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High Museum of Art to Debut Alex Harris “Picturing The South” Commission

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North Carolina–based photographer created new works focused on independent filmmaking in the South for the High’s collection 

The High Museum of Art will debut more than 60 new works by North Carolina–based photographer Alex Harris in the latest exhibition for its “Picturing the South” series: “Our Strange New Land: Photographs by Alex Harris” (Nov. 29, 2019 – May 3, 2020). Established in 1996, “Picturing the South” is a distinctive initiative that asks noted photographers to turn their lenses toward the American South to create work for the High’s collection. For his commission, Harris made photographs on independent film sets throughout the South to explore how the region is seen, imagined and created by contemporary visual storytellers. 

“We are delighted to acquire Harris’ work for the collection as part of our ‘Picturing the South’ series. Over more than two decades, the series has demonstrated our dedication to photography and to celebrate the region’s diversity, beauty, and unique character,” said Rand Suffolk, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director. “We are excited to recognize Harris’ distinguished career through this commission and to share these new photographs with our audience.” 

Born and raised in Georgia, Harris is a founder of Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and lives and works in Durham, North Carolina. A dozen years ago, having documented contemporary Cuban society, he was asked to photograph on the set of Steven Soderbergh’s film “Che” (2008). Inspired by that experience, Harris decided to explore current narrative cinematic representations of the South by chronicling productions of contemporary independent films set in the region. 

“One of our main goals for ‘Picturing the South’ is to allow the photographers to explore a new creative route or dig deeper into a topic that inspires them, so we are thrilled that Harris went this direction with his commission,” said Greg Harris, the High’s associate curator of photography. “Ranging from intimate portraits and quiet moments to sweeping landscapes and atmospheric scenes, the photographs in the exhibition not only showcase Harris’ ingenuity and skill as a photographer but also will offer our visitors an opportunity to see the South through the eyes of innovative filmmakers.” 
 
Over the past two years, Alex Harris has traveled around Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas capturing both the scenes constructed for film productions and the activity that unfolded around and adjacent to the sets, often blurring the lines between staged storytelling and real life. With the South’s diverse topography as a backdrop, he strings together impeccably lit and instinctively composed images to build an intuitive narrative that vacillates between deep sorrow, explosive anger and mundane anticipation. Though he leaves clues, Harris never fully reveals which pictures are contrived for the cinema and which are documentary happenstance. 

 
“I began this project believing that, by photographing on contemporary Southern film sets, I might, through the visions and imaginations of these filmmakers, show the South in a new light,” said Alex Harris. “Over the last two years I found myself approaching these imagined dramas much in the same way I took on earlier, more traditional documentary projects, following my instincts and editing my photographs not to tell a particular story — or to be faithful to the plots of individual films — but to discover the story my photographs have to tell. Gradually, I became interested in seeing how my pictures from widely different film productions resonated with each other. Now, in mounting this exhibition with curators at the High, I see a cumulative portrait, not only of these productions and of the South, but of an idea that has long been celebrated in literature, explored in science and conveyed by philosophers — that is, the ways in which we are all actors in our own lives, creating our sets, practicing our lines, refining our characters, playing ourselves.” 

“Our Strange New Land: Photographs by Alex Harris” will be on view in the Lucinda Weil Bunnen Photography Galleries on the Lower Level of the High’s Wieland Pavilion. The “Picturing the South” commission was made possible by the generous support of the H.B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust. 

About Alex Harris 
For over 40 years, Harris (American, born 1949) has photographed across the American South and in locations as disparate as the Inuit villages of Alaska; the streets of Havana, Cuba; and the fish markets of Mumbai, India. He has taught at Duke University since 1980. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography, a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship and a Lyndhurst Prize. Harris’ work is represented in major photographic collections, including those of the High Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His photographs have been exhibited widely, including in exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. As a photographer and editor, Harris has published 18 books. His book “River of Traps” with William deBuys was a finalist for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction. Most recently, he published “Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897–1922”with Margaret Sartor. 
 
About “Picturing the South” 
The High began its “Picturing the South” initiative in 1996 both to provide a contemporary perspective on Southern subjects and themes and to expand its collection of contemporary photography. The commissions have benefited the Museum as well as the artists — Sally Mann’s commission in 1996, for instance, helped support her shift to landscape work and resulted in the first photographs in her “Motherland” series. The other commissions range from Dawoud Bey’s over-life-size portraits of Atlanta high school students to Emmet Gowin’s aerial photographs of aeration ponds and paper mills. Photographer Alex Webb captured the drama of Atlanta’s street life and nightlife, and Richard Misrach used a view camera to reveal the beauty and pathos of the industrial landscape along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, an area known as Cancer Alley. In the most recent completed commission, Mark Steinmetz focused on air travel and Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport —closely considering the activity and interactions that make the airport the crossroads of the New South. 
 
