Exploring Art on the BeltLine

Every year, after the Annual Lantern Parade, loads of new public art appears on the Atlanta BeltLine, turning most of the 2.5 miles of the Eastside Trail into a linear, walkable, outdoor art museum. Since I love public art, I invited a friend of mine (who is also an accomplished large-sale artist) to stroll with me and check out the various sculptures.

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This was Ibrahim's first time on the trail, so it felt great introducing someone to the BeltLine, watching his interest grow as we moseyed around the area between the Skate Park and Ponce City Market.

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If you're wondering what Art on the BeltLine is, here's some info:

Art on the Atlanta BeltLine is the City of Atlanta’s largest temporary public art exhibition and a testament to the Atlanta BeltLine as a living, breathing entity that is more than just trees, trails, and rails. Showcasing the work of hundreds of visual artists, performers, and musicians along the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, the exhibition is a powerful conduit for everyone in the Atlanta region to gather, connect, and experience something vibrant and dynamic. This spectacular project places working professionals alongside emerging artists, and draws residents and visitors into some of the most unique public spaces in the City of Atlanta, providing powerful new perspectives on the city and its vibrant neighborhoods.

I particularly love seeing how diverse the artwork is. Materials used include found objects, photography displays, kinetic cubes, music, and even puppetry pieces in motion.

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Look at the miscellaneous objects in this piece called The Art of Reconciliation by William Massey.

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I love this metal star. Ibrahim had a speaker in his backpack and when he placed it on the star, it amplified the music fantastically, so this piece would be good to host a small party around. I bet people who come out for King of Pops Yoga are enjoying it.

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It's called A 24/7 Timestar Lives by Charlie Smith.

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I particularly liked the diversity of art pieces, like this butterfly house by Dorothy O’Connor and Craig Appel. It's called Swarm of Butterflies.

Even bridges became art. This piece is called Tension by Gavin Bernard and Jessica Flórez Gómez.

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Keep your fingers away from this one! This piece is called Do Not Feed the Wildlife by Kaylin Broussard & Chris Bartlett.

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And some of the art was alive, kinetic, with a bit of swish in its hips.

Press PLAY ► below (the video warped a bit, though, sorry):

That clever puppetry was by Sam Lasseter called The Joggers.

And the futuristic-looking piece below is called Origami Tesselation by Will Cioffi, Jessica Greenstein, and Whitney Ashley.

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The last piece of art I want to show you, an installation stretched along the fence near Ponce City Market's Eastside Trail entrance, is the most thought-provoking. Tackling colorism, it dissected a belief that is held in many parts of the world that one skin tone is better or worse than another.

This statement appears at one end of the installation:

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Accompanying these images of brown-skinned women.

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The banner goes on for some time, depicting varied skin tones that exist within the term "black woman."

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It's a bold, conflicted, and laser-focused statement by artist Joshua Rashaad McFadden.

You'll find many more pieces on the BeltLine besides the few I've shown here, so be sure to explore them for yourself!