Another day, another installment of "This is why we can't have nice things, Atlanta." We can't have beloved popsicle murals. We can barely keep art on the Beltline without some punks burning it down. And, according to USA Today, we can't have bronze plaques identifying our public art:
In 1996, Atlanta installed 18 pieces of public artwork as part of preparations for the Summer Olympics. Since then, almost half of the bronze plaques identifying that artwork have gone missing, says Robert Witherspoon, the project supervisor for the city's public art program.
Atlanta has subsequently invested in stainless steel plaques for $500 each to replace some of the more expensive bronze and aluminum plaques that were stolen. Witherspoon says the remaining price tag for what needs to be fixed in the city's total public-arts collection is more than $600,000 — money which he says is hard to come by these days.
Atlanta is one of the many cities in an era of tight budgets having trouble affording the routine restoration and maintenance for public-art projects as well as occasional instances of vandalism and theft.
According to the article, there are other cities that have similar problems trying to keep nice stuff around and nobody has the budget to take care of it. Except for Portland, which has developed an iPhone app so that people can check-in to public art and say, uh, "I was here and noticed the plaque was missing." Problem solved. Perhaps this is part of that city's innovative unemployment program?
Tune into WREK 91.1 tonight at midnight and you should experience something quite different than the average airwaves. Midnight Bill, a collaboration between John Q founding member Joey Orr and former WREK chief engineer Chris Campbell, seeks to "construct a memorial narrative that explored connections between archived letters, music, sound, and personal narrative."
Orr's work with the John Q collective explored Atlanta's queer histories with resounding and intimate insights and Midnight Bill continues in this vein, digging deep into the archived correspondence of two men:
The relationship between two men, Jack Strouss and William Deveaux Wilson, in the 1950s is filled with larger cultural potential. Whether recounting being fired from the post office in downtown Atlanta for being a homosexual during the McCarthy era, tracking correspondences with actress Agnes Moorehead, or watching over the artists’ book collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the program maps out a space in which characters from different situations are strangely intertwined. Some original 1950s recordings paired with contemporary writing creates a digital mashup of several technologies that creates varied sound qualities in an overlaying of past and present documents.
The broadcast, which began on December 18 and concludes tonight, will be accompanied by text on the radio receiver or streaming player, a new technique being pioneered by Campbell. "His hacking has allowed us to provide an extra (visual) layer of text to the program. I am new to these technologies and, in fact, we don't believe RDS has ever been used this way before, so the whole thing is an experiment!" Orr wrote in a recent email annoucing the project.
Read more about Orr's work with the Strouss and Wilson correspondence and the technical details of the broadcast before tuning in tonight. You can tune in online here.
Know Hope's mural, which is kind of Shel Silverstein meets Keith Haring, features an unnamed serial character that the artist has been building work around for the last few years to "develop a narrative, not necessarily linear, for the viewer to develop a long-tem relationship with the work," he explains. "With this mural, the character is in the center, it has an amputated arm and is tied to a flagpole with a waving white flag. There's a heart-shaped hole in the character's chest where the heart used to be and a telescope going through. It's propping up the telescope with the hole to see through and is looking at some birds that aren't bound."
Know Hope's also collaborating with local youth non-profit One Love Generation on a time capsule. This is his second time capsule, the first was with a group of teens in Gambia, West Africa. "It's basically a project that examines how to create and preserve collective memory," he says. "There are no newspapers, it's more metaphorical and personal observations, and sentiments and messages. It gets buried and the location becomes some sort of personal landmark for all the participants. That's kind of my intention — not making it precious or dear. It's made out of found wood not out of steel. The significant part is the process and the experience."
Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the Goat Farm (1200 Foster St., Atlanta, GA 30318), Know Hope will present an artist's talk and, along with One Love Generation, the time capsule project. More photos of his mural-in-progress after the jump.
