“You can truly feel the energy of artists as they make good things happen on a street that’s been in need of good things for a while.” – ATL Urbanist
The walls were painted pink-and-yellow zigzags, and a cast of characters outfitted in white tuxes and animal heads ignited an abandoned nightclub, turning the space into a carnivalesque, Dada-influenced funhouse without mirrors.
The most thought-provoking aspect of the evening was the knowledge that Coleman and Detweiler had actually committed to living exclusively in this space — eating, sleeping, showering, creating — for three weeks. Remnants of this experience were visible here and there — a portable shower like something used for camping, a homemade tent filled with pillows and blankets for sleeping, a toilet — and provided a more resonant layer of meaning to what otherwise might have seemed mere spectacle.
Dashboard Co-op’s “No Vacancy, An Alternative Residency,” in which two artists are holed up in an undisclosed vacant Atlanta property for three weeks, is an effort to turn it all down and to see what kind of art develops in the relative silence and isolation.
On a forgotten block of Downtown Atlanta, four artists are literally changing the face of Atlanta. Their tractor-green lifts move on the building faces like dancing robot arms, lit up against the dark Atlanta skyline.
The hope of Elevate organizers, area residents and business owners, and others who have been working together to revitalize the area is that the presence of this high-profile art in a setting that’s accessible to anyone will draw much-needed positive attention to South Broad Street. Despite the vacant spaces, a tightly-knit community exists here – one that understands the potential of the area and wants to see it fulfilled.
Physically, Broad Street between Mitchell Street and MLK, Jr. Drive has the goods; vintage storefronts, wide sidewalks, and street trees set the scene for what could be a lively block.