Spatial Interventions

Community Vacancy Project emerges in Atlanta neighborhoods

Walking my neighborhood streets of Atlanta, a new project has emerged in the community. These street signs and chalk drawings in the Kirkwood downtown area are part of a project called Community Vacancy.

It employs a number of different mediums to draw attention to spaces like street signs designed to subtly blend in with other street signs in the neighborhood, chalk drawings which address spaces like parking lots, sidewalks, and other paved areas, and blackboards which act as leave behinds placed in boarded up windows of abandoned buildings. All of these implementations are temporary and are not meant to permanently change or damage these spaces.

The intention is to build curiosity among passerby-ers and provoke interest of the areas, possibly even spark innovation for transforming these vacant places in the community. Below are some photos.

The website reads,

“We believe that repurposing or reinventing vacant places between ownership by means of design should increase community engagement and connect people and place while discouraging issues like crime, pollution, etc. that result from under-populated, forgotten and abandoned places.”


Candy Chang inspires urban development by enabling community

Candy Chang is an installation artist, urban planner, and designer whose mission is to make cities more comfortable for people. She is also a co-founder of Civic Center, a New Orleans based – civic design studio that strives to build helpful communities in New Orleans. Much of her current work is inspired from community insight of abandoned or lost buildings in the city. How could the spaces be improved for the people that live, work, and play here now?

What I have found interesting about Chang ‘s work is that she enables the community of New Orleans to voice their desires about urban planning in their city. How does she do it? That is a very good question. Many of her projects open up communication and create a public dialogue between designers and the community. Chang often poses what is seemingly research techniques as installation art itself in public spaces. Let’s look at some examples of her work.

How might a similar process for enabling community and providing a more comfortable city function in a city like Atlanta? It seems plausible that using a similar approach and technique as Chang but changing the city (to Atlanta) and changing the people (who live near the abandoned space) would in fact, vary the results of new design and urban planning drastically.

Spatial Interventions

Creative Loafing and The High Museum collaborate with artists to create custom designed newspaper boxes

The new exhibit at the High Museum features  oil paintings, photography, drawings, jewelry and video work of Salvidor Dali. If you haven’t gone to see the exhibit, you have got to do it soon. It’s fantastic!

Some of what struck me at the exhibit was the enormous amount of religious iconography he featured in much of his oil paintings after the time of his famous surrealist paintings. However, he continues to use art detailing like dramatic foreshortening, heavy shadow and exaggerated perspective and scale. Some of my favorite attributes of Dali’s work is his wonderful attention to detail and his unique juxtaposition of objects like floating animals, bugs, landscapes, etc.

Creative Loafing (in cahoots with High Museum) commissioned me and 5 other artists to paint newspaper boxes that were Dali inspired. About a month ago, CL worked with other artist to do something similar. You can see some examples of work here! It’s all very cool – These boxes did not have any restrictions on design however. We worked individually on the project for about 2 weeks and turned them in this past week. The boxes will be featured in their September Issue and will be placed at hot spots in Atlanta around town.

Creative Loafing has planned an exhibition for the artists this Thursday, September 2 at The Sound Table on Edgewood Ave. The six custom newspaper boxes will be on display. Doors open at 5pm with Violet Hour specialty drink prices till 7pm. $3 Miller High Life bottles all night, every night. DJ Mafioso will be spinning Latin beats until they make him stop!

Come support the arts!