‘Hispanoamericanos’ at Hudgens Center celebrates cultural diversity

Gwinnett County's Hispanic population rocketed in the first decade of this century, making the upcoming Hudgens Center for the Arts exhibition "Hispanoamericanos: Traveling Souls" a timely expression of cultural outreach for metro art lovers of any background.

Another nice peg, beyond the 153 percent jump in Gwinnett’s Hispanic population (from 64,136 in 2000 to 162,035 in 2010), is that Hispanic Heritage Month is being observed here and around the U.S. through Nov. 15.

Opening Sept. 24, “Hispanoamericanos: Traveling Souls” features more than 40 artists working in a wide array of media and representing countries including Argentina, El Salvador, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.

The exhibit is an extension of the ongoing Hispanic-American Visual Artists Project established in 2009 by Marietta artist Felix Berroa, who has described its purpose as “the diffusion and encounters of Hispanic-American artists.”

“I have helped in the dissemination of [Hispanic artists’] works overseas,” he added, “but I have also learned from each of them.”

A shared free opening reception featuring artists represented in “Hispanoamericanos” and another new show, “Second Annual Juried Member’s Exhibit,” will be held 6-8 p.m. Sept. 26. An opening reception for a third exhibit of paintings by a Peachtree City painter, “Sal Brownfield: A Celebration of Healing,” will be 7-9 p.m. Oct. 1. All three run through Dec. 28.

Other upcoming events of note at the Hudgens:

  • Sept. 28: The Duluth arts center participates in Museum Day, a Smithsonian magazine initiative to expose Americans to the cultural riches of these institutions. Admission for two to the Hudgens is free with a complimentary ticket downloaded from www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday.
  • Oct. 12: Family Day, featuring hands-on art activities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission to the Hudgens will be free all day.
  • Nov. 2: A Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead program tied to "Hispanoamercicanos."

6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Building 300, Duluth. 770-623-6002, www.thehudgens.org.

Artist spins stories about craft-making

Roughly midway through 18 weeks of intense preparation for her first museum exhibition, Milton sculptor Kirsten Stingle skipped a week in her detailed blog reports (at www.kirstenstingle.blogspot.com) charting her progress.

“I apologize, but in my defense I have been consumed by all the mixed media work,” she wrote when she resurfaced. “I think I might have been lost for a few days under a pile of epoxy, sawdust and varnish.”

But Stingle, who took a long break from the craft show circuit to prepare for the exhibit, “Shadow Circus,” opening Sept. 28 at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, lived to make her deadline.

In fact, with three weeks to go before the opening (free reception: 6-8 p.m.), she had time to confess, “Waiting is driving me crazy! While I was building and working in the studio I felt in control. I made the decisions on how to move forward and push my work and develop my skills. But now I have to release control and let the chips fall where they may, and that is not an easy thing to do for someone (who) is goal oriented and, well, a bit of a control freak.”

Stingle combines porcelain figures with found objects to create her frequently edgy works imbued with a sense of Southern storytelling.

Also showing in “Shadow Circus,” curated by Carr McCuiston of Signature Shop & Gallery, will be Pennsylvania encaustic painter Lorraine Glessner.

The run is through Dec. 15. 30 Atlanta St., just off the Marietta Square. 770-528-1444, www.mariettacobbartmuseum.org.


Atlanta History Center ushers in fall with fest

That slight nip in the air signals that it’s time for the Atlanta History Center’s Fall Folklife Festival. The annual event exploring traditional crafts, Southern foodways and environmental sustainability will take place 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sept. 28.

The family program includes crafts demonstrations (from blacksmithing to corn-husk doll making) at the 1860s Smith Family Farm, where Betty Ann Wylie will spin Southern folktales. The musical menu includes old-timey tunes from Sourwood Honey and bluegrass from Peachtree Station.

Among culinary talks focusing on farm-to-table food practices, author-blogger Kevin West will demonstrate canning, pickling and preserving from his book “Saving the Season.”

Food trucks including Honeysuckle Gelato and Happy Belly, will serve up their specialties. And local craft beers including Red Brick Hoplanta, Sweetwater Georgia Brown and Monday Night Brewing’s Fu Manbrew will be available for purchase.

Inside the museum, guests can tour the “Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South” exhibit and view short films produced by the Southern Food Alliance, such as “Cud” and “Hot Wet Goobers.”

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


Former Atlantan kicks off jazz series

Jazz pianist Joe Alterman will kick off the 2013-14 Jazz at the JCC series at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta on Oct. 27.

New Yorker Alterman grew up in Sandy Springs, attending the Epstein School and Riverwood High School, and has gone on to play hot spots including the Blue Note Milano in Italy and Preservation Hall in New Orleans.

Back in Atlanta, he will do shows at 5 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $22.

Sample his music at www.joealtermanmusic.com/live.

Other series concerts include:

  • Jan. 26, 2014: Beatles tribute concert from the Atlanta-based UpBeatniks. $15.
  • Feb. 15, 2014: bassist-composer Michael Feinberg. $22.
  • April 10, 2014: Keyboardist-vocalist Ben Sidran performs and discusses his recent book, "There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream." $18.
  • May 4, 2014: 4th Ward Afro Klezmer Orchestra. $15.

Presented at the MJCCA's Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. 678-812-4002, www.atlantajcc.org/boxoffice.