Inside the Arts: if it’s October … it’s ELEVATE

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Color the Cove, a mural by The Lotus Eaters collective.

When the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) launched ELEVATE in 2011, OCA staff envisioned an organized temporary public art program that would draw attention to and feature specific communities in Atlanta – using as a creative fuel for artists and local resources (community organizations, private businesses, community centers, etc.).

The aim was to employ free public artistic activities and events in the service of good – the appreciation of art, civic responsibility, social justice, and economic and cultural vitality. And while this year’s ELEVATE activities began in September and have been expanded to include eight Atlanta neighborhoods, October is ELEVATE’s flagship month.

Dancer Zachary Todd

Over the past decade, ELEVATE has provided a platform for artists and galvanized resources that are both well-known and more obscure. In addition, the ELEVATE 2021 theme, Reopen, reconnect, relight, gives OCA staff and their partners the opportunity to bring COVID-weary Atlantans with programming that will stimulate their minds and invigorate their souls. Three important programs taking place in October are described here.

From October 8-10, Atlanta residents will want to come downtown to witness the rebirth of Mitchell and Broad streets. Cat Eye Creative will bring South Downtown to life with vibrant murals created by artists such as George F. Baker III, Chris Veal, VAYNE, AESEK and Lucy Luckovich. In addition, a large-scale outdoor photography exhibition will be featured with works by Kristin Ferro, Nicole Hernandez, Chilly-O, Matt Swinsky, Elliot Liss and QUANATL.

The city center will also be the site of three other art-related activities: an outdoor neon exhibit by Tayler Drattlo; an impressive gallery exhibit (showcasing 30 of Atlanta’s top artists, including Adam Crawford, Diana Toma, and Julio Ceballos); and a Binders Art Supply pop-up store.

On October 17, at 3 p.m., ELEVATE will team up with France-Atlanta and Atlanta Contemporary to present A dance, reunited. The event will include a screening of Letters from the continent, an Indya Childs dance performance and panel discussion with artists and community leaders on the resurgence of the global arts community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Film creator Faustin Linyekula and Dance Canvas Executive Artistic Director Angela Harris will lead the panel discussion. Letters from the continent was co-produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer. It was conceived and shot in May and June 2020 and features 21 artists from various African cities, including Cape Town, Dakar, Lagos, Maputo, Moroni and Tunis (france-atlanta.org and atlantacontemporaty.org).

Charmaine Minniefield’s “House of Praise”.

Also in October, Grant Park-based experimental art gallery Arts Beacon Gallery will team up with mural artists from The Lotus Eaters club on October 23 for an all-day live mural event. Ten local artists will paint over 1,000 square feet of murals on the walls of Artist Cove at The Beacon – an industrial complex turned into a shopping, dining and art destination. In addition to the live mural, the Color the Cove event will feature spinning DJs, live bands, art performances, and an artists’ market with unique merchandise. Local breweries and food trucks will deliver delicious treats as patrons enjoy this massive outdoor art celebration (artsbeacongallery.com).

October is ELEVATE month. Take the time to join us in October for these events and more. Come celebrate the 10 of ELEVATEe anniversary as we imagine and look to the next ten.

Visit elevateatlart.com to see the full schedule of events.




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