Collin Kelley, Atlanta INTown Paper
Central Atlanta Progress (CAP), in partnership with the City of Atlanta, has launched Atlanta Legacy Makers, an initiative to create a public artwork to commemorate former mayors Ivan Allen Jr. and Maynard Jackson.
The initiative will include a series of digital experiences, and later in-person events, designed to garner input about the artwork, which will located at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue.
“The vision for this project has lived in the minds of community leaders for a long time now, and we’re excited to finally bring it to life,” said Fredalyn Frasier, Project Director of Planning and Urban Design at Central Atlanta Progress. “Honoring these two Atlanta mayors and their remarkable legacy is not just a curatorial effort. We’re looking forward to inviting the community to build this tribute project alongside us, resulting in a public archive and artwork that speak to the larger theme of a united Atlanta community.”
The idea for an artistic tribute to Mayors Allen and Jackson was born in 2018, when local developer Gene Kansas invited Gary Pomerantz, author of “Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn,” to speak at the Auburn Avenue Research Library to celebrate the opening of Constellations, a shared work space in a neighboring historic building on Auburn Avenue. During the talk, Pomerantz highlighted the significance of both Atlanta mayors in the history of Atlanta.
Inspired by the talk and feedback from guests in attendance, journalist Maria Saporta wrote an opinion piece encouraging the city to commemorate the special relationship between the mayors in the form of a sculpture at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue.
In 2019, Central Atlanta Progress convened an exploratory committee, and the idea for a selection process for a new piece of public art was formalized.
Originally intended to launch as a series of events across the city, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta Legacy Makers has kicked off through a series of shared online experiences, including Atlanta Legacy Makers: The Podcast, featuring local leaders and visionaries discussing the themes and historic events featured in the book “Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn;” streaming film screenings of two documentaries with viewing guides, “Maynard” and “A Different Road;” oral history prompts for the general public to submit their own stories to the public archive; and more. Visit www.atllegacymakers.org to find links and more.
CAP will invite architecture and design firms to assemble collaborative teams of contemporary artists, landscape designers, and urbanists to submit qualifications for the public artwork, which will sit in the reimagined north side of Woodruff Park at the corner of Peachtree and Auburn.