Antonio Darden’s description of his exhibit Rico is heart-wrenching. “I had an older brother. Everyone thought we were twins. In 2018 he was shot and killed by a Georgia State Patrol officer,” he begins. “I am the last one left of my immediate family,” he writes in closing. “Good grief.” Darden channels this tragedy, his anger and grief into artwork that he calls “self-aware, irreverent and cumbered with despair.”  Through August 28 at THE END Project Space, 1870 Murphy Avenue S.W.


“Fixer Upper” by Julie Blackmon at Jackson Fine Art

“For most of her career, photographer Julie Blackmon has made art out of seemingly nothing and surprisingly out of nowhere,” ArtsATL reviewer Virginie Kippelen wrote after viewing Blackmon’s exhibit, Metaverse, at Jackson Fine Art. The Missouri photographer’s images “transcend the mundane by fusing fantasy and reality and, in the process, elevate the present moment to mythic proportions.” The mundane could be a kids swimming pool, or a van parked alongside a Costco, but from an unexpected point of view. To experience this in person, head over to the gallery before the exhibit closes on Saturday.


Gregory Botts spent two Covid years at a farmhouse in upstate New York where he painted still lifes plein air. The result is Arcadian Interludea series of paintings that ArtsATL critic Deanna Sirlin describes as “a virtual window into summer.” The exhibit closes on Saturday. Alan Avery Art Company.



An exciting arts development on the Southside is taking shape in College Park. On Saturday, from 4 to 7 p.m., the longtime theater troupe PushPush Arts is hosting an open house at ION College Park, a live/work/play complex still in development from partners including College Park First United Methodist Church. PushPush will lead arts programming at ION College Park, which also will offer housing ownership opportunities and affordable rentals. Tours are free. 3726 East Main Street.


Brad Raymond and Rhyn McLemore in the Alliance Theatre’s world premiere musical “The Incredible Book Eating Boy” (Photo by Greg Mooney)

ArtsATL reviewer Alexis Hauk finds much to like in the Alliance Theatre’s world premiere of a musical based on the popular Oliver Jeffers children’s book The Incredible Book Eating Boy. It’s the story of Henry, a rising third-grader who, feeling academically inadequate, starts voraciously devouring the printed word — literally. Some of Hauk’s strongest praise is reserved for 11-year-old lead actor Alexander Chen. “The most compelling quality of his performance is the palpable joy he exudes at performing, which is endearing and infectious,” our critic writes. “His face lights up whenever he hits that hard-to-reach high note or nails the more complicated dance move, which works well for a narrative all about embracing the times when we must attempt the things that scare us most.” Through August 14.


Family Dynamics, an independent production from playwright-actor Tishona Miller, will be presented Friday and Saturday at Synchronicity Theatre. It tells the story of Mae Belle Lays, who is in the middle stages of dementia. She has called a meeting with her three children to discuss her affairs, “while she is still able to recall things.” But unexpectedly, old words surface between the siblings at the meeting, exposing buried emotions and long-held secrets. On her play’s Gofundme page, Miller called Family Dynamics “an attempt to explore honesty and transparency as a means to put into motion the opportunity to heal personally and as a family.”



The Nancy Frampton Rising Artists Series, a new program that highlights the next generation of classical music performers, will continue July 23 with a performance by Nashville’s Zimri Quartet. The quartet includes violist Tim Richardson, a native of Roswell and recent student of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University. The group is the resident string quartet of the Nashville Chamber Music Society. The concert will be at Morningside Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students, $30 for the general public.


The multi-faceted Will Kimbrough (above) comes to Eddie’s Attic on Friday ahead of the release of a new album, Spring Break, that documents the pandemic. The title comes from spring 2020 when, as Kimbrough puts it, “The world broke, and we all took a break.” Kimbrough is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter who has worked with Nashville’s elite, including Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle. He performs at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.



Think of it as playtime on a prairie, only the prairie is a grassy corner in Midtown, where 17th Street spans Peachtree and West Peachtree streets. The moving artists at glo have been sowing wildflowers there, encouraging passersby to stop, breathe and reconsider the role of nature in city life. It’s part of a year-long project titled lost loose and loved and it goes performative at that location on Sunday. There will be wildflowers, of course, movement from glo and music courtesy of multi-instrumentalist Marquinn Mason who’ll coax beautiful sound from strings, saxophone, percussion and electronics. 7:30 p.m. Free.



“Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience” at Pullman Yards (Photo by Federico Imperiale)

The latest immersive experience to visit Atlanta, Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience seems to be for those who don’t so much want to learn more about the glossy Netflix drama as act in it. Pullman Yards’ Building 1 has been transformed into a gilded ballroom, and guests are encouraged to dress like they’re bon vivants in Regency-era London, as in the hit series. The San Francisco Chronicle reported from the Experience’s recent opening there: “The Queen’s Ball is a place where everyone decides to indulge themselves, dress like a pretty princess and then tell strangers how great they look as pretty princesses. It is an affirming, celebratory fantasyland where we’re all on the same team in pursuit of the same goal: to wait in line to get staged photos taken with Instagram-ready backdrops . . . with plenty of bewigged and frock-coated staff standing by to assist, so that you don’t even have to take selfies.” To sounds of a Bridgerton soundtrack performed by a string quartet, guests can sip themed cocktails and promenade past cased displays of costumes from the series. Reservations currently available through September 18.



Yolanda Williams, a parenting coach, will host a panel with authors M Shelly Conner and Adiba Nelson on healing Black generational trauma through literature Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Conner is the author of everyman, a coming-of-age story about a young woman who comes to Georgia looking for information about her late mother. Nelson is the author of Ain’t That A Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything In Between, a memoir about motherhood and breaking out of the patterns of her the matriarchs before her. This virtual event is free, but donations are suggested.

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