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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  ATLANTA (February 22, 2024) Fifty years ago this...

  • Arts & Culture
FEBRUARY 22, 2024

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.


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