Atlanta History Center plans lively Day of Dead

Even though at its root it honors deceased loved ones, the observance of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead/Dia de Muertos always makes for a lively afternoon at the Atlanta History Center.

And this year’s 12th annual celebration, noon-5 p.m. Oct. 27, promises to be even more so as the history center makes not only the outdoor festivities free, as usual, but invites all visitors to explore the Atlanta History Museum’s exhibitions, historic homes and the center’s grounds also at no cost.

As a result, an ambitious grouping of Day of the Dead-related exhibitions is planned for the Grand Overlook Ballroom:

  • Jocobo Angeles, an artist from Oaxaca, Mexico, who creates alebrijes (folk sculptures of brightly colored, fantastical creatures) will show five of his works alongside 175 pieces by students he instructed at the Westminster Schools.
  • Calaveras — or skull-themed art, ranging from paintings to creations crafted from sugar — will be shown, as will calaveras-themed images from Mexican political cartoonist-illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913).
  • Elaborately decorated altars honoring the departed will be displayed.

A full slate of outdoor performances includes Alma Mexicana performing regional dances of Guerrero and Michoacan; Alberto Soler singing traditional and original songs; Chicahua Yolotli presenting Aztec dancing; and Pepe Lopez making mariachi music.

Traditional Mexican food will be available. For children, there will be face painting and a crafts workshop area.

Atlanta History Center presents this annual family program in collaboration with the Instituto de Mexico and the Mexican Consulate with the Fulton County Arts Council.

130 W. Paces Ferry Road; Atlanta. 404-814-4000,


Violinist pushes Atlanta Music Project

Violinist Lindsey Stirling, a 2010 “America’s Got Talent” contestant whose dance moves while playing dubstep-styled compositions have helped make her a YouTube sensation, has launched a drive to benefit Atlanta Music Project (AMP).

Stirling launched a 60-day campaign, continuing through November, to raise $50,000, enough to provide education and instruments for 50 needy AMP students (most in grades 3 through 6) at Atlanta’s historic Gilbert House and the South Bend Center for Art and Culture for the 2013-14 school year.

In partnership with the nonprofit Wear the Good, Stirling is selling "Power of Music" T-shirts — complete with her autograph and the AMP logo — with $10 from each $20 sale going to the Atlanta group. You can check out the pink and blue shirts at

On a video on the site, Stirling explains, “It breaks my heart that not everybody gets that chance to have music lessons or musical instruments to play, and more and more schools are cutting programs. And that is why I’ve teamed up with the Atlanta Music Project.”

AMP executive director Dantes Rameau told the AJC that Stirling’s team approached AMP with the idea for the fund-raiser.

“From what I can see, Lindsey is a great person,” he said, “and truly believes in the power of music as a force for good.”


Designer’s logos have a life of their own

Graphic designer Paul Rand died in 1996, but it’s safe to assume that the playful creative leader would have approved of the clever title of the party opening an exhibit on his career at the Museum of Design Atlanta: “Logo-a-Go-Go.”

The opening reception for “Paul Rand: Defining Design” will be 7-9 p.m. Saturday ($15).

Regarded as the “godfather of American Modernism,” Rand remains influential after a six-decade career in which he created instantly recognizable logos for IBM, Westinghouse, UPS, ABC and many more.

In the exhibition curated by Daniel Lewandowski, creator of the website, Rand's iconic designs will be juxtaposed with writings from his books, including "Thoughts on Design," "A Designer's Art" and "Design Form and Chaos." Short films, interviews and rare work will further illustrate Rand's thoughts on the design process.

Through Jan. 26 at MODA, 1315 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. $10; $8 seniors, military and educators; $5 ages 6-17 and college students. 404-979-6455,

Atlantans barrel ahead for profit

For the next little while, anyone toasting Atlanta artists Micah and Whitney Stansell better do so with a particular brand of tequila.

The Stansells recently won $10,000 in a contest in which they turned a Tequila Herradura oak barrel into a work of art. For their piece, titled “Look Inside, 2013,” they created a zoetrope inside the tequila barrel that features a running horse. It’s a tribute to Eadweard Muybridge, the English photographer who was a pioneer in the study of motion.

Red marquee capital letters encircling the outside of the barrel tempt viewers to “LOOK INSIDE.”

The couple took the prize among 10 local artists at Mason Murer Fine Art. And the fun has only begun: They will travel to Miami in early December for a finals event in which their barrel will compete against those selected from seven other cities, with the winner receiving a $100,000 prize.

As part of the Atlanta event, Tequila Herradura donated $10,000 to Creative Capital, an organization dedicated to supporting innovative artists nationwide, to support its Professional Development Program workshops.

While a four-person Atlanta panel determined its "Critic's Choice," the public can vote for the "Atlanta Fan Choice Award" online until Friday. Fan Choice winners get a spot in a Creative Capital workshop. To vote, visit: