Since the first section of the Atlanta BeltLine trail opened in 2009, the arts have been a part of the experience – serving, in many ways, as an invitation to the community to discover and connect with the 22-mile loop on a mission to reknit the fabric of the city.
In 2023, the BeltLine will showcase the 14th season of its juried public art exhibition, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine (AoAB), a commitment to celebrating the voices, experiences and values of all Atlantans through the work of hundreds of visual artists, performers and musicians.
“Art on the Atlanta BeltLine is a living illustration of the vision we’ve long held for the BeltLine – a melding of people, cultures, communities and perspectives,” said Nonet Sykes, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. “The Atlanta arts and culture community in many ways has brought the BeltLine to life. The cultural experiences that happen along the BeltLine have become a vibrant showcase of our city’s diverse voices. In 2022, we witnessed the power of the arts to heal, connect and enrich, and in 2023, expect a celebration of the cultural ways we’re unique in Atlanta, from hip hop to style writing movements and much much more.”
AoAB, now recognized as the largest public outdoor art installation in the Southeast, will feature more than 100 artists and 56 works of visual and performing arts. This year’s programming will include legacy BeltLine events and projects, such as the BeltLine Lantern Parade and BeltLine After Dark, while also debuting new projects, partnerships and artists.
The BeltLine also is joining in the national celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip hop, curating new works to reflect Atlanta’s influence on the storied history of the music genre.
One of the BeltLine’s first public art projects of 2023 is its collaboration with the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) and its NextGen Artist program, which gives students hands-on experience working with professional artists to transform their schools. Three artists – Alea Hurst, Julio Ceballos and Yoyo Cam – will work with students at Carver High School, Luther J. Price Middle School and Sylvan Hills Middle School to create murals unique to their experiences and environments. The process began in February and will conclude, with an unveiling, the first week in April.
BeltLine Walls will return this spring for Vol. 6, featuring muralists Eric “Seven” Finley, Krista M. Jones (“JONESY”) and Aysha Pennerman. Each will have installations along the Southside Trail beginning in early March. The artists will work throughout the month with completion scheduled for early to mid-April. Pennerman, in particular, will be engaging youth artists from Parkside Elementary, which is nestled between Atlanta’s Grant Park and Ormewood Park neighborhoods near the BeltLine’s Southside Trail corridor.
BeltLine Residency Program’s Scholar-in-Residence Rachel Parish, Artist-in-Residence Chelsea Darling and Curator-in-Residence Jared Wheatley’s Indigenous Walls Project will also begin premiering their works early-mid spring.
Beginning the first week in April, Ree de la Vega’s independent, off-the-grid radio station, A/V Radio, will return and run through the fall. A/V Radio is located on the Eastside Trail of the BeltLine, underneath the Freedom Parkway Bridge, adjacent to the BeltLine MarketPlace.
One of the hallmark events of the BeltLine, the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade, will return for its 13th year on Saturday, May 20, under the direction of its creator Chantelle Rytter and the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons. For the second year in a row, the parade will march along the Westside Trail.
BeltLine After Dark will take place Friday, June 2 through Saturday, June 3 at Atlanta’s Westside Park. Selected artists include Liquid Sky, Novoa Dances, M3, and Assane Kouyate as well as Mausiki Scales & the Common Ground Collective, who will, for the ninth year, present “No Tables, No Chairs,” described as a “funk-filled journey through the pulsating rhythms of the African Diaspora.”
Visual artists Mark Chew, Mary Stuart Hall and Gabi Madrid will present as a part of this year’s BeltLine Spaces sculpture series. The BeltLine Flow performance series will showcase percussionist and multi-media artist Jeremy Muller, live performance company Burning Bones Physical Theater, and writer Robert Barsky whose book of poetry, “The Beltline Chronicles,” will be performed by artists Ismael ibn Conner and Marsha Barsky.
As part of the final homestretch of the year, the BeltLine will bring back its So So Def Walls Celebration Day & ATL JAM, November 2-5, which last year brought more than 40 style writers together to discuss the legacy of style writing in Atlanta, highlighting the So So Def Walls, which exist along the Southside Trail under the Downtown Connector. The gathering was commemorated with a live style writing jam session along Lee Street.
“The cultural history of Atlanta is deep and incredibly rich, and we work with diligence and intention each year to curate artists, organizations and works that reflect our city’s unique tapestry,” said Miranda Kyle, manager of arts and culture programming for the BeltLine. “We consider it part of the BeltLine’s DNA to present such phenomenal individuals to our BeltLine community.”
High resolution images of Art on the Atlanta BeltLine can be downloaded here.For additional information on Art on the Atlanta BeltLine and its 2023 exhibition season, visit art.beltline.org and follow on social media @atlantabeltline and with #beltlineart.
Information can also be found here on the 2023-24 “Call-for-Artists,” as the BeltLine annually seeks qualified visual artists, art teams, performers, musicians and sculptors at every stage of their careers to submit their credentials. The Request for Proposals (RFP) process will officially open in April, preceded by a public, in-person information session on March 28. The 2023-2024 AoAB exhibition will celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop.
The 2022 – 2023 Art on the Atlanta BeltLine exhibition is presented by Northside Hospital. Additional sponsors include Ponce City Market at the Platinum level; Delta at the Gold level; Cox Enterprises and Empire Communities at the Silver level; and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at the Bronze level.
This program is supported in part by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Major funding for this organization is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. This program is supported in part by Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency – the National Endowment for the Arts. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
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