Art on the Atlanta BeltLine Presents: “LagosAtlanta: Sister City Rising” An Exhibition Celebrating 50 Years of Cultural Exchange and Civic Collaboration

Ten-week residency to welcome two Lagos-based artists who will create multi-disciplinary installations along the BeltLine as part of their cultural immersion

“LagosAtlanta: Sister City Rising” Special Exhibition and Artist Residency
“LagosAtlanta: Sister City Rising” Special Exhibition and Artist Residency

 ATLANTA (February 22, 2024) – Fifty years ago this year, the City of Atlanta and then-Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson proudly announced Lagos, Nigeria as one of its first Sister Cities, brokering what would become a landmark connection of culture and commerce that continues to shape international relations between the two cities to this day. 

Beginning in February, Atlanta BeltLine will commemorate this decades-long cultural exchange with a 10-week artist residency and special exhibition, featuring two renowned, Lagos-based artists: Taiye Idahor and Kainebi Osahenye. Both were selected by exhibition creator and curator Lauren Tate Baeza, who also serves as the Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art for the High Museum of Art, known for its extensive Nigerian art and material culture collection. Idahor and Osahenye will embark on a full cultural immersion as they create their new works. Their pieces will then be publicly unveiled Saturday, April 27 and will become a centerpiece of the 2024 Art on the Atlanta BeltLine exhibition season. 

“I’m pleased to present this project on the BeltLine —an important site for community engagement and reconnection in the City of Atlanta,” said Baeza. “The completed installations by Taiye Idahor and Kainebi Osahenye will join other important public works by Nigerian artists—such as Jimoh Buraimoh’s Meeting of Elders in Howell Park and Yinka Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture (IV) at Centennial Yards—that dot Atlanta’s public art landscape, providing the opportunity to connect those dots and commemorate a long history of creative engagement between the two geographies.”

The BeltLine’s Westside Trail, specifically from Lena Street to the Ashview Community Garden, will be the landing place for the artists’ creations, which, given their multi-media approach, may include sculptures, murals, ceramics, photography or even canopy installations. Their works, the selected mediums and the exact locations along the Trail will be determined upon arrival, reflecting their time and experience in Atlanta. The pieces will then be created offsite in a custom studio space at Ponce City Market, made possible by exhibition presenting sponsor Jamestown.  

“This exhibition is a testament to the legacy of 50 years of cooperation and shared experiences between these two remarkable cities,” said Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. President and CEO Clyde Higgs. “It is also another example of how Art on the Atlanta BeltLine provides the canvas for artists to create vibrant cultural experiences for BeltLine visitors.”


Residency to Foster Cultural Immersion and Exchange 

The mission of the residency and special exhibition is to help realize the educational and cross-cultural exchange aspirations of the long-standing Sister City agreement and aid in expanding the global impact of creative communities in both Atlanta and Lagos.

In service to this mission, a number of events will be scheduled throughout the residency, including artist-to-artist collaborations, visits to Atlanta cultural sites and artist meet-and-greets. Additional outcomes include a short documentary film, a catalog of the exhibition, independent artist-to-artist partnerships, and increased visibility and community engagement with Atlanta’s growing foreign-born communities. 


Exhibition Honors Sister City Visionaries, Mayors Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young 

After the Sister City connection was fostered by Mayor Jackson in 1974, Atlanta Mayor and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young accepted the baton and continued to develop diplomatic relationships with Lagos, which is currently the largest city on the African continent and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. 

“As we commemorate 50 years of Mayor Maynard Jackson’s legacy and the establishment of the Office of Cultural Affairs, this exhibition deepens the connection between Lagos and Atlanta culturally,” said Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

The result has been deep and far-reaching. In fact, one might attribute the relationship to Atlanta’s ranking as the fifth-largest Nigerian population in the United States and the largest in the Southeast. To honor the former mayors’ efforts, the theme of the exhibition is Remembrance, further bringing into focus the enduring legacy cultivated by the city’s two leaders. 

To learn more, visit The Atlanta BeltLine extends special thanks to exhibition sponsors Jamestown and Ponce City Market.  




Media Assets: Artist and Curator images

Residency Highlights:

  • February 2024: Visiting artists arrive
  • February – May 2024: Visiting artists collaborate to create a public intervention, with field trips to art institutions, cultural sites, and artist studios scheduled; Visiting artists will also host open studio visits at their Ponce City Market studio
  • April 27: Public unveiling and programming
  • May 2024: Visiting artists depart


About The Artists

Taiye Idahor
Taiye Idahor

Taiye Idahor is a contemporary artist interrogating identity, family histories, and the expectations and contradictions of performing femininity. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, the draftswoman, multimedia collagist, and sculptor has exhibited locally and abroad, with works in permanent collections such as the Princeton University Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and Zeitz MOCAA. She studied fine art at the Yaba College of Technology, where she graduated with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in sculpture. 

