DOWNTOWN - Elevate, the Office of Cultural Affairs’ public art commissioning program, has announced that Elevate Week 2013 will take place from Friday, October 18 to Saturday, October 26. Hosted annually in downtown Atlanta, Elevate exhibits large scale public artwork and offers performance, educational opportunities and cultural experiences free to the public with the mission of catalyzing positive urban growth.
“The hallmark of any thriving city is the strength and support of its cultural community,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “I am committed to programs like Elevate that not only educate the public, but inspire them to create positive change in our downtown. It is an essential part of why Atlanta is a great place to live, an inspiring place to work and a wonderful place to visit.”
The theme of Elevate Week 2013 is “Transit: Time, People and Places”. The installations, murals and events will be centralized along North and South Broad Street and the Broad Street Plaza/Five Points Station. Participating artists run the gamut from locally-known muralists to international performance troupes that have never before performed in the United States. A preview of the line-up includes:
• Shelia Pree Bright: The installation entitled, 1960 Who? is inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and will feature a series of large scaled portraits of civil right workers. WonderRoot and artist William Shweigert will host a series of public performances to complement the installations and provide context to the images.
• Sarah Emerson: The mural entitled, Lost and Found, will be a continuation of the South Broad Mural Project. Emerson’s mural will speak directly to the growth and potential of the street due to the impact of the artwork from 2012. Emerson will be the first female artist to produce work for the South Broad Murals.
• Peter Tonningsten and Lisa Levine: Leveraging images from photo booths placed around the city, these California based photo artists will install mural banners throughout downtown to illustrate the diversity of the landscape and community members within.
• STREETMUSEUM: Director of Clark Atlanta University Gallery, Tina Dunkley will guide visitors through a selection of ten artworks from the historically significant, CAU collection. Artworks will be re-created for outdoor display, framed and exhibited on the exterior of buildings along International Boulevard between Peachtree and Spring Street.
• Mass Transit Muse: Atlanta based theatrical artist, Mike Molina alongside Seven Stages Theater, will leverage three MARTA stations (Inman Park, Georgia State University and Five Points) to conduct a dramatic multimedia performance to illustrate the importance of public transportation and public art. Viewers will be invited into the Marta stations and the trains for this mobile theater performance.
• Bistaki: The French group G. Bistaki will use light and music while performing in unison with objects. The audience is involved in the movement creating a force of emotion that plays with the form, weight, texture and color of objects that seem very ordinary (roof tiles and purses), exploiting to the max the relationship between body-object-space.
“I am excited by this year’s program because it is a testament to the evolving role of public art in the cultural and economic development of Atlanta,” said Eddie Granderson, Public Art Program Manager for the Office of Cultural Affairs. “When the program launched at the Underground in 2011, we had 22 projects. In a little less than two years, we’ve doubled the level and caliber of participation and are attracting artists from across the world. We are growing Atlanta’s reputation as a cultural destination through public art.”
On Saturday October 19 at 4 p.m. at the Georgia Pacific auditorium, Elevate will also host an educational panel on transit moderated by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Tom Sabulis. The panel will discuss ways that arts and culture are considered through planning and development for transportation growth in Atlanta. Panelists will include Keith Parker, CEO of Marta, Paul Morris, President/CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine, Tom Weyandt, Senior Transportation Policy Advisor to Mayor Reed, Rebecca Serna, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition & Cain Williamson, Principle Planer at the Atlanta Regional Commission/Transportation division.
The Office of Cultural Affairs has cooridinated a variety of ways that people can experience the Elevate exhibition. Bike and walking tours are scheduled to guide visitors through the downtown projects. As an official partner, MARTA has designated an Elevate-Marta bus. Marta bus route #49 will ride along the downtown corridors where Elevate artwork is featured and allow residents to do a self-guided tour.
Elevate’s mission is to initiate positive urban growth through arts economics – or the concept of culture being a driving force for commerce. Each year, the program selects a section of downtown Atlanta to “reclaim” for a week to show the impact art can have on neighborhoods throughout the city .
“It’s important that any art work or performance that we bring to the city inspires businesses and residents alike,” said Camille Russell Love, Director of Cultural Affairs. “Changing the perception of a city takes an enormous surge of energy and dedication, but through carefully crafted partnerships and a common love of art, we have been able to ‘elevate’ the community’s perception of downtown Atlanta.”
At the end of previous programs, downtown property owners and businesses adopted the bulk of the visual work commissioned through Elevate. They have now been incorporated into the permanent downtown landscape, leading to aesthetic improvements in the downtown corridor.For additional information on Elevate or for complete list of the 2013 projects, please visit: http://www.ocaatlanta.com/programs/elevate/.