[ always tell stories ]

ArtWalkFest: A Day-long Celebration Of Atlanta Arts

(ATLANTA - 11 May 2011) :: Atlanta has a long and illustrious history of artist enclaves, lively creative events and world-famous destinations. Visitors to Studioplex this Saturday (May 14th, 11-6 p.m.) will see all of those elements together in ArtWalkFest.

Studioplex, the historic former cotton mill in Atlanta’s Old 4th Ward district, first- and second-floor lofts and common-area spaces have been transformed to house artists, chefs, musicians, jewelers, glass blowers, photographers, painters and so much more. Here’s just a slice of what you’ll see:


  • Shondra Leigh’s “Stained” line of socially conscious jewelry. These stunning pieces have been crafted from balls of tar that washed up on the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill. (Visit Loft #201)

  • ARTvision Atlanta, benefiting Positive Impact, will hold its final round of sales, featuring discounted pieces from Delia Cochran, Sean Mansfield, Kimber Herndon and much more. (Visit Loft #131)

  • Lorikay Photography will be snapping free Facebook profile pictures with a red, chalkboard background to give you the customized look you want! (Visit Loft #205)

This is just a small selection of what’s on tap for this Saturday, 14 May 2011, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more, please
visit our website, RSVP to our Facebook event invite and follow ArtWalkFest on Twitter. See you then!


A 'Carefully Orchestrated' Look At Artistry

ARTvision-5 is in full swing! Make sure to check it out... We’ve got Julia Murney’s photography, new artists Delia Cochran and Jason Maynard - and the list goes on! The below post is from one of my pieces, available now. Here is the related post:

Bullying in schools is on the rise. More and more soldiers return with PTSD from Iraq and Afghanistan. A number of inexplicable flashes of violence have soiled our social landscape - most of them random and bloody, tearing apart families and communities alike.

Here’s another shade to add to 2010’s dark side: the spate of youth suicides this year within the gay and lesbian community.

So what’s actually going on?

There are myriad reasons for this and the other, aforementioned issues - not the least of which is
understanding, or lack thereof. Put simply: we do too much shouting and not enough listening. Without bearing true witness - to our surroundings, our family, coworkers, our environment, our internal balance, to name a few - our understanding becomes deeply diminished. Extinguished, in some cases, like a flame in a harsh wind.

And it’s to our societal detriment, for sure, this penchant for applause lines to an enamored audience; or a deaf ear to different opinions. Do we hear each other, even in disagreement, or do we just passively and disconnectedly tolerate each other when mystery or unfamiliarity arises? (
Check out Frank Rich’s piece on the Smithsonian’s capitulation to just such a power.) Contrarianism is on the rise, and yet it’s not giving us the spark of change that the effort seeks.

Holding your nose while someone else opines just cuts off your breathing - and you forfeit the chance for greater learning.

The Carefully Orchestrated Revival of Joy and Hope,” one of my pieces for ARTvision-5 this year, was created as a message to persuade those who might choose to bully, to invade privacy, to deny rights, or just simply be an asshole to stand down and rethink their actions. (It’s a reminder to me, too, to stay on the path I’m on, and to constantly improve.) People are not “haters” because they disagree with something you’re doing or saying; in the same way, someone isn’t likely to incite violence just because they own a gun.

”The Carefully Orchestrated Revival of Joy and Hope,” by Will Pollock

“Carefully Orchestrated” was shot in Augusta, Ga., while on location at St. John United Methodist Church. While Jason’s orchestra was rehearsing for Westobou Festival, I listened to the gorgeous acoustics of the church and photographed a stained-glass window to capture the emergent glow behind the beautiful colors - and its understated illumination spoke volumes. It was at that moment that I realized how important it is to actively observe as a means to develop understanding.

This isn’t about political correctness. No, it’s about
putting the English language to its best use. “Tolerate,” my friends, is a dead, nefarious and empty word when used this way. We should discard it like the ratty, used hanky that it is.

What should be in its place? “Acceptance.”

tolerates chemotherapy - you do not tolerate someone’s lifestyle, someone’s opinions, someone’s soul. Some politicians and pundits proudly say “tolerance” is part of how they deal with differences as if it were badge of honor, and that’s a whole steaming pile of horseshit. And they know it, yet they keep using that word as if it were Gandhi-esque.

Even when well-intended, “tolerance” feels hollow and strange. We should retire it in favor of acceptance. Along the lines of: “I accept you. You are a child of the universe, and deserve to be here just like anyone else. I can disagree in quiet, direct ways without hurting you or others around you. I understand.”

