The Atlanta History Center’s annual Memorial Day Weekend family program, Military Timeline, will have an extra attraction this year, the newly redone Veterans Park.
The history center’s original Veterans Park, built around a single Vietnam War marker at the busy intersection of West Paces Ferry Road and Slaton Drive, opened in 2000. Atlantans turned the green space into an impromptu memorial to victims of 9/ 11 in 2001, but the veterans memorial did not grow as originally envisioned and the park gradually slipped off the city’s radar.
With a $500,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation, the center has spent recent months replacing Veterans Park with a greatly expanded (from a quarter-acre to three-quarters of an acre) and enhanced version.
A major addition is interactive information panels with QR codes, compatible with any smartphone, through which visitors can access videotaped stories and photos of Atlanta heroes from various conflicts. In addition to Vietnam, the park now features stone and bronze memorials to veterans of conflicts including the Korean War, World Wars I and II, Afghanistan and Iraq. The park also now includes an outdoor gathering space capable of hosting large crowds.
Military Timeline, to be held 11 a.m-4 p.m. May 25, offers the opportunity to speak with veterans who share personal stories and memorabilia from wartime, interact with living history interpreters representing various wars, watch a firing demonstration, encounter a Civil War encampment, view a display of military vehicles and more.
The featured speaker is retired U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Michael N. Henderson, the first African-American in Georgia inducted into the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution.
History Center admission is $16.50, $13 seniors 65 and up and students 13-18, $11 ages 4-12. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. 404-814-4000, www.atlantahistorycenter.com/family.
A public dedication ceremony for Veterans Park is planned for 5 p.m. May 27.
Imaginative thought behind “Imaginary Worlds”
A great deal of thought, along with a great number of plants, went into the 19 sculptures that comprise the new Atlanta Botanical Garden exhibition “Imaginary Worlds: Plants Larger Than Life.”
There was much going back and forth between exhibit creators International Mosaiculture of Montreal and botanical garden officials over details large and small about the sculptures, including an ogre, a unicorn, a cobra duo and a trio of fat berries. Collectively, which are festooned with 118,000 living plants
An interpretive exhibit in the Fuqua Orchid Center Gallery, free with garden admission, shows how the exhibit evolved via sketches and photographs and includes information about how the pieces were fabricated from steel, planted in greenhouses and transported to Atlanta, as well as how they will be maintained throughout the summer.
One sculpture that went through significant tweaking is the largest, 25-foot-tall Earth Goddess, which is sited at the edge of the Cascades Garden, water streaming out of her left palm into the pool below.
In the exhibit, visitors find out that she was originally called Mother Earth and that, in early renderings, water streamed out of her right palm.
The reason for the change?
It was a matter of goddess grooming. By switching outstretched hands, gardeners could better access her face and hair on a lift for regular pruning and primping.
“Imaginary Worlds” will remain on view through October. Garden hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (until 10 p.m. Thursdays). $18.95, $12.95 ages 3-12. 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-5859, www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org.
Animal sculptures part of "4 X 4" exhibit at Archer Gallery
Former Atlanta and Athens artist Linda Hall returns for “4 X 4,” an exhibit of four artists at Barbara Archer Gallery. Also featuring long-time gallery stalwart Benjamin Jones, Lydia Walls and Joseph Kurhajec, the show opens Friday with a 7-9 p.m. public reception.
Now working and teaching in Tallahassee, Fla., Hall details her series “Holy Remnants,” sculptures made of quilts and “once-loved bling,” on her blog, lindahallart.blogspot.com.
The sculptures take the form of animals “that were once magnificent when their bodies were in inhabited,” she writes. “The empty forms, with the material trappings, are evidence of these lives. They are about loss.”
The blog includes a link to an informative four-minute film on Hall’s creative process, “Beasts By Hand,” by Nick Staab.
“4 X 4” continues through June 29 at Barbara Archer Gallery, 280 Elizabeth St., Atlanta. 404-523-1845, www.barbaraarcher.com.
An honor and a departure
- At a May 21 luncheon, Atlanta Ballet board chairman Allen Nelson will be honored as a recipient of the 2013 Revolutions Award for outstanding leadership of a nonprofit board by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
Nelson, executive vice president for Crawford & Co, has served on the ballet board since 2006.
In addition to completing the largest capital campaign in its history, the ballet has achieved several other milestones during his tenure, including the move to the Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre in west Midtown, investment in artistic programming such as last season’s “Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin,” endowment expansion and the establishment of cash reserve and artistic innovation funds.
More on the Revolutions awards: www.nonprofitsummit.org/index.php/revolutions-awards.
- Director George Thompson has departed Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts to become executive director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Dedra Gillett steps up from Ferst associate director to interim director.