The Art Gardner

Flying Blind With Google Grants

I’m at the Center for Puppetry Arts this week helping out with the Google Grant AdWords account. I was able to slip upstairs during lunch yesterday and catch the current main stage show, Stellaluna, based on the popular children’s book. Stellaluna is an adorable baby fruit bat undergoing an identity crisis. It’s cute and educational—true to form for the Center. For instance, I learned that fruit bats have night vision (unlike most other species of bat, which rely on echo-location to get around).

Back at my desk, I realized that I am sort of “flying blind” with the Google Grant. I sure could use some night vision right about now in order to maximize our gift from Google. So I thought I’d bounce it out to the online community (the human equivalent of echo-location) and see what comes back. I find the forums and online help a bit thin. Is anyone out there using their Google Grant successfully? There are a number of limitations (CPC rate most notably) and I’m wondering if any nonprofits out there have “cracked the code” and are getting maximum value?


Dr. Sketchy’s Makes Drawing Sexy
May 24, 2010, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Creative Ideas | Tags: ,

Dr. Sketchy's at Atlanta's Clermont Lounge


It’s a titillating new sensation in art classes–Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School.  Started in New York by artist Molly Crabapple, “Dr. Sketchy’s is what happens when cabaret meets art school.”  For three blissful hours participants bring a few bucks, an open mind, and their medium of choice, and draw unique models carefully scouted. From one week to the next you may get a muscled macho man, a burlesque babe or a costumed cutie. There may even be–gasp–nudity. So long stuffy art school classes–Dr. Sketchy’s is now a global phenomenon with branches in major cities from LA to London to Tokyo. There’s even a Dr. Sketchy’s in little old Atlanta–check out the schedule here.

Work of Art: The Next Great Artist
May 18, 2010, 9:04 am
Filed under: Creative Ideas | Tags: ,

Bravo TV has done it again and I can hardly wait until June 6th for their newest foray into reality tv–Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. Similar in structure to Top Chef and Project Runway, the hour-long show is a competition between 14 up-and-coming artists. The prize? A solo show at a “nationally recognized museum” and a “generous cash prize.” The artists come from all walks of life and work in a variety of mediums–painting, sculpture, performance art, etc.

One odd casting decision is the panel of judges. While all esteemed art critics and collectors, nary a one appears to be an actual artist. Wouldn’t that have made sense? Surely there are plenty of contemporary artists that have “made it” who would be keen to participate. Still this doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm. I think it’s a brilliant concept for a show and Bravo has seldom done me wrong. Bring on the drama!

Kiss Me Kate

I saw The Taming of the Shrew tonight at the Shakespeare Tavern. Since the only performance of this I had ever seen was compliments of Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis in Moonlighting, I figured it was high time to experience it in the most authentic atmosphere available in Atlanta. The Tavern still delivers a great night out–and the apple crisp during intermission is to die for.

Sadly, The Taming of the Shrew is now done. Next up is Shakespeare’s tragedy, Coriolanus (runs June 5-27). I don’t know much about it, but it appears to be extremely bloody– i.e.  super cool. They have a contest going on through June 12th for creative Photoshoppers who want to submit pictures using left over press images of J.C. Long (Coriolanus) looking like he’s posing for a GWAR cover. The winning image gets 4 free tickets to any show. Got a great concept of something you want Coriolanus to spear? Check out the contest guidelines here. Relaunch
May 13, 2010, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Georgia Arts & Culture | Tags: , is an online guide to Atlanta-area arts and cultural events and has recently unveiled a new design with enhanced content and interactive features. Owned by Public Broadcasting Atlanta, the site is poised to become the hub for arts and culture information. Next time you are looking for something to do on the weekend, check out and you will be spoiled for choice. Nifty features include the ability to rate your experiences with over 450 arts groups and venues, search for events near your location, and options to add events to your Google or Outlook calendars.

Artist Spotlight: Melissa D. Johnston
May 9, 2010, 12:04 pm
Filed under: Artist Spotlight | Tags: , , ,
Melissa D. Johnston love's labor

Melissa D. Johnston's love's labor


I was recently introduced to Melissa D. Johnston by a mutual friend who thought I might be interested in this Atlanta-based artist’s form of expression called “VisPo” short for Visual Poetry. Melissa’s blog describes it as “a form of poetry that’s meant to be seen, where words and images perform a dialogue with each other and with the reader to make meaning.” 

Melissa has a show up at Eyedrum through the 15th of this month if you want to check out her work in person. She also has an online gallery site here. To learn more about VisPo read Melissa’s write-up on WoPoWriMo here. More work below. 



Shake at the Lake

Now through May 9, you can get your bard on for free! That’s right, Georgia Shakespeare is bringing back Shake at the Lake. They will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Piedmont Park each night at 7:30 pm. While the performances are free, tickets are required. Tickets are distributed starting 10 am the morning of the performance at both the Piedmont Park Visitor’s Center and the Georgia Shakespeare Box Office. They may go fast. If you know someone who lives or works near the park, perhaps you can call in a favor. Each person can take up to four tickets.