JAY ROBINSON: After a fire destroyed the home and studio of Jay Robinson in the mid-1990s, the Detroit-born artist swung into a new direction, trading in his fairly realistic painting style for a beautifully abstract approach. “Jay Robinson: Quarks, Leptons and Peanuts,” currently on display at the Georgia Museum of Art through Sunday, June 21, demonstrates his newfound inspiration found in the natural and scientific world through pieces created since the incident.
Prior to the fire, much of Robinson’s work had been inspired by the 1940s jazz scene and time spent in Africa, a trip made possible through the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship. Over 30 pieces created between the ‘40s–‘80s were highlighted at GMOA in a 2006 exhibit that showcased Robinson’s varied styles and lifelong growth as an artist through a diverse collection of sculptures, egg tempera paintings, drawings and mixed-media creations. Though devastated by the fire, Robinson emerged reinvented, creating abstract pieces influenced by his new studies in molecular physics and constellations. Celebrating his 100th birthday this year, he continues to create artwork in his same studio, which has been rebuilt.
On Wednesday, Apr. 15 at 2 p.m., museum director William U. Eiland and head preparator Todd Rivers will lead a Tour at Two of the exhibit, and Eiland will offer an additional Director’s Talk on Thursday, Apr. 30 at 5:30 p.m. During Family Day on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m.–12 p.m., children and their guardians can experiment with gouache and watercolors to create Robinson-inspired works of art. Other social times to visit the exhibit include the museum’s quarterly reception, 90 Carlton: Spring, on Friday, Apr. 10 from 6–9 p.m.; Third Thursday on Thursday, Apr. 15 from 6–9 p.m.; and Museum Mix, the thrice-annual late-night DJ party, on Thursday, Apr. 23 from 8 p.m.–12 a.m.
ARTS IN COMMUNITY GRANTS: The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission has announced not two—as originally intended—but three recipients of $1,000 Arts in Community Grants. The grants, which were established to promote creative place-making and enrichment, support public art projects spanning between visual art, performance, events and technology.
The Pinewoods Garden Communal Oven, a project for the Pinewoods Trailer Park led by Chris McDowell and Kira Hegeman of the UGA College of Environment and Design, will utilize donated materials from the Material Reuse Program to create a decorative mosaic. Middle school art teachers Elizabeth Debban and Jordan Perry will receive a grant for Take a Seat! Twenty wooden benches will be designed and built by 60–120 eighth grade art students attending Franklin County Middle School and Clarke Middle School, then distributed throughout town to public spaces. Helping Art Reach Public Spaces (HARPS), coordinated by Flanigan’s Portrait Studio owner Broderick Flanigan, will install LED lights at the Triangle Plaza in East Athens.
All three projects will be completed by the end of the year, with progress appearing on athensculturalaffairs.org.
THE GEORGIA REVIEW: Marking its 69th year of quarterly publications, literary journal The Georgia Review will celebrate the release of its Spring 2015 issue with a free launch party on Friday, Apr. 3 at 7 p.m. at Ciné. Headlining reader Coleman Barks, a longtime Athenian who taught American literature and creative writing at UGA for 30 years, was first published in The Georgia Review over four decades ago. He is a fine poet in his own right and is internationally renowned for his poetic translations of 13th-Century Persian mystic Rumi, and has published 21 volumes since the mid-‘70s, including The Essential Rumi and The Book of Love. Poet, writer and UGA PhD candidate Jeff Fallis will also read from his works, and the readings will be bookended with performances by John Fernandes on violin, clarinet and bass clarinet and Alec Livaditis on cello.
Full of essays, fiction, poetry, artwork and half a dozen reviews, the new issue includes love stories by Jessica Hollander, Charles McLeod and Miles Wilson; essays by Marvin Bell, Christopher Merrill and Scott Russell Sanders; and poetry by 10 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn, Bob Hicok and Georgia poet laureate Judson Mitcham. The issue opens with “Of Yalta,” by the 2014 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize Winner Erin Adair-Hodges, and Bianca Stone contributes a 12-page art spread, “We Dust the Walls: A Poetry Comic.”
Copies of The Georgia Review’s spring issue will be available to pick up at the launch party, as will select titles by Barks.