Type to search

Thought Leadership Views From Peachtree

From Studio to Sidewalk, Public Art Flourishes

By Lauren Radman, Project Manager, Urban Design and Placemaking at Midtown Alliance

Public art enlivens the urban experience and contributes to dynamic public spaces. It’s magical to see blank walls transform into large-scale works of art in real time. After working primarily inside their studios since they moved in late last summer, Midtown’s Artists in Residence have some exciting outdoor projects coming up. These are unique opportunities for the community to be an active participant.

Through a partnership with AT&T, artist George F. Baker III is painting a colorful abstract mural on the company’s central office building facing Peachtree Place in the heart of Midtown. This work will be a significant addition to the public realm and watching it come to life will be a sight to behold. George and his assistants will steer an articulating boom lift 80’ above the sidewalk to transform a nondescript background building into a new pedestrian landmark. 

This installation marks new heights for Midtown Alliance’s art program. Midtown Heart of the Arts builds on our existing public art initiatives to create a framework that enables more partnerships, more ways to engage artists, and more arts experiences for the Midtown community. 

George is one of six inaugural members of our artist residency, which partners with Midtown property owners to give artists physical workspace in the district, free of charge for 12 months. The residency provides a foundation for artists to develop their practice, share their work with new audiences, and expand their creative business. 

Having artists in our district also enables Midtown Alliance to generate more artwork than ever before, such as George’s mural at AT&T. The program has produced public displays of work at host properties as well as vibrant graphics along the sidewalk at our Outdoor Art Gallery at 11th and Peachtree Streets. This summer, we’ll be officially announcing another mural at 10th Street Park by Jasmine Nicole Williams. And that’s just the work that Midtown Alliance has commissioned.

Heart of the Arts is also inspiring continued art investment by our residency host partners. Portman Holdings sponsors three artists in residence at Coda Midtown and has begun conversations with those artists about new site-specific work for their permanent collection. In addition to that, they’ve asked all six artists to create artwork for the Collective Food Hall.

We’re even fielding requests from other private property owners who want to work with our artists on commissions for their properties. Street Lights Residential requested concepts from two artists in residence for an installation at Midtown Union along 16th Street. We’ve been contacted about multiple opportunities for art acquisition, mural installations, artist workshops, and even arts-centered planning projects. 

We estimate that so far, the Heart of the Arts residency program has generated $115K in total commissions, artwork sales, artist fees and displays promoting and supporting the resident artists’ work… and counting!  This program is our commitment to supporting Atlanta’s creative economy and to recognizing artists as entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

Midtown has long been regarded as Atlanta’s hub for visual and performing arts. We’re immensely proud of this identity. Through the Heart of the Arts program, we’re doubling down to realize an even more ambitious vision: a place in which creativity and artistic expression are defining characteristics of the urban experience.

There’s a role for everyone to play in bringing this vision to life. Meet our artists, witness the creation of their work, and get engaged with upcoming workshops and events. If you have any interest in working with one of our artists or partnering with the Heart of the Arts program, please reach out to us to start a conversation.


This is sponsored content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.