“Residencies for me are always a great opportunity to unpack thoughts and ideas in a different way because a new environment almost always alienates me from my usual thought process, especially with materiality. Being at the BeltLine will certainly present these. However, this is a public space, which means more people interacting with the work and possibly its creation, which makes it interesting new territory. And I’m a bit anxious. But from experience, these can be good feelings to create with, so I quite look forward to it.” —Taiye Idahor




Kainebi Osahenye
Kainebi Osahenye

Kainebi Osahenye is one of Nigeria’s foremost contemporary artists. His large-scale neo-expressionist paintings and experimental sculptures forged from discarded and repurposed materials are reflections on spirituality, consumerism, and the environment. Osahenye has participated in residency programs and exhibitions in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the United States; and he studied fine art and painting at Goldsmiths, University of London, Auchi Polytechnic, and Yaba College of Technology.

“Through art residency programs, artists can wander beyond set boundaries in pursuit of a fresh experience. The creative environment that it provides enables this tendency. With the LagosAtlanta Art Residency, I will bring the Lagos attitude to encounter Atlanta in a poetic dialogue that will go in the direction of pop culture. My interest will be to create a piece of music utilizing the language of sculpture. Additionally, I will be open to understanding what lies beneath the fancy facade of this ‘beautiful black city’ that is Atlanta, hoping that the experience will prove worthy of the engagements.” —Kainebi Osahenye




Lagos and Atlanta – 50 Years as Sister Cities

President Dwight D. Eisenhower created Sister Cities International in 1956 to build a global network of communities that celebrate differences, while also building partnerships to foster cultural understanding and mitigate conflict. The City of Atlanta joined the program in 1967 under Mayor Ivan Allen Jr., and Lagos became Atlanta’s Sister City in 1974 under Mayor Maynard Jackson Jr. Atlanta has the fourth-largest foreign-born Black population and fifth-largest Nigerian population in the United States, and the largest in the Southeast. Atlanta hosts a Nigerian consulate office—one of only two in the United States— in addition to many Nigerian organizations; and Atlanta’s Delta Airlines has nonstop flights to Lagos several times weekly. The residency’s resulting exhibition will celebrate these connections, as well as the changing demography of the city and the layered identities and creative production born of cultural confrontations between the American South and West Africa. It also provides a platform to expand academic opportunities, drive trade and investment, assist those in need, and ultimately raise Atlanta’s visibility in the global community.

  • “In the spirit of cultural diplomacy, the LagosAtlanta Artist Residency, led by Lauren Tate Baeza, not only bridges continents but epitomizes the 50-year legacy of Atlanta and Lagos as Sister Cities. Through the transformative artistry of Taiye Idahor and Kainebi Osahenye, the Residency becomes a poignant symbol of remembrance, fostering cross-cultural exchange and creating a vibrant legacy along the Atlanta BeltLine. It stands as a testament to the enduring partnership and synergy between these two dynamic cities.”
    Ambassador Amina Smaila, Ph.D, Consul General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Georgia. U.S.A. 




About Atlanta BeltLine 

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s vision is to be the catalyst for making Atlanta a global beacon for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable city life. As one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the United States, the Atlanta BeltLine is building a more socially and economically resilient Atlanta with our partner organizations and host communities through job creation, inclusive transportation systems, affordable housing, and public spaces for all. For more information on the Atlanta BeltLine, please visit


About Art on the Atlanta BeltLine
Art on the Atlanta BeltLine is the largest temporary public art exhibition in the history of Atlanta and recognized as the largest public outdoor art installation in the Southeast. It showcases the work of hundreds of visual artists, performers, and musicians along the Atlanta BeltLine corridor. This spectacular project places working professionals alongside emerging artists, and draws residents and visitors into some of the most unique public spaces in the City of Atlanta, providing powerful new perspectives on the city and its vibrant neighborhoods. The exhibition showcases how art strengthens and beautifies current and former industrial areas and creates signature spaces exemplifying the transformation of the city through the Atlanta BeltLine. Art on the Atlanta BeltLine touches almost 20 intown communities. Stay abreast of Art on the Atlanta BeltLine announcements and events at, or follow on social media @atlantabeltline and with #beltlineart.


Media Contact for Atlanta BeltLine:
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Office of Communications and Media Relations
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Keona Swindler, Communications & Media Relations Manager
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