Art NotesArts & Culture

Halloween is Here: Spooky Artwork, Films, Tours and Burlesque

Halloween is essentially a month-long holiday in Athens, made adorably evident by the recent Boo-le-Bark costumed dog parade, as well as the “Big Read”-funded Poe-tober series of events. In addition to the Wild Rumpus Parade, Classic City Fringe Festival and multitude of cover bands that will take over venues during Halloween weekend, here are a handful of ways to get in the spirit early for the most wonderful time of the year.

I WANT YOUR SKULL: Currently hanging along the pumpkin-colored wall of Flicker Theatre and Bar, “I Want Your Skull: A Halloween Art Show” presents spooky, scary works by over a dozen local artists. Organized by Dan Smith, aka See Dan Paint!, who references a Misfits song through his skull painting, the exhibition includes Missy Kulik’s cute and simple bat silhouette alongside Will Eskridge’s fur-covered box that hides a strange surprise inside. Styles range from the folk art of Cap Man Straehla and Tex S. Crawford to illustrations by tattoo artists Charley Ferlito, Mike Groves and Brian Kindamo. Additional pieces come from Rachel Blair, Marilyn Estes, Kira Hegeman, Eric Hernandez, Lou Kregel, Steven Milsap and Klon Joseph Waldrip. A reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 21 from 5:30–7:30 p.m., and the exhibition, which has become an annual tradition, will remain on view through October.

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Timi Conley’s painting is on view in the “Wild Rumpus Art Show” at Creature Comforts.

WILD RUMPUS: For more of the dark arts, check out the “Wild Rumpus Art Show,” currently on view at Creature Comforts. Highlights include a wooden shadowbox holding a skeleton puppet by Cindy Jerrell, a black-and-orange checkerboard of “spontaneous monsterifications” by Dan Smith, a bat-echolocation painting by land artist Chris Taylor, a large portrait of a reclining monster by Spencer Lusk and a nightmarish black-and-white illustration by James Greer. A Dia de los Muertos portrait by Timi Conley, the parade’s mastermind and grand marshal, is featured in a gold frame at the center of the display, and additional works were created by Abby Kacen, Athulhu, Kim Deakins and SadBot. The exhibition is viewable during brewery hours and during a Wild Rumpus Halloween Kickoff Party on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 5–8 p.m. which features music by the Pylon Reenactment Society, Powerkompany and DJ See.

HAUNTINGS TOUR: Classic City Tours and the UGA Special Collections Library are teaming up to share the legends and lore behind the most haunted places on North Campus and downtown. The Athens History and Haunting Tours depart from the Athens Welcome Center located in the historic (and therefore probably haunted) 1820 Church-Waddel-Brumby House on Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 from 5:30–7 p.m. Held rain or shine, the 90-minute walks end at Creature Comforts in time for tastings and a brewery tour. A special book signing will be held with Tracy Adkins, author of the newly published book Ghosts of Athens: History and Hauntings of Athens, GA, on the second Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling 706-353-1820 or visiting

LICKSKILLET: Quickly becoming a fall tradition, the seventh annual Lickskillet Artist Market and Festival will be held at the Lyndon House Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Over 80 vendors will sell everything from paintings, photography, fiber art and ceramics to stained glass, leather works, sculptures and jewelry. Kids’ activities include chalk art, face painting, a box village and crafts. In addition to hourly giveaways and self-guided tours of the historic Ware-Lyndon House, there will be snacks available from Taza Mediterranean, The Savory Spoon, Da Munchiezz, King of Pops and Nedza’s Waffles. Live entertainment will be provided all day, with the lineup including Larry Forte (10 a.m.), Qamar Tribal Odyssey Belly Dancers (10:30 a.m.), Dixieland 5, (11 a.m.), Clay Leverett (11:45 a.m.), The Lucky Jones (12:15 p.m.), Norma Rae (1:30 p.m.), Monsoon (2:30 p.m.) and The Heap (3:15 p.m.). Visit for more information.

GROTESQUE BURLESQUE: Presented by local troupe Secret City, Grotesque Burlesque is a “sexy, spooky variety revue” of singing, dancing, comedy and, yes, getting naked. In addition to featured performances by Moana Bitmore, James Tiberius Cock, Callsign Charlie and Darcy Wicked, up-and-coming entertainers will take the stage with acts that are equal parts magic, mystery and mayhem. Grotesque Burlesque will be held at the 40 Watt Club on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 9 p.m.

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GONZORIFFIC: The local filmmaking collective returns to the big screen in celebration of its 15th anniversary with more than a dozen DIY shorts. Founded to provide alternative entertainment with empowering roles for women, the Gonzoriffic Underground Movie Show excels at over-the-top campiness. The lineup of low-to-no-budget films—many of which were directed by organizers Andrew Shearer and Dee Flowered—include tempting titles like Striposaurus, The Horror of Sandy Creek, Flowday the 13th, Yr Cheatin’ Heart and A Killer Deal. Ciné will host screenings Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22 at midnight, and filmmakers and actors will be in attendance. 

SCHLOCKTOBERFEST: Gonzoriffic is presented as part of Son of Schlocktoberfest, the second annual horror film series currently underway at Ciné. In addition to a screening of Carrie followed by a blood-soaked prom with DJ Immuzikation and a screening of Nosferatu accompanied with a live score by the Invincible Czars, the fest has included classics such as Phantasm, Rosemary’s Baby and The Silence of the Lambs. The original 1973 Wicker Man will be offered Thursday, Oct. 27–Monday, Oct. 31, and the ever-popular Rocky Horror Picture Show will close out Schlocktoberfest Friday, Oct. 28, Saturday Oct. 29 and Halloween. Secret City Burlesque members will lead the “Time Warp” during shadow cast performances during the weekend screenings.