Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

UGA exhibition looks back at Athens music scene

Michael Stipe Lamar Dodd School of Art-h
Michael Stipe from R.E.M. looks at art at the Lamar Dodd School of Art.

Athens, Ga. – The exhibition “ARTifacts Rock Athens: Relics From The Athens Music Scene, 1975-1985” will be on display at the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries, 300 Hull St., beginning May 1.

An opening reception will be held May 1 at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Russell Special Collections Building. The event will feature a film, talk and a fashion show.

The event begins with a screening of Spencer Thornton’s footage of the B-52’s. The short film will be followed by a talk about how art made music in Athens in the late ’70s and early ’80s by Michael Lachowski of the Georgia Museum of Art.

There will be a fashion show featuring Cindy Wilson’s original stage clothes and Athens models. Atlanta celebrity Derek Sims will emcee the show, which will have a narrated background about the featured clothing.

After the fashion show, guests are invited to view the exhibition of rock ‘n’ roll artifacts in the hallway display cases of the special collections library. Memorabilia includes the B-52’s late Ricky Wilson’s guitar; celebrated Athens poet and writer John Seawright’s typewriter; founding R.E.M. member Bill Berry’s drum kit; and the band Pylon’s original pylon. The artifacts were assembled by Chris Rasmussen, owner of Secret Sounds in Athens, and special collections libraries co-curators Mary Miller and Ruta Abolins.

From 7-10 p.m., in the large event room of the Russell Building, there will be a disco dance party with food catered by the Branded Butcher, Last Resort and other local restaurants. Models from Athens Fashion Collective with band members from New Madrid, Kids, Reptar, hopeforagoldensummer and others will don vintage club and party T-shirts throughout the reception. The event is part of a series of May events held by the Art Rocks Athens Foundation and is free and open to the public.

The Art Rocks Athens Festival continues Memorial Day weekend with exhibition openings at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art and the Lyndon House. There also will be a dance performance May 24 at 6:30 p.m. at UGA New Dance Theatre in the Dance Building. Live music shows at the 40 Watt Club May 23 at 10 p.m. and at the Georgia Theatre May 24 at 10 p.m. will include performances by musicians in town for the festival weekend. The schedule is available at