New Orleans photographer finds Caribbean links

The seed for Atlanta-born photographer Richard Sexton's new book was planted not in his decades photographing his adopted home of New Orleans and Louisiana, but in a driving trip he made through Central and South America in 1974. As a 20-year-old college student, he navigated all the way to Bolivia and back in a Datsun station wagon.

He experienced a family of Latin Caribbean cities with similar colonial histories that he would come, over time and return visits, to connect to the Crescent City.

Or as the publisher of his new book, "Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere" (The Historic New Orleans Collection; $49.95) refers to them: "New World outposts of Old World empires."

An exhibit of photos from the book, simply titled “Creole World,” opens with a 7-10 p.m. Oct. 16 reception at Whitespace gallery in Inman Park.

Raised in Colquitt, Sexton, who took up photography while an undergraduate at Emory University, is a student of city life. In his book and exhibit, he focuses his camera on the architectural similarities of Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Haiti and, yes, New Orleans.

In an interview on New Orleans radio station WWNO's "The Reading Life" program, he spoke about how cities in these countries have "an intimate attitude toward the street as this sort of public space.

“People who come from other parts of the United States to New Orleans, they definitely sense that,” Sexton continued. “But if you go to Latin America, you find that New Orleans … is actually typical.”

Artist's talk: 2-5 p.m. Nov. 22. Through Nov. 22. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. 814 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. 404-688-1892,

"Creole World" is one of nearly 100 exhibits and events unfolding mainly in October as part of Atlanta Celebrates Photography. Complete listings:


Nashville star by way of Conyers

Conyers-raised dancer Kayla Rowser is preparing to debut in a major role this week for Nashville Ballet, where she is in her seventh season.

Rowser is sharing the lead dual role of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake,” to be peformed Oct. 17-19 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall.

“Having the opportunity to dance the role of Odette/Odile has always secretly been on my bucket list, but it’s also going to be the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far in my career,” said the Salem High School alumna, who began her dance training at Fayetteville’s Maury Magdalena School of Classical Ballet and spent summers as a young dancer training with Atlanta Ballet.

“The entire ballet is so beautiful and truly is the epitome of classical ballet,” Rowser continued. “The extreme emotional complexity and physical intensity, as well as getting to dance the title role in a full-length ballet, is all kind of intimidating, but very exciting. I’m thrilled to be getting this opportunity.”

Information: 615-782-4040,


GSU honors Holocaust composer

Georgia State University’s Center for Collaborative and International Arts will commemorate the 70th death anniversary of Austrian-Jewish composer Viktor Ullmann, who wrote 20 compositions while imprisoned during the Holocaust, with a program titled “Viktor Ullmann’s Legacy from Theresienstadt.”

The free concert — including a performance of “The Lay of Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke,” Ullmann’s final composition before he was transferred from Theresienstadt concentration camp to Auschwitz and killed in 1944 — will be at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 in Kopleff Recital Hall. It will feature a piano performance (by Dan Franklin Smith), recitation (by Gregorij H. von Leitis, founding artistic director of Elysium, an agency that fosters dialogue between the United States and Europe, and president of the Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive in Munich) and an introductory lecture by Michael Lahr (Elysium program director and Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive executive director).

10 Peachtree Center Ave., Atlanta.


Puppetry center’s new look

The Center for Puppetry Arts has unveiled an elevation view of the front façade of its museum expansion, as seen from Spring Street. Designed by the Georgia offices of Clark Patterson Lee, the 15,000-square-foot, two-story building will connect to the puppetry center’s long-time Midtown headquarters. The center will remain open throughout construction, which is underway. Projected opening is fall 2015.