Downtown’s ‘Dumpsters’ public art project overflows with ideas

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Savannah artist Marcus Kenney transforms a dumpster into a visual arts environment called “Timeline” using objects of previous existence on Forsyth Street downtown. The “Dumpsters” project, involving more than 20 artists that have been given 10 metal trash receptacles to create a work of public art, will be part of this year’s “Elevate.” The Office of Cultural Affairs’ free weeklong public art event runs Oct. 17-23. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Atlanta artist Igor Korsunskiy transforms the interior of a dumpster into a contemplative space called “Allusion” at Woodruff Park. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Atlanta artist Igor Korsunskiy transforms the interior of a dumpster into a contemplative space called “Allusion” at Woodruff Park. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Construction dumpsters usually overflow with odd pieces of lumber, Sheetrock and cardboard, something that passers-by automatically try to edit out of their view.

But 10 of the lumbering metal containers are starting to command attention in downtown Atlanta. Instead of flotsam and jetsam of the building trade, however, they hold serious art expressions and pure whimsy, quiet reflection and interactive sound and light, eye-catching aesthetics and recycled funky stuff.

Tapping more than 20 metro artists, the Goat Farm Arts Center organized the diverse “Dumpsters” public art project as part of “Elevate 2014.” The annual weeklong public art happening, staged by the city of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs, kicks off Oct. 17.

Savannah artist Marcus Kenney transforms a dumpster into a visual arts environment called “Timeline” using objects of previous existence on Forsyth Street downtown. The “Dumpsters” project, involving more than 20 artists that have been given 10 metal trash receptacles to create a work of public art, will be part of this year’s “Elevate.” The Office of Cultural Affairs’ free weeklong public art event runs Oct. 17-23. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Savannah artist Marcus Kenney transforms a dumpster into a visual arts environment called “Timeline” on Forsyth Street downtown. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

This year’s “Elevate” theme is “Social City,” the idea being to encourage exploration and consideration of the urban landscape.

Standing out on the northern edge of Woodruff Park and along the pedestrian-scaled streets of the historic Fairlie-Poplar District, the 10 dumpsters are within easy strolling distance of one another.

But why dumpsters to showcase art?

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‘ELEVATE 2014’

More than 100 artists will seek to engage the public with living sculptures, interactive gadgetry, portable art and dance performances, artist panels and more during this annual art happening, Oct. 17-23 at various downtown sites.

In addition to the Goat Farm Arts Center’s “Dumpster” installation, highlights include:

  • Atlanta artist Branden Collins will employ ancient forms of masking and costuming from various cultures as reference points in his exhibit opening at Gallery 72, 72 Marietta St., at 7 p.m. Oct. 17. Digital sculptures and installations by French artist Joanie Lemercier also will be on view, with music by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Quartet and the WolfPack. Block party follows at 8 p.m. in the area of 79 Poplar St.
  • Eight short comedic French films by Max Linder will be shown in Woodruff Park, 7 p.m. Oct. 19.
  • Lemercier will present a sculptural light performance, “Tesselated Atlanta,” at 55 Marietta St. at 7 p.m. Oct. 21.
  • Dance Truck will present dance and performance art on its stage-on-wheels, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Fairlie and Walton streets.

Free. www.elevateatlantaart.com. The Lemercier and Linder programs are part of the France Atlanta 2014 celebration. Details: www.france-atlanta.org.


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