A combination of locals and legends, of fine-art explorations and pop-culture interaction, this year’s Westobou Festival lineup was built around the desire to attract audiences that haven’t been engaged by the five-day festival’s offerings in the past.
Scheduled for Oct. 2-6, the 2013 theme Connect With the Unexpected will again feature film, music, words, dance and visual art. Targeting everyone from ladies-who-lunch to the autumn carnival crowd, it’s an amalgamation of events designed to attract, and perhaps introduce, a broad audience to an equally broad slate of exhibitions and performances.
Tickets go on sale this Saturday, Aug. 3, online at westoboufestival.com, or from 4-7 p.m. at Westobou headquarters, 965 Broad St., where food, drinks and a sampling of Westobou events will be available.
Here’s a first look at some highlights:
VERSAILLES ’73 – This fashion documentary, presented at a limited seating luncheon at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, recounts the American invasion of haute couture in the early 1970s and the role black models played in changing the rules of presenting collections during one iconic year. The event will feature discussions with fashion icon and the film’s narrator, Cameron Silver, and director/producer Deborah Riley Draper.
(11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2; Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Green St.; $50 advance)
THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC WITH LIVE SCORE BY BODY/HEAD – Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 film will be scored, on the spot, by guitar duo Body/Head. The film is considered one of the finest of the silent era.
The band features Kim Gordon of the influential art rock act Sonic Youth and experimental guitarist Bill Nace.
(8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2; Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St.; $25 advance)
JOHNNYSWIM – This rising bluesy folk-soul duo recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and A Prairie Home Companion. The husband/wife combo features Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, the daughter of disco diva Donna Summer. The act, performing in support of its recent release Heart Beats, recently performed at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C.
(8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3; Parade Grounds at the Old Richmond Academy, 540 Telfair St.; $25 advance, $30 at the gate)
T. HARDY MORRIS – This Augusta-bred talent, best known for his work fronting the sprawling rock act Dead Confederate, has garnered a lot of attention for his new solo record Audition Tapes, released July 30. A far quieter affair, these mostly acoustic tunes explore themes of loss, missed opportunity and, ultimately, hope. (Friday, Oct. 4; Parade Grounds at the Old Richmond Academy, 540 Telfair St.; free)
Spread across a variety of venues, the visual arts at Westobou are as much about venue as the art on display.
THE OLD RICHMOND ACADEMY GALLERY – The centerpiece of the Westobou art experience, this collection of artists, curated by Raoul Pacheco, includes work by Augusta artists Baker Overstreet, Chad Tolley and Kathy Engler; conceptual installation sculptor Derek Larson; ceramic artist Matt Mitros; Berkley-based art potter Ehren Tool; the pop art-inspired amalgamations of Hollis Brown Thornton and the rolling interactive environmental art gallery of Jeff Schmuki and Wendy DesChene.
Screenings of T. Hardy Morris’s Endangered Places videos, which feature live performances from Audition Tapes played in some of Georgia’s most iconic endangered structures, will also be shown. (Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Wednesday, Oct. 2, to Sunday, Oct. 6)
REX GALLERY AT THE JB WHITES BUILDING – A joint exhibition by three Morris Eminent Scholars – Philip Morsberger, Tom Nakashima and Ben Willis. (Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesday, Oct. 2, to Sunday, Oct. 6)
MARY BYRD GALLERY AT THE GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY SUMMERVILLE CAMPUS – The Byrd Gallery will feature the large-scale work of photographer David Maisel, whose work explores the ways man interacts with, and ultimately affects, his environment. (Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesday, Oct. 2. to Sunday, Oct. 6)
ARTS AND HERITAGE CENTER OF NORTH AUGUSTA – The Arts and Heritage Center will host the Clay Potters of the Southeast. This popular exhibition has become a Westobou tradition. (Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesday, Oct. 2, to Saturday, Oct. 5)
GALLERY CRAWL – For those wanting to get a concentrated dose of Westobou’s visual art offerings, a trolley-driven gallery crawl, with stops at all four venues, will be offered Friday, Oct. 4. Tickets are $10 in advance.
MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP – This widely acclaimed dance company will make its Augusta debut with an evening of dance and music at Imperial Theatre. Pieces scheduled include Grand Duo, Jenn and Spencer, Going Away Party and Canonic ¾ Studies. (8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5; Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.; $55, $65, $75)
AN EVENING WITH ROY BLOUNT JR. – Garden and Gun magazine’s resident humorist’s career includes more than 20 books and hundreds of columns and essays. He appears regularly on National Public Radio’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and, as a writer and public speaker, is part of the Mark Twain/H.L. Mencken tradition. (7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6; Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.; $25)
CATHEAD VODKA COCKTAILS WITH MATTHEW BUZZELL – Documentary filmmaker Matthew Buzzell and Cathead Vodka will host a drinks-and-discussion event after the world premier of Buzzell’s documentary short The Moment Before the Song Begins, about Augusta writer Starkey Flythe. Buzzell will discuss his film and Team Cathead will talk about its Delta Blues-inspired roots. (3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6; The Old Richmond Academy; $10)
THE WESTOBOU WHEEL – A Ferris wheel, set up on the Parade Grounds of the Old Richmond Academy on Telfair Street, will offer a bird’s-eye view of Westobou. Get there early, because free admission might mean lines later in the evening. (Wednesday, Oct. 2, to Sunday, Oct. 6)
THE COLOR RUN – This franchised 5K run will be presented in conjunction with the Greater Augusta Sports Council. More than merely a run away from and then back to the Old Richmond Academy, this road race for all ages and fitness levels features DJs, a dance-party vibe and clouds of brightly colored pigment transforming the course into a piece of action art. (9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5; start and finish at the Old Richmond Academy on Telfair; $45 individual, $40 per team member; register at thecolorrun.com/augusta)