Home / News / What to see, do and hear: Quilt festival, "The Bench," Tinsley Ellis and much more

What to see, do and hear: Quilt festival, "The Bench," Tinsley Ellis and much more

Aug 22, 2023Aug 22, 2023

The 2023 Atlanta Quilt Festival opens this weekend at the Southwest Arts Center. The featured exhibit is the second installment of a tribute to U.S. Rep. John Lewis: Thank You John Lewis! I Am Your Wildest Dream! In addition, more than 100 quilts celebrating African American heritage will be displayed. Activities through the month of August will include classes, workshops, trunk shows, lectures and vendors. The festival, now in its 15th year, is the largest African American quilt festival in the country and is presented this year in partnership with the city of South Fulton, South Fulton Institute and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Opening reception Sunday noon to 4 p.m.


Material Influence opens Thursday at Maune Contemporary Gallery. This is a thought-provoking group show that challenges today’s notions of achievement. The curators, Kate Chesnutt and Grace Chambless, hope the works will ignite conversations about the commodification of success, power, influence and salvation. The exhibit features work by nine artists, among them Brock DeBoer, John Fields, Justyna Kisielewicz, Dayani Munoz, Kenny Scharf and Nick Veasey. Opening reception 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Two exhibits are opening this weekend at Johnson Lowe Gallery. Dirty Legacy features paintings, sculptural objects and installations by Navin Norling, who has a decades-long practice of mining detritus such as cast-off wood and old window panes. Notorious public figures, artifacts of advertising and fragments of cultural idioms are pivotal points of departure for his work. It’s his first solo exhibit in Atlanta. Mozambican artist Ilidio Candja Candja presents O Silêncio Negro em Forma de Chocolate (Black Silence in the Form of Chocolate), a series of large-scale paintings that reflect the repression of indigenous cultures in colonial Africa. Opening reception Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. RSVP requested.


The Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance in Chamblee is showing the work of Nigerian textile artist Gasali Adeyemo in African Blues. He dyes almost exclusively with indigo, a natural blue dye that has a long history in Yoruba culture. Adeyemo says indigo is the color of love, because in Yoruba culture it is worn for celebrations like weddings, naming ceremonies and burials. His textiles appeared in the movie The Woman King — actor Viola Davis and her warriors wore his batik skirts and wraps.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkedelic performs Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Symphony Hall for what may, or may not be, the legendary group’s final tour. Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2019 for their groundbreaking funk sound that has had major impacts on modern music. The group, which has had six No. 1 hits on the American R&B charts, also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. Tickets start at $55.


Atlanta blues icon Tinsley Ellis performs a rare solo acoustic show at Eddie’s Attic Saturday at 7 p.m. Ellis, known for his fiery electric guitar work, has spent the year touring the country with a show he calls Acoustic Songs and Stories and brings it home to Atlanta as he works on an acoustic album. Expect blues favorites along with a bunch of his own songs, sprinkled with a rock chestnut here and there. Be sure to check out our interview with Ellis, where he delves into why he decided to do an acoustic tour. Tickets are $36. (Photo by Flournoy Holmes)


To mark the 21st anniversary of the death of Widespread Panic guitarist Michael Houser, The Sam Holt Band will perform at Smith’s Olde Bar next Thursday. Holt, who was the longtime guitar tech for Houser and even played shows with the band following Houser’s death, recorded three albums with his band Outformation before going solo in 2010. Holt promises an evening of Widespread Panic songs combined with original material inspired by the band. Tickets start at $20.

Robert Galinsky will perform his one-man show, The Bench: A Homeless Love Story this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts’ Black Box Theater. The Bench depicts the lives of six homeless characters — all with very different circumstances — during the peak of the AIDS crisis. Read ArtsATL Editor-at-Large Jim Farmer’s recent story for more about Galinsky’s inspiration behind The Bench and the parallels between the play’s era and today. Tickets are $26.75.


The Pros and Cons of Killing Your Cult Leader, a show by The Weird Sisters Theatre Project, begins its second run at the Shakespeare Tavern on Sunday. In a story by ArtsATL writer Benjamin Carr, director Lilliangina Quinones describes the play as having “a deep stuckness and sadness underneath the funny at all times” and a cast that is “doing amazing work, particularly with physical comedy.” A discussion will follow the Sunday performance. Tickets are $20.

The 20th annual Atlanta Underground Film Festival is this Thursday through Sunday at the Limelight Theater. All four days offer a block of shorts with themes such as “Age of Anxiety,” “Son of a Bitch,” “Can You Hear Me Now” and others. The festival will additionally screen four full-length features: Sweetheart Deal, Poundcake, Abruptio and Cash Cow. Passes for all four days are $60, day passes are $25 and individual screenings are $12.

Atlanta Quilt FestivalAtlanta Underground Film FestivalConyers Rockdale Council for the Arts' Black Box TheaterGasali AdeyemoGeorge Clinton and Parliament FunkedelicJohnson Lowe GalleryMaune Contemporary GalleryRobert GalinskySam HoltSoutheast Fiber Arts AllianceThe Weird Sisters Theatre ProjectTinsley Ellis

:: ::::MUSICGeorge Clinton and Parliament FunkedelicSymphony Hall::Tinsley EllisEddie’s Attic::The Sam Holt BandSmith’s Olde Bar::