Francisco Antonio Rodrigues da Silva⎯better known to his students as Mestre Fran⎯began his journey with Caopeira at age 10, studying the ancient dancelike martial art under a seasoned teacher in Sao Paolo. After years of learning the hypnotic rhythmic moves of Capoeira and studying the African dance rhythms of Macuele, Mestre Fran took his art to the streets of Londrina, Brazil, giving impoverished youth a positive outlet for their creative energies with public performances and classes. After developing a successful martial arts organization in his home country, Mestre Fran set out for the United States in 2002, introducing Americans to Caoperia through cultural shows throughout the Atlanta area and instructing newcomers through beginner, children's, and adult classes.
Like punching a portrait of your smug fruit bowl, capoeria combines both art and fighting. The practice develops the mind, body, and spirit by instilling self-confidence, building agility and strength, and teaching students about the vibrant culture of Brazil. Capoeiristas twist and bob to the rhythm of drums as they execute gymnastic kicks and turns, or they show off their newfound knowledge at the studio's Friday-night Samba, Macuele, and Portuguese language classes.
The first year of life holds so many milestones: the first step, the first Christmas, the first time baby realizes “coo” is the word for everything. As the parents of three young children, photography team James (a self-taught photographer) and Michelle Hill (a model and actress) understand that well. That’s why the Hills offer their Bebe Collection photography packages, which document Baby’s first year with photo shoots at three to four months, at eight months, and at one year. Each shoot captures a different aspect of infancy, from the debut of teensy feet and toes to the discovery of crawling.
The Bebe Collection exemplifies what James and Michelle do best: capture newborns, children, and maternity in evocative and personal photo shoots. For family portraits, James stays behind the camera and Michelle is in charge of styling as shoots unfold at the studio, at the client’s home, or at a location of the client’s choice, be it a local park or a place that is special to the family.
Some people have earned a scholarship to a prestigious art academy, spent time outside a café in France with a canvas and portable easel, and were born with the ability to reflect their inner-torment with freeform splashes of acrylics. Some people just want to have a good time and paint. At Fine Art Parties, instructors cater to this second bunch with parties at their studio or in the client’s home furnished with blank 12"x16" canvases, wine, tea, and cheese for all. Taking inspiration from masters such as Warhol, Matisse, and Van Gogh, instructors lead guests through a simple three-step method that results in a framable work of art. In addition to their group events and private functions, the studio also hosts romantically themed couple painting parties, which take place under the starry night sky, and human body classes with live nude subjects or reanimated wax statues.
Geared toward individuals charged with DUIs or possession of illegal substances, 1 Just Right DUI School's 20-hour risk-reduction class reemphasizes the dangers of driving under the influence. Before the session begins, students complete a 130-question assessment that addresses their individual drug and alcohol use, as well as its impact on driving. Afterward, instructors demystify common misperceptions about drugs and alcohol through a mixture of lectures, video presentations, and small group discussions. Upon finishing the course, students are granted certificates of completion. Besides its primary 20-hour session, the school hosts similar DUI-related courses and services, such as defensive-driving classes and clinical evaluations.
Sterling Learning focuses on imparting life skills to youngsters, especially those with special needs. The staff of special-education teachers offers both group classes that teach social skills and private instruction for cognitive, motor, and play skills, among others. As kids become teenagers, they can turn to Sterling Learning for help with job skills, and parents and agencies can also consult its professionals for help with curriculum development and individual education programs.
In chemistry, an amalgam is an alloy of two metals. As such, Amalgam Arts Atlanta celebrates handmade metal jewelry in more ways than one. Equal parts gallery, studio, and school, the studio guides students through the finer points of making bangles and baubles, rings, pendants, and other pieces of eye-catching jewelry. Workshops and five-week classes give participants a taste of the trade, letting them saw metals, solder pieces, and gnaw on gold to make sure it's real.