Westobou changes seek to reflect festival's tone

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The very best Westobou Festival events combine art and music, dance and drama, or film and theater into one-of-a-kind multimedia performances.

On Wednesday, the festival announced a new look and logo to emphasize the unique connections made between the arts at the annual 10-day festival, scheduled from Sept. 29 to Oct. 8 next year.

The fourth Westobou Festival is expected to include more than 200 events, which will be easier to navigate thanks to a color-coded system that groups performances into categories: music, dance, visuals, film, and words, which includes theater, spoken word and a literary competition.

Events such as Slow Dancing , which combined film, dance and music at the inaugural 2008 Westobou, and this year's Andy Warhol's 13 Most Beautiful , featuring live music and Warhol's screen tests, were highlighted not only for their popular success but the manner in which they crossed artistic media.

"The combination of at least two of these genres is what makes a Westobou event," said Daniel Stewart, a partner at Wierhouse, the Augusta design and advertising firm behind the rebranding.

The new logo features spotlights arranged in the letterform of a W. A rainbow prism represents the variety of arts showcased in the festival.

"It's brilliant in its simplicity," said Cameron Nixon, the chairman of the Westobou Festival board.

The new design will extend to the Web site, schedules, and perhaps the exterior of venues. The public can preview the designs, and provide feedback about the festival in a town hall meeting at 10 a.m. today at the Morris Museum of Art.

The meeting is also the first chance patrons have to learn about the festival's 2011 signature artist, Art Rosenbaum. The Athens artist and musician teaches at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. Rosenbaum's distinctive style blends elements of Expressionism and folk art.

"He's exhibited from L.A. to Liverpool," said Molly McDowell, the festival's new curator and an art consultant who previously served as the director of the Mary Pauline Gallery. "He's kind of the whole package."

Events for 2011 will begin to be announced early next year.

"I'm real pleased with where we are, and I think the city of Augusta can be pleased," Nixon said. "We're looking forward to a great things in the year to come."

If you go

WHAT: Westobou Town Hall Meeting, a public meeting to preview the new designs and provide feedback on the festival

WHEN: 10 a.m. today

WHERE: Morris Museum of Art auditorium

LEARN MORE: westoboufestival.com

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