Young men like
Tyler Clementi, the promising musician and student at Rutgers, could have used that sort of understanding, that type of care with actions and words, but he didn’t get it. So, this piece is dedicated to him and other gay youth who should know and have been reminded this year that life does, in fact, get better when you take the time to live and speak with dignity and understanding.

Just making the effort will speak volumes.
- WP

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Let Me Introduce You To Some Of The Nation's Finest Artists

From here on until after the New Year, I will be blogging mostly from the ARTvision Web site. We are working to raise much-needed funds for Atlanta’s own Positive Impact, and in the process, highlighting some very cool pieces of art: mixed-media, photography, painting, jewelry, music and much more.

As always, your corresponding donations constitute purchases - so donors become collectors and vice versa. Folks are also encouraged to donate cash through the ARTvision’s event, of which 100% will go to the organization’s critical HIV counseling programs. You can celebrate this year’s artists without buying a piece!

Our new 2010 logo design (upper left) is brought to you by Kimber Herndon, who
made her ARTvision debut in 2009 and will once again be offering mixed-media pieces - a few in collaboration with yours truly.

Here’s a sampling of some of our pieces from our fifth anniversary year, “XL: Style & Substance”. Enjoy!

(left to right: “Waterdance” by Vibecke Dahle; “‎"The Carefully Orchestrated Revival of Joy and Hope," by Will Pollock; and “Untitled Table” by Sean Mansfield)


Heading Up WP.com: 'Deck Splash'

Deck Spash” heads up wp.com this month. It is a shot of two bright red kayaks with morning dew still on them.

This is one of many shots - some of which will make their way to
ARTvision - from my Chautauqua series.

Also, please enjoy the new, more streamlined design for wp.com. Bigger header capture, easier nav and many more cool things to come. Happy

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Major Redesign Coming May 1st

WP.com is going to look a lot different come May 1st... Watch for:

• New site design, navigation and cleaner font styles
• More streamlined connections to comments and trackback
• New photo albums
• Much, much more!

Stay tuned, and most of all, stay in touch and tell me how you like the new design!

From The Vault: Vote For 'Southern Culture' At JPGmag.com

Vote now

Stone Four Media Receives Award From National Biz Association

This was a nice honor today... Stone Four Media, my little fledgling company, has received the 2008 Best of Atlanta Award from the USLBA in the Graphic Design & Art category.

How cool is that? The award comes from the
U.S. Local Business Association, based in Washington, D.C., a group that "serves as an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America."

I've done quite a bit of graphic design - from
Peach program ads and business and marketing cards to holiday postcards - but never thought anyone was paying attention (except for the recipients, of course).

The group finds its award recipients by using "information gathered internally in conjunction with third-party data as part of its selection process," according to Ashley Carter, Selection Committee Chair. The rest of their criteria, she added, is private due to non-disclosure agreements.

In honor of the award, here's a
preview of the forthcoming program ad (pictured above) for the 2008 Peach International Tennis Championships.

So... ongoing thanks to all of you, who always show such enthusiastic support.



What Does A 'Drag Queen Prom Dress' Look Like Exactly?


'You Guys Have Changed Who I Am': Idol Chat Gives Back

"Idol Chat," a v-log that Penny and Jim have been doing this season of American Idol, has apparently garnered quite a fan base.

One admirer, in fact, was changed quite dramatically after watching the show:

"I wanted to say thank you. You guys have changed who I am, and you have no idea. I've lived in a smaller city my hole life, there are like 50,000 people here. And until the last couple of years, you would have never known that there were gay people who live here. I live in a city where people don't accept gays very openly, I guess you could say. And up until recently I guess I was just like everyone else. But since I've been watching your show, I have realized that I was being just like everyone else. And even if I didn't mean it, I know I'm not a bad person, but I was raised to think it's wrong, I guess. But now I realize that the way I was thinking wasn't fair or right.I have absolutely fallen in love with you guys. I think you are hillarious, and very talented. And no one would have guessed it, but I actually love spending time with the gay men that I work with now. So thank you again so much, for making me realize that it's ok not to think like everyone else." (Tasha, undisclosed location)

It's a testament to their appeal that someone could have such a transformation, and I'm proud to have been a part of it... watch for the final episode this week, with a greatest hits montage coming soon, too.

