10 Atlanta art events you can’t miss this October

From Sally Mann to Ailey II, The Alexander Report keeps you updated on Atlanta’s top shows and events

by S.A. Montgomery
October 3, 2019

Featured image: Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Easter Dress, 1986, gelatin silver print, Patricia and David Schulte

The road ahead may be rocky, but we are determined to be led down it by our curiosity. Art helps. Here are the October events, exhibitions, shows and concerts we are most curious about in the weeks ahead:

R. Kim Rushing (American, born 1961), Sally with Camera, ca. 1998. Gelatin silver print. Collection of Sally Mann.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings

Sally Mann’s provocative images have made her one of the most prominent artists of the last 40 years. The new High exhibition A Thousand Crossings takes a broad look at Mann’s work across the last four decades: her famous portraits of her family as well as her haunting landscapes. Organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, the retrospective aims to place the Lexington, Virginia-native’s work in the context of Southern history and the South itself. Critic Louis Corrigan will take a deep dive contemplating the meaning and impact of Mann’s work and career this month for The Alexander Report.
October 19-February 2. High Museum.

Andy Warhol, Empire, 1964, 16mm film, black and white, silent, 8 hours 5 minutes at 16 frames per second
©2019 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved.


Part practical joke, part enigma, part revelation, Andy Warhol’s infamous film Empire, consisting of a single, unmoving eight-hour shot of the Empire State Building, is more often discussed than screened, which makes the opportunity to have a look rather special. This October, Film Love curator Andy Ditzler will project the entirety of Empire in its native format of 16mm film and in the slow-motion projection that Warhol himself preferred. Empire does not exist on consumer video, so this screening is a unique chance to experience the film. “Empire turns out to be gripping,” wrote Blake Gopnik in The New York Times about the film. “If great works of art can be thought of as machines for thinking, triggering ideas by the dozen, then Empire is a Rolls-Royce: It keeps us thinking about what film is and does, what great buildings are all about and even how and why we look at things.” Viewers are free to come and go during the marathon free screening lasting all day Saturday, October 12. Another event on October 15 screens just the final action-packed reel, in which (spoiler alert) the building descends into total darkness.
October 12 from noon to 8 p.m. The Works Upper West Side.
October 15 at 7:30 p.m. Beautiful Briny Sea.

Ailey II’s Amarachi Valentina Korie and Kyle-H.-Martin (Photo by Kyle Froman)

Ailey II

Far from being an “almost ran,” a distinguished dance company’s second troupe is often where the real action happens: the company’s young, up-and-coming dancers perform the work of the most forward-thinking, emerging young choreographers. The luminous Ailey II comes to the Rialto Center for the Arts again this October. While they’re in town, they’ll also give a set of short performances at the High Museum. 
October 25 at 7 and 8 p.m. High Museum.
October 26 at 8 p.m. Rialto Center for the Arts.

Davion Alston: The Literal is Unimaginative

“I own nothing, I learn to unlearn and to constantly let go,” says the German-born Georgia artist Davion Alston, whose unusual self-portrait photographs made a huge splash a few years ago just as he was graduating from Georgia State’s BFA program. Watching someone let go and unlearn is glory. Atlanta’s Day & Night Projects presents the artist’s first solo show. 
October 10 through November 2. Day & Night Projects.


Soprano Catalina Cuervo performs in the Atlanta Opera’s production of Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s 1991 opera based on the life of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The Alexander Report previewed the show for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
October 5-12. Sandy Springs Arts Center.

Image courtesy EuGene V Byrd III

EuGene V Byrd III: Sullen

The “Future Dead Artist,” who works with striking imagery and bold colors in printmaking, typography, graphite, paint, collage and other media, presents his first solo show.
October 26, 2019 at 7 p.m. Future Dead Artists.

Ian Bostridge (Sim Canetty-Clarke)

Ian Bostridge

Ian Bostridge has always followed his own singular path. After studying the history of witchcraft at Oxford University and publishing a seminal scholarly text considering the subject during the period of1650-1750, Bostridge jumped tracks to became one of the world’s most sought-after tenor interpreters of Schubert Lieder. For his latest concert, Bostridge teams up with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, performing  Mehldau’s own song cycle The Folly of Desire, with lyrics from the poetry of Shakespeare, Yeats, and E.E. Cummings.
October 18 at 8 p.m. Emory’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Frankenstein’s Funeral

Just in time for Halloween, Found Stages presents an immersive, site-specific theatrical production based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and inspired by New York City’s Sleep No More. The work has been created specifically to take place in and around Atlanta’s stone Gothic-style St. John’s Lutheran Church. “When I go see a show, I want to feel like my presence matters,” says director and concept creator Nichole Palmietto. “Everything that we create through Found Stages starts with that idea.”
October 4-November 3. St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Cotton Club Encore

At the time, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 drama The Cotton Club seemed to hold a lot of promise, with its intriguing setting and a cast that featured legendary dancer Gregory Hines, Richard Gere, Bob Hoskins, Nicolas Cage, and Laurence Fishburne. When originally editing the picture, however, Coppola acquiesced to distributors who wanted a shorter movie with a very different structure. What was released to theaters in the 1980s was pretty much a mess and an expensive flop. Coppola’s new version restores missing footage and returns the film closer to his original vision. Some critics have said it transforms a failure into one of Coppola’s best pictures.
Opens October 11. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema.

Cirque du Soleil: Volta

The quality of shows can vary, and Cirque has been doing this for a minute, sure. But still… Whenever Cirque comes to town and hammers in tent stakes at Atlantic Station, we’re curious. Alexander Report founder Andrew Alexander will review the show for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
October 10-January 5. Atlantic Station.

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