Art imitates life – and death – at Oakland Cemetery during Arts at Oakland Presents: Persephone

Persephone_IGOn Saturday, May 20 mythology meets mausoleums at Arts at Oakland Presents: Persephone, Historic Oakland Foundation’s third annual arts event, featuring the work of Sanithna Phansavanh.

Arts at Oakland Presents: Persephone features ten life-size murals installed throughout Oakland Cemetery’s Victorian gardens, inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone. According to mythology Hades, god of the underworld, kidnapped Persephone to be his queen. Once a year – in spring – Persephone was permitted to visit the land of the living, and upon her return flowers would bloom. When Persephone went back to Hades in autumn and winter, the flowers died.

“The hope is that these figures will serve as visual reminders of our own lifecycles and encourage reflection,” said Phansavanh. “As a metaphor, the tale of Persephone aptly illustrates the cyclical mechanics of life and death. Each season dependently moves into the next, always with the balance of life and death.”

Improvisational music and movement collective Flight of Swallows will provide musical and dance accompaniment to Phansavanh’s work throughout the evening, with seven performances at Oakland Cemetery’s North Public Grounds.

“With Oakland’s gardens at the height of springtime bloom, Sanithna’s immersive works, and dynamic performances from Flight of Swallows, Persephone is sure to be an unforgettable evening in a most memorable gallery,” said Betsy Trope, special events and volunteers manager at HOF.

Phansavanh’s work has exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally and ranges from small drawings to large-scale public murals. His public artwork in Atlanta includes installations for Art on the Beltline, Forward, Warrior!, City of Atlanta’s Elevate Arts, the Decatur Box Project, City of Atlanta’s Mural Bike Rack program, and more.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and the exhibition closes at 10 p.m. Tickets go on sale on Saturday, April 8 at Freshtix.com. Tickets are $18 in advance (plus fees and taxes) and $25 at the gate. A $75 Patron Pass includes admission for one, a limited-edition Persephone t-shirt, and access to an open bar and refreshments area.

Attendees can also enjoy beer, wine, and soft drinks and fare from food trucks including: Low-co MotionAtlanta Burger TruckGenki Noodles & Sushi, and King of Pops. Historic Oakland Foundation Members enjoy expedited access to event check-in and beverage areas. To become a Member, click here.

Arts at Oakland pairs HOF with local artists who interpret Oakland Cemetery’s unique history and natural beauty through art.

The event debuted in 2015 with The Cryptophonic Tour, a sound art installation produced by ROAMtransmissions. In 2016 artist and gardener Cooper Sanchez produced Illumine: An Evening of Light and Art in the Gardens.

All proceeds from the event benefit HOF’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta’s oldest public burial ground and most tangible link to the past.

Arts at Oakland is sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, Doc Chey’s Noodle House, Old 4th Distillery, and Binders Art Supply.

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