'Idol Chat': What, In Fact, Is 'Vocal Paralysis'?

Penny and Jim are in rare form this week... This week on "Idol Chat," we see the pair sipping chocolate martinis and dishing about Dolly Parton and all the top American Idol contestants.

Alls I know is that I'm in the top 10 in my Idol pool, AND I get to edit this awesome blog!

For more, make sure to check out


'Idol Chat' Outtakes... Britney! Kristy Lee! Ryan & Simon!


GeniusSuite Breaks New Ground In Knowledge Capture

"Genius" is defined by FreeDictionary.com as "extraordinary intellectual and creative power."

It's exactly this power that GeniusSuite, a project I'm working on, is designed to capture. Way too often today's corporations allow their talent to simply walk out the door - or stay on site, untapped - without allowing it to propel future success.

Click through to learn more or drop me an e-mail if your company fits the mold of knowledge capture.

Idol Chat: Let's Hope The Beatles Are Yesterday's News

Check out the latest craze on the Web -- Penny & Jim in "Idol Chat." They've already got a comment! This week I edited the blog for AfterElton.com, while our pal Dennis was on vacation.

Thanks to Dennis for letting me fill in!


How Else Would My Foray In Editing Go But With Penny?

Thanks to Dennis at AfterElton for giving me the chance to cut my teeth on digital editing.

This is a practice/rough cut of
Idol Chat, a video blog that Penny is doing with former American Idol contestant Jim Verarros.

I'm hoping more vids will follow later on...


In Honor Of ARTvision, "Trust Your Turn" For January 2008

I originally had chosen a piece from Ireland as January's wp.com header, but hey - when a better urge comes along, go with it, right?

To honor the artists and buyers for ARTvision - specifically, Rebecca Walt and Larry Goldstein, buyers of "Trust Your Turn" - I modified the photo that spoke so clearly to the people who were listening... Happy Thanks to Rebecca and Larry for being so enthusiastically connected to this year's event.

This version of TYT is a limited edition of five, and three still remain for this year's
ARTvision. Speaking of which, sales are still open! We've discounted some pieces and would love it if you'd go and browse.

We've just blazed past the $2K mark, with hopefully more sales to go, so it's been a huge success. Ongoing thanks to Craig Eister for helping to support the event for

Bust out the tape measure and see if any of
these beautiful ARTvision pieces would brighten up your house. More soon.

Gunn, Pelosi & Ugly Betty Players Lead A Star Parade In D.C.

(Washington, D.C. ~ 14 October 2007) - The tuxedos and ball gowns came out in full force for HRC's National Dinner, led admirably by Ted Toon and Sarah Booth. What an awesome time!

We had the absolute pleasure of sitting with many of Ted's family members, Rolando, as well as other pals Clarke, Sam, Val and Rebecca. The food was tasty, when we weren't glued to the stage -- and since this photog was six feet from keynote speaker
Nancy Pelosi and one table from Tim Gunn, I didn't spend very much time eating!

Ken and Dale and Laurice and Rebecca were all within spittin' distance from us, too. So much fun to be amongst so many familiar faces.

The best way to describe the night is as a "peak experience" - where people came together to hear how hard Pelosi has worked from the beginning on representing her San Francisco constituents in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS, as well as many other issues. Even some surprise war protesters could not dull the evening.

Once I saw how close I was to Tim Gunn, I was immediately on a mission to meet him and have a good story to tell Penny -- who is a stalker-level fan of Guide to Style. I treated Pen to a tribute page with a collection of pix from my meeting with Mr. Gunn, who gave me some props for my "cream" colored tuxedo. Thanks to Sam for his great shots of that moment, and to everyone for alerting me to the many other photo opps we had throughout the evening.

Thanks also to Ted and Rolando for being such spectacular hosts; to Ted's whole family for being so awesome; and to Rolando and Rebecca for asking me to design the program ad. How in the hell did we keep that a secret??

For more, visit the Kodak Gallery event pictures, as well as the page I loaded on candids. Movie clips to follow...

Enjoy! Happy


Props To Everyone For The Taste Magazine Shoot

Thanks to Chef Dean, Andy, Michael, the staff at South City, McCall, Jim and John, and all of my awesome friends and neighbors for a great afternoon last week. The "New South Cuisine" article for Taste Magazine is slated for the Summer 2007 issue! Jump to the sample pictures


First Pic With The New Camera!

Click here for a look at the first picture from my new Nikon D80! More pics added to the CAPTURES section, too.