August 11, 2011 Slideshows » A&E, News & Views

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Art in 9 unexpected places 

Joeff Davis
How many times have you entered the "Transportation Zone" and traversed at least a portion of the mile of corridors from T to A to B to C to D to E only to arrive at your gate wishing you were already somewhere else? Take a deep breath and look up. You might be surrounded by original artworks by Rocio Rodriguez or Larry Walker if your flight's departing from E. Get up and walk to the newsstand, but keep your eyes locked on the floor — a sprawling tile mosaic by Don Cooper, Anita Arliss or Cheryl Goldsleger could be underfoot if you're wandering around terminals A, B or C. Opt out of the moving sidewalk between concourses A and B to run your hands over the massive stone sculptures on display from Zimbabwe. Next time you get frustrated with ticket prices, just think of it like you're getting free museum admission with purchase.
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Dustin Chambers
This carnival of Cyclopes emblazoned on the side of a local business evokes a ceremonial pagan liturgy beneath the stars. The bold panorama by California street artist Doodles extends off busy DeKalb Avenue and down a narrow side street. An eastbound drive-by offers only a passing glimpse, barely a hint of the sprawling mural stretching the length of the building.
Joeff Davis
Only once you've removed your belt, emptied your pockets and stepped through the metal detector; only once you've crossed the shadow-laced expanse of City Hall Annex's atrium; only once the reflective, bronze-colored elevator doors slide open on the government building's fourth floor, will you come face-to-face with a city-commissioned 10-foot-by-21-foot mural by the late modern art icon Sol LeWitt. Located behind a row of cardio equipment, LeWitt's minimalist, tri-color "Wall Drawing #581" adds a shot of adrenaline to what would otherwise be an unremarkable partition in the building's Employee Wellness Center.
Joeff Davis
Dustin Chambers
Part art experiment, part spring-cleaning project, local artist and gardener Cooper Sanchez's box spring paintings not only saved Sanchez from ending up on an episode of "Hoarders," (kidding) they also salvaged a desolate, tag-ridden lot located within spitting distance of one of Atlanta's marquee landmarks. Sanchez's work shows that cleaning up the city doesn't have to mean covering it in grey paint.
Dustin Chambers
Joeff Davis
These Olympics-era reproductions of Georgia's more prominent self-taught artists might have been new and glossy when the torch was still burning, but they've since been weathered by time, worn out by skateboarders and made into de facto housing for the city's homeless. It seems oddly fitting that the work of outsiders and visionaries like the LSD-inspired St. EOM would attract Atlanta's outcasts like moths to a flame.
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Dustin Chambers
While the iconic Coca-Cola script towers over drivers passing through Atlanta's Downtown Connector, DOSE has literally flipped the script for those of us in town, drawing our eyes to the back of the billboard (don't miss the subtle metaphor). This long-standing, bold roller piece, made of equal parts acrobatic feat and irrepressible style, reminds us daily that graffiti is just as much a part of Atlanta as any soda company.
Dustin Chambers
To the right of the main entrance of the College Park library exists a barely visible verdant mini-Arcadia. Three 8-foot-by-3-foot steel panels by the self-taught Athens artist reveal a pastoral vision of children reading beneath trees and Pan, a centaur and other mythological beings cavorting in nature. In the 11 years since its installation, leafy vines have wiggled their way through the sculpture's in-between parts, winding pliable life-filled stems around rusty steel ones, laying waxy, sun-loving leaves on top of an artist's metal rendition of leaves. The effect is sublime.
Joeff Davis
A hand-painted sign will never be perfect. No matter how careful the artist is, there will be a subtle wave in the lettering or line, a reminder of the human who painted it. While the cookie-cutter signage dominating Atlanta storefronts is distinctly soulless, tire shop pieces like this one — an unexpected and original jumble of objects floating on the wall — speak to Atlanta's soul and put that corporate bullshit in sharp relief. We stopped by to find out who painted it a couple different times, but never found anyone. Let us know if you know the answer.
Joeff Davis
It's highly doubtful that a small child has ever remarked, "What a fascinating work of modernist design!" after going down the slide in Isamu Noguchi's playscape, but that's part of what makes it so exciting. You don't have to know the breadth of his influences or the iconic status he enjoys in the history of 20th-century sculpture to feel the magnetic pull of his clean lines and colors. This is art that truly invites you to play.
12/19
Joeff Davis
These Olympics-era reproductions of Georgia's more prominent self-taught artists might have been new and glossy when the torch was still burning, but they've since been weathered by time, worn out by skateboarders and made into de facto housing for the city's homeless. It seems oddly fitting that the work of outsiders and visionaries like the LSD-inspired St. EOM would attract Atlanta's outcasts like moths to a flame.
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