About the High’s Photography Department 
The High Museum of Art is home to one of the nation’s leading photography programs. The Museum began acquiring photographs in the early 1970s, making it one of the earliest American art museums to commit to collecting the medium. With more than 7,500 prints that span the history of the medium from the 1840s to the present, the collection has particular strengths in American and European modernist traditions, documentary and contemporary photography. Holdings include the most significant museum collection of vintage civil-rights-era prints in the nation as well as important holdings by Harry Callahan, Clarence John Laughlin, William Christenberry, Ralph Gibson, Richard Misrach, Walker Evans and Peter Sekaer. The collection also gives special attention to pictures made in and of the South, serving as the largest and most significant repository representing the region’s important contributions to photography. 

Exhibition Organization and Support 
“Our Strange New Land: Photographs by Alex Harris” is organized by the High Museum of Art. This exhibition is made possible by Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Exhibition Series Sponsors Northside Hospital and WarnerMedia; Premier Exhibition Series Supporters the Antinori Foundation, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot, and wish foundation; Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter Anne Cox Chambers Foundation; Ambassador Exhibition Series Supporters Tom and Susan Wardell, and Rod Westmoreland; and Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters Lucinda W. Bunnen, Marcia and John Donnell, W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole, Peggy Foreman, Robin and Hilton Howell, Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones, Margot and Danny McCaul, Joel Knox and Joan Marmo, and The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust. Generous support is also provided by the Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.  
 
About the High Museum of Art 
Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection, dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. Housed within facilities designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High features a collection of more than 17,000 works of art, including an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts; major holdings of photography and folk and self-taught work, especially that of artists from the American South; burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, including paintings, sculpture, new media and design; a growing collection of African art, with work dating from pre-history through the present; and significant holdings of European paintings and works on paper. The High is dedicated to reflecting the diversity of its communities and offering a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit www.high.org

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City Springs Theatre Company Presents the Hit Musical Jersey Boys

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The megahit musical Jersey Boys is making its regional premiere with the City Springs Theatre Company in a five-week run.

The megahit musical Jersey Boys makes its regional premiere in City Springs Theatre Company’s (CSTC) first-ever, five-week run at the Byers Theatre in Sandy Springs.

Directed by Atlanta’s-own Shane DeLancey, and choreographed by Meg Gillentine, Jersey Boys tells the rags-to-riches story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The show details their remarkable journey from the streets to the top of the charts, to their 1990 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Leading the cast of Jersey Boys is Haden Rider as Frankie Valli. Rider is a City Springs Theatre Company veteran, with recent roles in both Legally Blonde (Emmett) and Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik).

Presented by Resurgens Spine Center, Jersey Boys runs from July 12 through August 11, and shines a special spotlight on home-grown talent, as the show’s four leading men are all Atlanta-area residents.

With phenomenal music, memorable characters and great storytelling, Jersey Boys follows the fascinating evolution of four blue-collar kids who became one of the greatest successes in pop-music history.

“City Springs Theatre Company is very proud to be the first in the southeast region to present Jersey Boys,” said CSTC Artistic Director and Tony Award-winner Shuler Hensley. “Our audiences have been asking for this particular show since we opened. The production is truly stacked with talent onstage and off, and we’re pulling out all the stops to bring audiences an experience that will rival any previous version of the show.”

Jersey Boys premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2005, prior to its 13-year Broadway run, from 2005 to 2017. There have been productions of the show in Las Vegas, UK/Ireland, Toronto, Melbourne, Singapore, South Africa, the Netherlands, Japan, Dubai and China.

Jersey Boys features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, and lyrics by Bob Crewe.

Individual tickets to see Jersey Boys are on sale now ($42 – $108), with discounts for seniors, students, groups and active and retired military personnel.

CSTC’s Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Call 404-477-4365 or visit CitySpringsTheatre.com for more information.

This production contains adult language and is recommended for mature audiences.

Performance schedule:

Friday, July 12 | 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 13 | 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 14 | 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 16 | 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 17 | 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 18 | 8:00 p.m.
Friday, July 19 | 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 20 | 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 21 | 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 23 | 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24 | 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 25 | 8:00 p.m.
Friday, July 26 | 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 27 | 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 28 | 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 30 | 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 31 | 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 1 | 8:00 p.m.
Friday, August 2 | 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 3 | 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 4 | 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 6 | 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 7 | 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 8 | 8:00 p.m.
Friday, August 9 | 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 10 | 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 11 | 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

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Titanic: An Immersive Voyage To Set Sail On 30-market World Tour

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Images courtesy of Titanic: An Immersive Voyage

Exhibition Hub in partnership with Fever and a collaborative of Titanic collectors announced today the launch of its latest exhibition Titanic: An Immersive Voyage.

