Art on the Atlanta BeltLine’s 2020-2021 Art-in-Residence, Jessica Caldas shares about her Residency experience and her temporary installation, The Endeavor. Intended to be a monumental sculpture on the Eastside Trail, the work was deinstalled following its vandalization, and subsequently featured during three public processions in June 2021.
The Endeavor, beloved mother, left her place on April 23rd, 2021. Although only shortly a part of her community and space, she brought joy, happiness, confusion, and excitement in her brief time. Unfortunately, she also faced violence and had to be rescued from her place of rest by a loving and supportive community.
The Endeavor was meant for many things, including Labor, Failure, Death, Violence, Care, Community, Rest, and Love.
As a part of the Art on the Beltline Artist in Residence, The Endeavor is survived by her three children: Atalanta, Astarte, and Inanna as well as her maker/mother, Jessica Caldas. They will gather in person to celebrate her life and spirit on the Atlanta Beltline on June 1st, June 15th, and June 29th beginning with a procession from the Atlanta Beltline Offices at 5:30 to her place of rest near the old fourth ward skate park. Each celebration shall end around sunset.
Jessica Caldas is a Puerto Rican American, Florida and Georgia based, artist, advocate, and activist. Her work connects personal and community narratives to larger themes and social issues. Caldas has participated in numerous emerging artist residencies, including the Atlanta Printmakers Studio in 2011, MINT Gallery’s Leap Year Program from 2012-2013, The Creatives Project form 2018-2019, and Vermont Studio Center in 2020. Caldas was awarded The Center for Civic Innovations 2016 Creative Impact award, named Creative Loafing’s Best of ATL Artist for 2016 and 2015, received the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Emerging Artist Award in Visual Arts for 2014, and was a finalist for the Forward Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award in 2014. Her work has been featured at Burnaway, ArtsAtl, Creative Loafing Atlanta, Atlanta Magazine, Simply Buckhead, and more. Her work has been shown at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA and is included in the collections of Kilpatrick Townsend, The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Kyoto International Community House.
In her advocacy work, Caldas has spent time lobbying for policy at the local level in Georgia and spent time with the YWCA Georgia Women’s Policy Institute at the 2016 general assembly to assure the passage of the Rape Kit Bill and in 2016 to stop HB 51 in 2017, a bill that would have harmed the safety of sexual assault survivors on college campuses.
Caldas received her Masters of Fine Arts degree at Georgia State University in 2019 and received her BFA in printmaking from the University of Georgia in 2012.