Arts & Culture

Best Bizarre Statues Or Public Art In Atlanta

October 1, 2012 6:00 AM

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No Goal is Too High if We Climb with Care and Confidence (credit: ocaatlanta.com)

No Goal is Too High if We Climb with Care and Confidence (credit: ocaatlanta.com)

nogoalistoohigh Best Bizarre Statues Or Public Art In Atlanta

No Goal is Too High if We Climb with Care and Confidence (credit: ocaatlanta.com)

The knock on modern art is that it is bizarre and meaningless to the general public. This criticism especially concerns large, outdoor sculptures with ambiguous and abstract subject matter. While critics denounce these pieces for their strangeness, the following examples below may be bizarre but also significant.

“Ex-Static” by Maria Artemis
Median Triangle
W. Peachtree St. and Pine St. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30308
www.mariaartemis.com

“Ex-Static” resembles a plane crash and is meaningful to Atlanta in a couple of ways. Composed of actual plane materials from Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems, Maria Artemis’ sculpture installation is locally rooted. Lockheed is a high-profile, national company with local facilities and the artist’s own father worked there as an engineer. Artemis combines sculpture and architecture together in this engineering-themed piece. The title, “Ex-Static,” derives from a stencil found on one of the engine pieces incorporated into the installation. Anodized aluminum, mild steel and stainless steel cable snake their way in and out of the ground and make no apologies for their sharp, hard machine lines. Like many notable pieces of artwork in Atlanta, “Ex-Static” was commissioned for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

“Sunshade Structure” by A Collaboration of Nine Artists
Folk Art Park
Piedmont Ave. and Baker St. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30308

The Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta (CODA) commissioned the “Sunshade Structure” along with the entire Folk Art Park where it resides. Located on the Georgia DOT bridge right-of-way near the Downtown Connector, “Sunshade Structure” had to meet special design constraints. The call for proposals demanded that this sculpture withstand heavy vibrations as well as blend in with the environment to prevent traffic accidents. This winning design is emblematic of the park because it contains designs from many different artists. The eight-pointed star brings to mind quilt-making with many different styles, each pattern in its own triangular segment. From a distance, the work hangs together and uses natural sunlight to cast shadows on the ground. Quilt-making and folk art are southern traditions and this structure’s handling of these themes stands out among the garish color of the neighboring pieces.

Related: Most Iconic Works of Art in Atlanta

“Five Points” by George Beasley
Median Triangle
Marietta St. and Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30303

As the name implies, George Beasley’s “Five Points” is site-specific artwork with ties to its location. According to the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, this structure “commemorates the historic intersection where trolley tracks and an artesian water tower once stood, as well as the five streets that intersect to form the heart of Downtown Atlanta.” Similar to Artemis’ piece, Beasley manipulates recognizable pieces of functional metalwork. There are also panels with written statements on the sculpture which literally describe the past importance of this place in the city.

Related: Best Places For Film Buffs In Atlanta

“No Goal Is Too High If We Climb With Care And Confidence” by Georgia State University Sculpture Students
Peachtree St. N.E. & Poplar St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303
www.ocaatlanta.coml

Georgia State University contains the most significant art school located within Atlanta. This causes the sculpture, “No Goal is Too High if We Climb with Care and Confidence,” to hold unusual significance as a marquee symbol on campus. The sculpture is mundane compared to others on this list but is still definitely something worth seeing. The imagery of students climbing a staircase of books forms a triumphal arch. The work was produced by Georgia State University sculpture students, presumably under the supervision of George Beasley.

“Threshold” by Robert Llimos
Underground Atlanta
50 Alabama St. S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303

This bronze sculpture, which totals 13 feet in height, comes originally from Barcelona, Spain as part of an Olympic cultural exchange. The artist, Robert Llimos, describes himself as interested in figures but not realism. The imagery in “Threshold” is demonstrative of this claim. Strips of rainbow colors adorn a figure in a doorway evoking the theme of diversity and multi-culturalism. However, the results here are less mysterious than in his paintings. In some ways, this expressionist piece suffers from its location in Underground Atlanta’s Festival Plaza because it invites unflattering comparison to the advertising imagery of shops and restaurants nearby.

With a BFA in Digital Media, Sean Mills has worked for design firms with clients across the United States. He has worked as an illustrator and visual designer, and has shown paintings in juried exhibitions. He currently works as a studio artist and writer in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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