A couple of days ago I walked past the Healy Building in downtown Atlanta and noticed a slew of people just inside the entryway. A gallery in the building, which had been empty a few days prior, was packed with equipment. The commotion is rare given that there are only two first-floor tenants, the Vintage Hair Gallery and Le French Quarter Cafe. I had not been allowed to photograph within the building a few days prior so I decided to wander inside in the hopes that I would blend among the crowd. As I approached the entry to the Healy Building I glanced to my right into Le French Quarter Cafe and noticed the scene as shown above. For a moment I felt as if I had been transported to Paris. I took several shots and proceeded to wander into the Healy Building. As it turned out, the Oprah Winfrey-produced movie “Selma” was being filmed in the Vintage Hair Gallery (see last post). “Selma” is a biopic about Martin Luther King Jr. and is anticipated to be released next year.
The Vintage Hair Gallery is tucked inside the historic Healy Building in downtown Atlanta. The Healy Building was built in 1913 and was the first skyscraper erected in Georgia after the Civil War. The current owner of Vintage Hair Gallery, Herbert Williams, purchased the barbershop in 2004 from the previous owner and barber, Bill White. When Mr. Williams opened Vintage Hair he was dedicated to preserve the history of the barbershop and maintained the original vintage decor and accents.
When I first saw Stacy McClain’s painting, One Day, at the Sweet Auburn Springfest I was mesmerized. One Day is a large oil painting that features several influential African-American leaders. What these leaders had in common was their dream that One Day African-Americans would live better lives and be afforded equal opportunity. Although I was moved to photograph this painting it did not feel honest to create a reproduction of another artist’s work. A couple of hours later I passed the painting again and noticed a mother and son standing in front of One Day. As the boy waited in anticipation for a spoonful of the treat in his mother’s hand, I composed quickly and the mother turned to look my way. To learn more about Stacy McClain visit http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/stacy-mcclain.html
When I saw BigMouthBen (Benjamin Graham) on his yellow bike I knew there was a story to tell. His story did not disappoint. BigMouthBen is currently living his dream. He is a successful rapper and business owner. He rides his yellow bike in the city 8-10 hours a day selling snacks to finance his project to help those who are battling difficulties in life. BigMouthBen knows first hand how low a person can get. He was a drug addict for 20 years and lived a life of homelessness and despair. After his last arrest for selling drugs he was required to attend a day treatment program. The program required him to stay sober and this is when he realized that he had dreams. Less than a year after his last arrest, BigMouthBen established a publishing company which then released his first album. He continues to share his story and inspirational message through his music but he is passionate about being out on the streets on his yellow bike and encouraging others to win in life. Youth look up to him and know from his life story that dreams can come true and the importance of an honest day’s work. To learn more about BigMouthBen or to make a donation to his efforts visit http://www.bigmouthben.com.
Lana Del Rey, an American singer-songwriter, performed at the Tabernacle in Atlanta last night. Young people were cued up outside the theatre as early as 7:00 am yesterday to secure front row seats for the concert. One couple camped out on the sidewalk overnight and were first in line. Evan, a theatre major at Columbus State University, brought along Lana’s Born to Die album cover for Lana to sign.