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Culture Briefs

  • We Went to the Vape Olympics So You Didn't Have To

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    Photo Credit: Maria Lewczyk

    On Friday, Sept. 2, the Georgia Theatre opened its doors for what can only be described as a truly visceral experience: the second annual Vape Olympics, hosted by downtown Athens’Vape Dynamiks. With lots of mystery and lore surrounding the event (What is it? What goes on there? Why?), I decided to take another peek into the world of the vape.

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  • Artist Yvonne Studevan’s Home Reflects Extraordinary Family History

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    Photo Credit: Barbette Houser

    A self portrait hangs in Studevan's studio.

    The home of painter Yvonne Studevan and her husband Russell is elegant and traditional, complete with earth toned walls, a stone fireplace and leather chesterfield chairs you can sink into. Hardly bohemian, it is remarkably different from many of the Athens area artists’ homes featured in WUGA’s Artist In Residence Series in the past. Yet, like all of them, the house, which was on tour last Saturday to benefit the station, reveals the artist’s unique vision and testifies to her craft, passions and beliefs. 

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  • Big Hair and Big Messes in Theater News This Month

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    Photo Credit: Kent Hannon

    Grace Wilkins as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray

    Hairspray: The Oconee Youth Playhouse has “gone big” for this teenage musical about big hair, big change and big love in the early 1960s: they’ve rented wigs, costumes and set pieces directly from a company that produced one of the national tours. It’s a powerful mix when you add their usual high standard for choreography and strong local teenage talent, which includes Gracin Wilkins as dancer/activist/dreamer Tracy Turnblad and Cameron Loyal—who is heading off to the American Academy for Dramatic Arts this fall—as Seaweed Stubbs.Hairspray is a Tony Award winner that celebrates dance, competition, celebrity, rebellion, and—of course—hair. It’s best done by teenagers, and OYP offers some of the best. 

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  • Bulldogs Cleaned Up at the 2016 Summer Olympics

     

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    Photo Credit: screencap via NBC

    Shaunae Miller dives over the finish line.

    Between swimmer Gunnar Bentz’s involvement in LochteGate, sprinter Shaunae Miller’sfamous dive and UGA athletes winning more medals than most countries, it was a memorable Olympics for the Bulldawg Nation.

    Current and former University of Georgia athletes brought home 10 medals: five gold, two silver and two bronze, contributing six to the U.S.’s world-leading overall medal count of 121, two for Canada and one for the Bahamas.

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  • Kipley Meyer's Modern Works in Wood Open at Farmington Depot

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    Photo Credit: Barbette Houser

    Kipley Meyer and his work at Farmington Depot Gallery.

    The Farmington Depot Gallery kicked off fall for the rest of us this week, breathing life back into the Athens area arts community after another long, hot, quiet summer. “Within: New Work by Kipley A. Meyer,” a collection of abstract works created out of wood, hardware, milk paint and wax, opened at the space Friday night. Box fans strained to cool off guests, generally losing against the thick Georgia humidity. But that didn't deter people from coming out and celebrating with Meyer.

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  • The A.V. Club Praises Flagpole Artist Lee Gatlin's Superhero Comics

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    The A.V. Club recently published an article titled "The Best Comics of 2016 So Far," and it's a handy guide to some of the year's finest work, from graphic novels to web comics. Included on the list is former Athenian Lee Gatlin, a frequent Flagpole illustrator whose excellent Gang Agley series appears in our weekly print edition and online.

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  • Dawg Drawer and 'Mad' Founder Jack Davis Has Died

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    Renowned illustrator Jack Davis, a UGA graduate best known as a founder of the satirical Madmagazine, has died at age 91.

    Born in 1924 in Atlanta, Davis attended UGA on the G.I. Bill and loved to draw Bulldog-related images throughout his career.

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  • In the Heights Opens at Lawrenceville's Aurora Theatre

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    Photo Credit: BreeAnne Clowdus

    Vanessa Bodega (Julissa Sabino)

    Let’s face it, most of us will not get to see Hamilton anytime soon. Even when it starts touring a year from now or more, season subscriptions to the various venues are likely to sell out before individual tickets can even go on the market. Creator and star Lin Manuel Miranda has changed the world of musical theater, but remember that his non-stop revolution began withIn The Heights, the 2008 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical with a Latin pop, hip-hop and salsa soundtrack. Luckily, you now have a chance to see it at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.
    Sure, Hamilton and In the Heights are two different musicals, and part of what makesHamilton revolutionary is Miranda’s diverse, contemporary portrayal of our founding fathers building a new nation. But In the Heights was revolutionary in its own way (while set in the present day and among everyday people) and equally concerned with diverse “dreamers of American dreams, nervously eyeing their futures from a city block on the cusp of change,” as Sara Krulwich of the New York Times described it in her 2008 review. With music and lyrics by Miranda, the book by Quiara Alegria Hudes got mixed reviews for its sentimentality. Krulwich called it a “salsa-flavored soap opera,” but overall was charmed by “this scrappy little musical about chasing your dreams…if there is an equivalent of schmaltz in Spanish, this musical is happily swimming in it.”

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