Artist Melissa Huang puts the finishing touches on her piece for Midtown’s Heart of the Arts program.

By Neda Abghari, Curator & Art Consultant 

The power of art to provide hope, inspiration, reflection, and connection is undeniable. It is where we turn for solace, sometimes even escape, to simply feel. To sense more, to dream more, to dive into new realities, imagine new possibilities and reflect on those past. Art allows us to experience each other’s humanity across communities, countries, continents, and even time. 

Creativity breeds connection.

It is a powerful gift, 

one to be honored, 

and one to be shared. 

I am so deeply thrilled with Midtown Alliance’s commitment and investment to amplify the voices of our city’s creative talents through the development of the Heart of The Arts program, funded by the Midtown Improvement District

Although Midtown Alliance has installed public art before, Midtown Heart of the Arts seeks to be intentional in the way that it supports Atlanta’s arts economy while also enriching the public sphere. In doing so, we imagine a place where creativity and artistic expression are defining characteristics of the urban experience.  

I’m excited to draw upon my curatorial experience to deliver the program’s first activation.This presentation will introduce the Heart of the Arts concept by featuring vibrant glowing works in storefronts along Peachtree Street and 10th Street on view from late-December through March 2021. With the support of generous businesses and property owners it will demonstrate the benefits of reimagining retail spaces as a platform to share and celebrate the multitude of inspired voices within our community. The talented inaugural group of artists were commissioned to create bold, bright, inspiring works to uplift our community as we usher in a new year. 

We look to create additional opportunities for artists to work in Midtown with commissions at varying scales, while also considering those who have yet to exhibit in the district. These installations will launch an initiative to not only provide a platform for more artists to exhibit work in Midtown, but also to offer physical space that invites artists to take up residency and create work in Midtown and to become active members of the community. 

Without a doubt, 2020 has been tumultuous. But we have an opportunity to meet the moment by defining a shared vision for the future. Who better than Atlanta’s arts community to help navigate these challenging moments and articulate a path forward?

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