Culture Briefs

  • Ray Lee's "Human Muse" at UNG Draws You In


    Photo Credit: Barbette Houser

    Brianna Little, a UNG student, checks out Lee's "Gretchen I"

    Ray Lee’s drawings beckon you to lean in, to leave your companions and your everyday thoughts behind, and to become intimate with a total stranger: the model. This is partially because his pencil portraits are small. You have to get close to really see. Once you are there, you find you are inhabiting the space with his subjects. What you find is a quiet, simple and deeply compelling world. You are drawn in, seduced by the sensual and thoughtful graphite lines that compose a shoulder, an arm, a lock of hair, an unforgettable gaze, a memorable gesture.

    The party held to open Lee’s "The Human Muse: Drawing from the Model" at the University of North Georgia’s Oconee Campus this week was challenging. The crowd that came out to congratulate the artist, including fellow Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation life drawing class members, local artists, models, UNG students and co-workers, were friendly and the conversation was good. But turning to the works, you would be pulled into a separate and silent place. It was almost like constantly transitioning from the secular to the spiritual. 


  • UGA Student Has Won 10 Straight on 'Jeopardy'


    If you've been watching "Jeopardy," the classic answer-and-question quiz show, during the past couple weeks, you may have noticed a familiar face. Seth Wilson, a PhD student in UGA's theater department, won his ninth straight game Thursday to bring his total to $209,801 in winnings.

    That's a lot of money.


  • Georgia Fan Gets a Little Too Turnt After Win


    Photo Credit: Jeff Moore via Twitter

    Like all of us, Athens resident Michael DiNardo was pretty psyched about Jacob Eason's touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie that beat Missouri Saturday night.

    Some might say he took it a bit too far.

    DiNardo's roommate, Jeff Moore, posted a video to Twitter of DiNardo celebrating the epic play—a celebration that included putting his head through a pane of glass. The video went viral as an example of just how boneheaded Georgia fans can be.


  • Avid Is Opening a Second Bookshop in Five Points


    Photo Credit: Blake Aued/file

    Avid Bookshop owner Janet Geddis

    Independent bookstore Avid Bookshop—which celebrates its fifth anniversary next month—is opening a second location in Five Points, in addition to its Prince Avenue store.

    The new store, at 1662 S. Lumpkin St., will open this fall. Owner Janet Geddis reports:


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


    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.


  • Artist Yvonne Studevan’s Home Reflects Extraordinary Family History


    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. 


  • Big Hair and Big Messes in Theater News This Month

    Cal Standalone-Hairspray Photo Cred Kent Hannon.jpg

    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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