summer market, ICE founders Shannon Mulkey Green and Christy Petterson have moved the coveted event to a brand new location at Colony Square in Midtown. Featuring over 90 of the best craft and vintage vendors from across the country, music by DJ Zano, local food offerings and much more, Summer ICE takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and is just $5 cash at the door to enter. Kids 12 and under get in for free.  The first 250 shoppers each day will also receive complimentary swag bags upon arrival designed by local artists.

 “We are thrilled to host the Indie Craft Experience at Colony Square this year. The unique vendors, local culinary delights and artful encounters create the perfect complement to the reimagined Colony Square experience. We look forward to exploring the creative craft market along with our guests, residents and office tenants,” says Sara Carville, marketing coordinator at Colony Square. 

Proving to be an unforgettable two-day shopping experience year after year, Summer ICE will also feature a special appearance on Saturday, June 3rd from #weloveatl.  Striving to connect the city by telling stories through photographs, guests will interact with the iconic Chevy P30 bread truck that was converted to mobile photography gallery. All print proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  Additionally, local favorite, Tiny Doors ATL, will return and host a special “tiny garden” interactive DIY experience each day. Attendees who sign up are invited to make a living tiny garden of their own design with fun miniatures and tiny succulents.  For the full list of hand-selected vendors, which includes independent artists, printmakers, jewelry makers, artisans, crafters, makers and more, visit

"We are so happy to work with such an amazing group of artists and vintage vendors once again. It's a thrill to bring so much talent together in one awesome location for a full weekend," says ICE co-founder Christy Petterson. "We are so thankful to Colony Square for hosting us for our 12th annual summer event." 

Summer ICE will be held at Colony Square on Peachtree Street at the intersection of 14th Street in Midtown at 1197 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30361. The two-day shopping event will be located in the former Houlihans Restaurant, which overlooks the plaza on Peachtree Street. Shoppers should look for the giant MIDTOWN letters to find the plaza and then take the white spiral staircase to enter the event.  For additional information, visit