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Atlanta artists to watch

Metro Atlanta is home to some of the country's top visual and performing artists, dancers and musicians. From a country duo with a new album to a triple-threat with several projects in the works, here are six members of the local arts community to keep your eye on, along with more Atlanta Fall Arts news.

Heather O'Neill

Male heroism is a familiar sight onscreen, but examples of fearless, tough-as-nails women are harder to find. That’s what makes Peachtree Hills director Heather O’Neill’s point of view so unique. Her first feature documentary, “No Ordinary Life,” streams this fall on Apple+ and Prime Video and is clearly a passion project.

The Waymores

Historically, when a rock ’n’ roll record producer works with a country act, the final product is a watered-down mishmash of modern Americana and polite, radio-friendly pop. “There’s enough of that (stuff) already,” says Willie Heath Neal, half of the Cobb Country-based honky-tonk duo The Waymores. “We couldn’t do that if we tried, anyway.

Bent Frequency

When the avant-garde chamber group Bent Frequency kicks off its season with a free concert at Georgia State University this September, co-founder Stuart Gerber will celebrate two decades of pushing Atlanta chamber music forward.

Candy McLellan

Candy McLellan plans to have a very busy fall. She performs in Theatrical Outfit’s “Passing Strange,” a musical about a journey toward self-discovery, while co-directing the blind-woman-in-danger thriller “Wait Until Dark,” Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s first show at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre in Marietta.

Ariel Dannielle

Covington native Ariel Dannielle, 32, has enjoyed a number of professional peaks of late. She last exhibited in Atlanta three years ago in her show “It Started So Simple” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. Exploring the artist’s insular world during the COVID lock down, her acrylic paintings featured Dannielle with a boyfriend, enjoying a meal alone or sipping wine in her bedroom.

Tom West

When Tom West stepped in as executive director of Atlanta Ballet two years ago, he faced two major challenges — financial losses due to the pandemic and pressure for the organization to become more racially diverse. In his affable and thoughtful way, West has made significant strides on both fronts, largely through a culture of transparent communication.