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A Great Day in Atlanta: 2003-2013...A homegrown celebration

Atlanta's depiction of a Harlem original is now a 30-day photo exhibit
Atlanta's depiction of a Harlem original is now a 30-day photo exhibit
John Crooms

This Friday evening, October 4th, at 7pm, A Great Day In Atlanta: 2003-2013 Before & Beyond, opens at Art of Giving Gallery. Presented by Evolve! Artists Live, Inc. it's an exhibition of photography chronicling a chapter of visual artists, musicians, visionaries, prolific figures, and various movers and shakers from Atlanta.

Opening day events include the unveiling of the 2013 10-year anniversary photograph of A Great Day In Atlanta. Reminiscent of the iconic photograph “A Great Day In Harlem” taken in August 1958, the title photo was originally taken on the steps of the Woodruff Library at Clark Atlanta University on March 30, 2003, by photographer John Crooms.

Works include both inaugural 2003 and 2013 anniversary portraits, along with Crooms’ documentation of Atlanta's underground arts movement including Second Saturday’s, FunkJazz Kafé, Montreaux Music Festival, Soul Sista’s Juke Joint, The Ying Yang Café and more. The careers of then emerging actors, visual artists and musicians to include India Arie, Anthony David, Julie Dexter and Donnie, as well as Sahr Ngaujah--the lead in the original cast of the Broadway musical Fela!, are chronicled throughout the exhibition of approximately 100 photographs, running throughout the entire month of October. And it's all free to the public.

"The concept, which dates back to 2002, was an effort to acknowledge a magical chapter in Atlanta's history where there existed a perfect blend of artists, musicians, visionaries, tastemakers, producers, etc. that all collaborated and worked together, ultimately an energy and environment that made for a renaissance, The Atlanta Renaissance. I was inspired by the iconic photograph, A Great Day In Harlem, the Harlem Renaissance and the amazing family of artists of which I was a part," explains Artists Live, Inc., founder, Kemi Bennings. Bennings goes on to explain that Atlanta photographer, John Crooms, "Is really a photo historian. His passion and commitment to the Atlanta arts, culture, and music scene, in addition to his love for history, creates a unique tapestry in not only capturing the story photographically, but also sharing chapters of his life. John has been photographing the Atlanta scene since the late 80's, early 90's and plays a viable role in continuing to capture much of the budding and tenured events around the city. He is an invaluable assest to this movement."