Friday, October 11, 2013

Bending Sticks Tour: The Georgia Leg

From Kenny Dalsheimer:

Penelope and I split up our Southern Circuit Tour into two - I’m taking the Georgia leg, Penelope heads down to Louisiana for the second week.

First stop was the town of Suwanee, GA. Screening Bending Sticks in a town actively celebrating sculpture and public art felt just the right way to start the tour. Some of these historic structures have been redeveloped and repurposed, and I’d love to learn more about the history of settlement here and the lives of the buildings that line the tracks. The city moved it’s Downtown, City Hall and created a hugely popular green space to the other side of the tracks a mile or so from Old Town.   Old Town Suwanee grew up on the other side of the train tracks a mile or so away from the newly developed Downtown. Dick Goodman, who did a great job facilitating the Q&A and serves as Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmember, shared a bit about the cities commitment to public art and pointed me to the sculpture exhibition circling the green and the glistening, reflective sculpture hanging inside City Hall.
I hiked with my wife Marybeth around Arabia Mountain on a break enroute to Madison.

The drive to Madison took me outside the sprawling Atlanta metro area across the Georgian Piedmont country. Many Madison homes, shops and structures escaped the burning and destruction during Sherman’s March to the Sea. We screened at the historic Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. This beautiful red brick bldg. has had life as a school, a library and now a cultural and arts center. As was true in Swanee, I appreciated the commitment of city leaders to repurpose this bldg. over the years to support learning and the arts. I also loved the art benches and sculptures on the front lawn.I first took in the cultural history exhibit on the first floor and then wandered through the various exhibits. Oliver Hardy entered first grade here in 1998 when the building was home tow the Madison Grammar School. I wonder if he got in trouble for playing the class clown at this young age. I couldn’t help but make a connection between the beautiful theater here and a film about sculptures made from baby wood. This unique theater is a celebration of wood, “The “woodwork, heart of pine floors, wainscoting, the beaded board of the apse-shaped ceiling, the shutters, seats and scones are all original.”