Archive for the ‘Art & Culture’ Category

Books for December

Reading Suggestions from Decatur’s Better Together Advisory Board

One of December’s gifts to us is the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and begin planning to make the new one more purposeful than the last. And with the ushering in of festive celebrations like Christmas, Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice and several other religious and spiritual holidays, this time of year presents an opportunity to learn about and engage with a myriad of faith-based cultures and traditions that make our multicultural world kind and joyous.

In The Good Heart, the Dalai Lama argues that the primary purpose of all our major religious traditions is to transform our hearts into temples of goodness and compassion. He concludes that there is tremendous value in exploring and honoring other religious traditions because every dominant religion has the potential to create opportunities for genuine compassion and a spirit of harmony.

We hope you will use this December as an opportunity to engage with the spiritual beliefs of others while you find peace and love in a deeper connection with your own culture and traditions.

The Better Together Advisory Board (BTAB), in partnership with Little Shop of Stories, offers a small contribution to that effort with the following recommendations.



Why Religion? A Personal Story
by Elaine Pagels (Adult)

This memoir of a scholar of religion explores the commonalities and differences of various faiths through the lens of her grief at the loss of her husband and son. She extends these thoughts to how spiritual practices and traditions continue to shape our lives as individuals and as a group, whether religious or not.



One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship
by Mary Pope Osborne (8 years and up)

The author presents the many ways children around the world practice faith. Each chapter places a major religion in historical context and includes how practices and beliefs specific to that religion have shaped and influenced laws and customs, the arts, literature, music, and education.



The Three Questions
by Jon J. Muth (Children)

Based on a story by Tolstoy, this book tells the story of a young boy seeking the answers to three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? Under the guidance of a wise old turtle, he learns the precepts shared by all faith traditions – service to others, love, and compassion. The Three Questions is a wonderful way to foster a discussion about embracing all that we share in our spiritual beliefs – that we are more alike than we are different as we strive to be fully present in the world.


You can find these books and many others at Little Shop of Stories, 133 E. Court Square, or online at littleshopofstories.com/shop-online/. Happy Holidays from the Better Together Advisory Board and Little Shop of Stories.

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Join the Decatur Tourism Bureau and the Decatur Arts Alliance for the 2018 Decatur Holiday Ornament Unveiling Party on Thursday, September 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Wild Oats & Billy Goats, 112. E. Ponce de Leon Ave.

Come see the ornaments, meet the artist and enjoy light refreshments and music. Then drop by any of Decatur’s great restaurants and pubs for dinner.

The 2018 ornament will be available for purchase at Wild Oats and Billy Goats that night. They will be available in other Decatur shops including Little Shop of Stories, Trinity Mercantile, Found Co., and HomeGrown, etc. soon.

The ornaments are $18 each and you can save $5 if you join or renew your Decatur Arts Alliance membership. All proceeds go toward the creation of the 2019 ornament.

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The Women’s Caucus for Art of Georgia invites the community to the “Tell Me About It” Pop Up Exhibit at Sycamore Place Gallery and Studios (120 Sycamore Place). The exhibit will open with a reception during the Decatur Art Walk, Friday, August 31 from 5-10 p.m. The exhibit will remain open September 1-2 from 1-4 p.m.

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Thanks to the “Fuel Up to Play 60” leadership team for colorful hopscotch boards that they have created at four locations around the City.  The Fuel Up to Play 60 program is a collaboration between the NFL and the Dairy Association to encourage healthy, active lifestyles for kids.  They are holding a youth ambassador summit this week at Agnes Scott College with over 200 student leaders and educators from around the country.


Need a reminder about how to play hopscotch?  Here you go,

  1. Throw a small stone, twig, beanbag, or coin into the first square. (If it lands on a line, or outside the square, you lose your turn. Pass the marker to the following player and wait for your next turn.)
  2. Hop on one foot into the first empty square, and then every subsequent empty square. Be sure to skip the one your marker is on.
  3. At the pairs (4-5 and 7-8), jump with both feet.
  4. At 10, hop with both feet, turn around, and head back toward the start.
  5. When you reach the marked square again, pick up the marker — still on one foot! — and complete the course.
  6. If you finished without any mistakes, pass the marker to the next player. On your next turn, throw the marker to the next number.
  7. If you fall, jump outside the lines, or miss a square or the marker, you lose your turn and must repeat the same number on your next turn. Whoever reaches 10 first, wins.


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Mind the Heart project_500


Come get your heart and take part in the renowned worldwide art project about mindfulness.

Mind the Heart Project is in Decatur this weekend, and inviting you to share your favorite and beloved spots in the city. The project archives thousands of spots of significance by people of all walks of life, showing that “everywhere means something to someone at some point, so walk around with open eyes and an open heart”.

