The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District recently partnered with a local nonprofit design firm, Spark Corps, to bring to the Woodruff Park community an interactive art installation that can inspire creativity and engagement in us all--even those who aren’t artists!
ArtSwap is an art exchange program for local amateur artists and art appreciators to place and take free art from five mailboxes installed throughout Woodruff Park, each of which was decorated by a local independent artist. Participants are encouraged to “swap” art, using the ethos of the Free Art Friday movement.
ArtSwap was crafted by the community, for the community.
ArtSwap was conceived through a community engagement project focused on increasing the use of Woodruff Park by younger members of the community. To most effectively speak to younger members of the community, they were included in the design process. The first phase of the project involved running Design Thinking sessions with local high school students to design an enhancement for Woodruff Park. Two high schools were targeted, as well as a gap year program, and Georgia State University. In Fall 2018, Spark Corps ran design thinking workshops for Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, The New School, and Leap Year students to co-design community engagement and special activations of the Park. These sessions resulted in a final Pitch Event, where teams presented their designs to a panel of judges representing city and university organizations, and to a room full of representatives from local businesses and the project funder, Southwest Airlines, who awarded the park a second Heart of the Community grant in 2018.
The judges selected a winning design, which was refined and presented to marketing students in Georgia State University’s senior capstone class. GSU students were tasked with marketing the solution to the extended student community, and the cornerstone of their marketing plans were the assets created in the Fall 2018 workshops with the high school students. In both the high school and the GSU sessions, students learned about designing solutions for their own communities by creating a year-long interactive art installation in Woodruff Park.
To check out the installation and collect art pieces of your own, head over to Woodruff Park and look for the vibrant, eye-catching ArtSwap mailboxes. Feel free to take and leave any art pieces that you please, and share your finds on social media using #takeartleaveart and #artswapatl!
Follow @woodruffpark on Facebook and Instagram for upcoming ArtSwap events in the park, and check out the park's complete calendar of events here.
Special thanks to Southwest Airlines for their continued support of Woodruff Park, and to the following artists for showcasing their talents on our ArtSwap ATL mailboxes: Donna Howell (@70dot), Rory Hawkins (@catlanta), Kandus Johnson (@kandusjohnson), Ayanna Smith (@art.by.ayanna) of TILA Studios, and Evil Twin Brother (@eviltwinbrother).