Artists, Marietta gallery tackle challenging topic of sex trafficking

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Artists, Marietta gallery tackle challenging topic of sex trafficking

“Dolls in the City,” an exhibition that addresses the harsh realities of sex trafficking, is the sort of topical show one might expect to find at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center or another leading non-profit space.

Instead you’ll find the works by 22 member artists of the Women’s Caucus for Art of Georgia at 2 Rules Fine Art, a commercial gallery just off the quaint Marietta square. Along with the paintings, drawings, photographs, textile works and ceramic pieces, there are news stories and educational posters on view about a societal problem that hits close to home.

“In business, there are times when making a difference speaks louder than making a profit,” gallery co-owner Lois Rule responded when asked about the programming choice. “When the Women’s Caucus for Art of Georgia approached me, my first thought was that Atlanta didn’t have a sex trafficking problem. But, after I researched it, I found that sex trafficking is occurring not only in Atlanta but in the surrounding suburbs. I realized that an art exhibit could provide a very powerful way to raise awareness.”

That is certainly the mission of the Women’s Caucus for Art’s Georgia chapter, which was founded in 2000, now boasts more than 100 members and works to bring women’s issues to the foreground through art.

The expressions in “Dolls in the City” vary greatly, though many juxtapose familiar images of childhood innocence with challenging suggestions of abuse. For instance, Atlanta artist Kathy Meliopoulos’ collage “City Traffic” shows paper doll girls in various states of undress, their identities obscured by black bars across the eyes and naked body parts. And in Patty Weisman’s ceramic work “Little Red Riding Hood,” the title character sits on a horse with wolves crowded between the steed’s legs.

“The horse is a spiritual symbol, and it is taking the deceased child to a safe haven,” Weisman, of Canton, writes in her artist’s statement. “The wolves can no longer hurt the child. She is oblivious to the wolves, as all children should be allowed to be.”

Weisman said the piece is homage to 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera, who was abducted and murdered in Canton in 2011.

Atlanta artist Flora Rosefsky created a series of seven collages that place old 45 rpm records and facial photos scissored in an unrecognizable manner on Stop sign-shaped red matte board. The records bear seemingly innocuous titles such as “Shame, Shame, Shame” and “I’m Girl Scoutin’” that take on new meaning in the exhibit context.

2 Rules is hosting programs relating to the exhibit’s issue, including a free gallery talk by “Rescuing Hope: Sex Trafficking in America” author Susan Norris at 1:30 p.m. May 18.

The gallery will host a reception with live music and refreshments during the Marietta Art Walk, 5-9 p.m. June 7.

Through June 29. 85 Church St., Marietta. 404-355-6897, www.2rulesfineart.com.

FILM

New music, footage enhance ‘Metropolis’ screening

It promises to be one of the more intriguing Atlanta events of the spring.

At 8 p.m. May 28, the music ensemble Sonic Generator will play to a free outdoor screening of Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent classic “Metropolis.” The concert/screening will take place at the Woodruff Arts Center’s Sifly Piazza (just outside the High Museum of Art’s entrance).

Sonic Generator, Georgia Tech’s contemporary music ensemble-in-residence that features 16 instrumentalists and electronic sounds, will perform the American premiere of a new musical score composed by Martin Matalon.

The showing will include 25 minutes of “lost” footage discovered in Argentina in 2008. The sci-fi classic, roughly two-and-a-half-hours at the time of its Berlin premiere, was trimmed shortly thereafter by distributors intent on maximizing its commercial potential. Several restorations, including an important one in 2001 that ran 2 hours and 4 minutes, had returned long-lost scenes.

“The balance of the story has been given back,” Martin Koerber, the German film archivist and historian who supervised the latest restoration as well as the one in 2001, told The New York Times when what has been billed as “The Complete Metropolis” debuted in 2010. “It’s now a film that encompasses many genres, an epic about conflicts that are ages old.”

The Woodruff showing was postponed from last fall when musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (including several Sonic Generator members) were locked in thorny negotiations that led to a lockout by management.

1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. www.sonicgenerator.gatech.edu.

ARTS

Creative economy researcher honored

The Georgia Arts Network recently honored Allen Bell of South Arts with its annual Paula Vaughn Community Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bell is program director for arts education, research and information for the Atlanta-based regional arts organization. He recently published “Creative Industries in the South,” a comprehensive report on the region’s creative economy (searchable at www.southarts.org).

Bell, who has worked in arts administration for 15 years, was executive director of Rome Area Council for the Arts for a decade before joining South Arts.

Tech gets movement project moving with grant

Georgia Tech’s Office of the Arts recently received a $155,000 grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation toward a two-year collaboration with choreographer Jonah Bokaer. Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts and Bokaer will develop “Applied Movement: App Development for Choreography,” a framework consisting of software components that enable groups to participate in a shared movement-based artistic and educational experience by using their mobile phones.

Bokaer was a Ferst Center resident artist in 2010-11, working with Tech students, the metro dance community and students at Drew Charter School and Centennial Place Elementary. For the new residency, he will work with these groups again.

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