Details from OCA's website, which also has the link to apply:
The artist registry serves as the preferred vendor list for soliciting artists for major and minor public art commissions and direct purchases of artworks for the City of Atlanta. Budgets for each project will vary. Historically budgets have ranged from $5,000 to $250,000.
Artists remain in the registry for a minimum of two years. Placement in the registry does not guarantee a commission nor does it excludes artists from submitting for other public art projects offered by the City of Atlanta. Artists will be notified by mail if they are selected for the Public Art Registry.
Artists in the registry will be solicited for site-specific commissions, artist architect collaborations, design services and artists/community collaborations.
...Light, sound and videographers must contact the Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program directly during the registration period. You will be required to submit your portfolio through either a: CD/DVD or online submission.
Performance schedule (location links include Google maps):
Friday, September 9
Location: Reynoldstown Stage
· 7-8 pm - Daysahead performance
· 8-10 pm - Center for Civil and Human Rights “Films That Matter” series, The Constant Gardner
Sunday, September 11
Location: Reynoldstown Stage
· 6 pm - Ile Tambor performance
Friday, September 16
Location: Washington Park
· 8-10 pm - Center for Civil and Human Rights “Films That Matter” series, The Pursuit of Happyness
Saturday, September 17
Location: Gordon White Park
· 4-5 pm - Taranji Alvarado, Sound Community
· 5-6 pm - Giwayen Mata, The Phoenix: A Giwayen Mata Drum Circle
· 6-7 pm - Salakida Kali
· 7-8 pm - Kebbi Williams Band with Strings and Miguel Atwood Fergeson
Friday, September 23
Location: Park Drive Bridge
· 8:00 pm - Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel and Robbie Land
Friday, September 30
Location: Historic Fourth Ward Park
· 6:30 pm - Spiral of Sound Crystal Bowl Choir, Peace Spiral
· 8-10pm - Center for Civil and Human Rights “Films That Matter” series, Philadelphia
For its second annual event, homegrown international street art conference Living Walls doubled the pleasure in 2011 with twice as many participating artists and murals. While the conference itself took place over one weekend, Living Walls 2011 has endowed the city with two dozen works of lasting public art. Decatur in particular made out well this year, with eight murals. Some of our favorites include Jaz's surreal stallions at the Soundtable, OverUnder, Labrona and Gawd's crowded cityscape in Kirkwood, ROA's upturned croc downtown and pretty much anything by Macro Sueno. Murals here are listed with their addresses - we highly recommend checking them out in person. Check out the full gallery of works here.
Art on the Atlanta Beltline 2.0 is well underway, with some works nearing completion or already completed. Artist Kyle Brooks just wrapped up his 237-foot mural "The Beltline Bears" on Langhorn Street near the West End. Art on the Atlanta Beltline officially opens Sat., Sept. 10.
More photos of Brooks' work after the jump.
Last night, the 2nd annual Living Walls Conference was celebrated at The Goat Farm where attendees were multiple galleries full of art, interactive projections, a performance by local band The Back Pockets, and of course the Good Food Truck filling people's bellies.
Continuing the tradition, 25 graffiti artists from around the world came to paint murals around our fair city. Today at 5pm, a bike tour of the new murals will begin at Sound Table on Edgewood. If you feel like seeking the walls out on your own, use this full map of murals, which was released today, and can be found here.
A slideshow of photos from last night's event can be seen here.
In all, about 20 people trickled through the park behind the Archives Building, most clearly compatriots of the artist, until 10:44, when a security guard came around a second time and ordered Evereman to shut the projection down.
This act of public, "no impact" art marked the kickoff night of the Living Walls Conference.
Seeing as part of the conference is lectures from public art luminaries like Gaia and Freddy, we asked OverUnder what his street art thesis would be were he doing a talk himself. “That's the last thing I'd want to do at a street art conference,” he says. “Maybe what street artists are eating — the importance of breakfast.”
Or maybe he'd take his moment on the podium to talk about the homogenization of the street art scene. “Back in the day it was all about street cred,” he says. “Now, it's all about Internet cred.”
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