The companies also announced that Milan, Italy and Atlanta, Georgia have been selected as the initial host cities for the next generation experience. Titanic: An Immersive Voyage is scheduled to open in Atlanta on July 25.

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage will feature more than 300 artifacts from Titanic and its sister vessels the Olympic and the Britannic, as well as objects from Carpathia and Californian, two additional ships key to Titanic’s story.

Items to be showcased in the experience were curated from multiple collections including treasures from Kevin Saucier, the owner of one of the largest private collections of Titanic memorabilia in the world. Priceless artifacts from the collection of Spencer Knarr will also be featured in the all-new Titanic experience. Mr. Knarr started his collection at the age of 12.

“Titanic is the most enchanting ship of all time and is revered by many as an iconic gem,” said John Zaller, Executive Producer at Exhibition Hub. “We’re delighted to tell this immortal story in our signature humanistic and immersive style, and to share it with guests around the world. We could not be more appreciative of the collectors who have joined us on this journey.” 

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage represents an entirely new approach to the story of the world’s most famous ocean liner. The experience features more than 300 artifacts, and dramatic room re-creations from the ship, along with advanced theatrical techniques and breathtaking technological overlays that place guests inside the story of the celebrated Titanic.

“Titanic: An Immersive Voyage engages the Titanic story like never before,” said Zaller. “Our expertise in exhibition design and immersive storytelling creates an unforgettable emotional connection to Titanic.”

“The mold for a Titanic exhibition was in need of a refresh,” said Mr. Knarr. “And, Exhibition Hub, with its success in creating immersive experiences, was just the company to do it. I’m really excited to have been invited to participate.”

Knarr’s fellow collector echoed those sentiments.

“One meeting with John Zaller and Exhibition Hub was a lock,” said. Mr. Saucier. “It’s a great way to break away from the traditional exhibit case and create a worldwide touring show. There are collectors who keep their treasures hidden and there are those of us that want to share with the world.”

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage uses cutting-edge storytelling technology to create a powerful emotional connection between visitors and those 2,200 souls onboard. The experience also features hands-on activities, in-depth learning opportunities, projection mapping, a detailed audio tour, educational materials, a special selfie zone, a unique green-screen photo opportunity and an expansive retail store with items from Titanic and her sister ships for sale.

More Information – The waitlist for tickets is now open and tickets will officially go on sale on June 17.  Visit expo-titanic.com/atlanta to join the list.

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Sneak Peek at The Westin at The Gas South District

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The 348-room, 11-story hotel opens March 21

The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett is eagerly counting down to its grand opening this week on March 21st, marking a significant milestone as the hotel prepares to redefine hospitality in Gwinnett County. Located in the dynamic Gas South District, this cutting-edge 11-story hotel features 348 rooms and over 27,000 square feet of flexible event space across 14 rooms. As part of Concord Hospitality’s portfolio, the establishment is poised to become a game-changer in the area, offering unparalleled service and amenities.

General Manager Mark Castriota, with Russell Stewart, Sales and Marketing

Under the leadership of General Manager Mark Castriota, with Russell Stewart steering the Sales and Marketing efforts, the hotel is set for a successful launch. General Manager Mark Castriota expressed excitement about the imminent opening. He lauded the dedication and hard work that has paved the way for this moment. Castriota emphasized the hotel’s commitment to providing unmatched hospitality experiences in Gwinnett County. The Westin aspires to fill the hotel with skilled individuals who deliver The Westin’s signature quality service to all guests.

The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett is more than just a place to stay; it’s a retreat for wellness and relaxation. The property boasts signature wellness initiatives, sleep-enhancing features, and breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows. Modern conveniences are standard in every room and suite, including high-speed Wi-Fi, 55-inch smart TVs, ergonomic workstations, and mini-fridges.

One of the hotel’s highlights is its rooftop bar, Overstory, which offers stunning 360-degree views of North Georgia. Here, guests can enjoy locally brewed beer, a nod to the hotel’s commitment to supporting local businesses. Additionally, the hotel will feature SweetSong Kitchen & Bar, a full-service restaurant that emphasizes locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.

A unique architectural feature of The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett is its 25 preset lighting configurations. It can be adjusted to reflect various events and holidays, adding a vibrant and dynamic touch to the hotel’s facade. This, along with amenities like a full-service Starbucks, an indoor pool, and the Westin WORKOUT Fitness Studios, ensures guests have everything they need for a rejuvenating stay.

The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett is set to become a cornerstone of luxury and wellness in Gwinnett County, inviting visitors to experience a new level of hospitality.

A more in-depth feature will appear in Southwest Gwinnett magazine May/June issue.

Photos by Bruce Johnson

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