This Saturday, 1pm-5pm, Artists Maya & Roie will be at the Decatur City Square handing out 100 hearts for you to put out there. Your chosen spots and stories will become an exhibition at the Decatur Arts Alliance, opening Friday, October 6th.

See more at: www.mindtheheart.org/hearts

and www.mindtheheart.org


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Something We Had to Go Through

This Is Something We Had To Go Through, the painted-steel-and-cast-iron sculpture created by James Davis, is now part of the city’s public art collection. The sculpture, which sits at the corner of Sycamore and Church streets, was part of Phase 1 of the Decatur Artway outdoor sculpture gallery. It will stay permanently in its current location.

The sculpture is a draw for residents, visitors and tourists. Photos of people passing through it appear regularly on Facebook and Instagram. Its purchase was a collaboration of the Decatur Arts Alliance, the Decatur Downtown Development Authority, the Decatur Tourism Bureau, and the City of Decatur Public Art Fund.

“This sculpture deals with personal thoughts and experiences derived from thinking about all the things a person has to go through in a lifetime,” James Davis, the artist, explained. “These things can be small or large, happy or sad, good or bad. Whatever the feeling may be, these are the things that direct you. Experiences make you who you are.

“The sculpture holds different meanings for each viewer. I created an actual passage that viewers could go through so they could experience the feeling of going through something difficult. Everyone has to go through things they don’t want to and those are all different for each person. The sculpture is a visual version of some of the things that I was afraid to go through.”

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Join the community on Sunday, April 23 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. for the dedication of the MARTA Mural and the KaBOOM! Playscape under the bridge.  The celebration will take place at the corner of W. Trinity & Atlanta Avenues under and around the MARTA Overpass and under the bridge.  We’ll have cookies and ice cream and a cool art project with the Milagros Collective.  Come join the fun!

MARTA-mural-celebration-poster-1-rev MARTA mural invite

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Artists in Decatur


Despite the unseasonably cool temps today, artists with the Olmstead Plein Air Invitational are out and about painting scenes of Decatur. Decatur Arts Alliance Board member, Doug Aholt, took these photos earlier this morning.


If you can’t find an artist during the day, stop by the square around 5 p.m. All 30 artists will bring their Decatur paintings to the first floor of the historic courthouse to sell. For more information, visit www.olmstedpleinair.com

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Plein Air

What: Olmsted Plein Air Invitational Decatur Day
When: Thursday, April 6, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Open to the public, some events are ticketed.

The annual Olmsted Plein Air Invitational is a week-long painting competition that takes place around Atlanta. On Thursday participating artists will come to Decatur and paint Decatur scenes outdoors (“en plein air”) starting at 9 a.m. Find an artist and watch him or her paint for a couple of minutes, an hour, or all day.

At 1 p.m., Impressionist landscape painter and invited master artist, Phil Sandusky, will recount his adventures documenting “en plein air” the devastation of Hurrican Katrina in New Orleans during his lecture at Trinity Mercantile. A book signing will follow. A $20 donation is suggested.

At 4 p.m., the artists will relocate in and around the bandstand on the square, setting up their new paintings from the day for judging. Mayor Garrett and the Decatur Arts Alliance will present the Decatur Community Award to the winning contemporary impressionist painter. Paintings will be available for purchase right off of the artists’ easels that evening as well.

The After Party is at 9 p.m. at Communion. Mix and mingle one-on-one with the invited master artists. Ticket price is $35, purchase online or on the square that day.

For details visit www.olmstedpleinair.com

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Milagros Collective, the artists chosen to design and paint the mural on the MARTA overpass at the corner of W. Trinity and Atlanta Avenues are back to finish painting the mural and to help with installation of the newly created Playspace underneath the bridge.

Felici Asteinza and Joey Fillastre (the artists that make up the Milagros Collective) will begin painting on Saturday, April 1 at 9 a.m.  They will paint each day from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. from April 1 – April 9.  West Trinity Avenue will be closed to through traffic near the overpass so that they will have safe access in order to paint the rest of the mural.

The following vehicles will be allowed to enter through the locations:  vehicles going and coming from 700 Atlanta Ave., vehicles going and coming to the Decatur Police Dept. or Decatur Municipal Court, delivery drivers for Trinity Walk, employees and visitors of the Task Force for Global Health.  Trinity Walk residents should enter and exit the complex via W. Trinity Place at Waters Street.

Thank you for your patience as we beautify this area and save the date of Sunday, April 23 for the dedication and celebration of the community mural and new playspace.  Celebration details to follow once they are confirmed.  In the meantime, feel free to walk by the location and watch the progress.





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