Client: Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs
Location: Atlanta, GA, United States
Completion date: -000
Artwork budget: $7,000
Walker Design Studio
Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs
Color Falls was public installation that temporarily transformed the iconic water fountain water in Robert Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta. The urban landmark, a curving wall of water approx. 17' tall and one city block wide provided a framework for artistic intervention. The artist and assistants worked on site for two weeks, draping thousands of feet of acrylic braid over the structure.
The goal of the project was to bring new awareness to a familiar and historic fragment of Atlanta's urban environment. Woodruff Park has played an important role in downtown Atlanta as the site of civil rights protests. The park is currently undergoing a renewed life as a vibrant public meeting space. The artist sought to use the existing architecture of the fountain to define both the form and working method by which the artistic transformation took place. The motion of the falling water became integral to the installation, as the fiber absorbed it and was held to the concrete wall by both the motion and the surface tension created by the water. As the breeze shifted, spray and sunlight would change the intensity of the colors as they became more and less visible behind the scrim of water.
The project was commissioned by the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs specifically for their annual Elevate event, a celebration of downtown Atlanta. Each year, the organization selects a section of downtown Atlanta to “reclaim” for a week to show the impact art can have on an often overlooked part of town. The staff assesses community conversations, infrastructure improvements or losses, and historical challenges to identify an area – that through artwork and cultural patronage – would be transformative for the city as a whole. The artist and a local assistant developed installation techniques that would allow the artwork to be experienced as it evolved over the course of the event.
Because of this installation's non-traditional setting, the impact on local park users was wonderful. As the installation gained color over time, conversations were initiated by members of the public with the artist. The art served as a facilitator of conversations that were rich and gave the artist insight into not only the physical character of downtown Atlanta, but its inhabitants.