The Decatur Artway, a rotating outdoor sculpture gallery, made its debut in 2015 with five sculptures on display. Five more were added in 2016. Each set of sculptures is on loan for two years, creating a dynamic rotating collection of public art. To get a personal tour of the pieces, with narration provided by the artists, download the free Otocast app from iTunes or Google Play.
The Decatur Artway begins its third phase in fall of 2017. The deadline for submissions is July 15. Apply to the call for artists here.
Phase 2 – 2016
Oakview Rd. / Harmony Park
In this modern world, where we constantly feel more connected through advancements in technology, I believe that we are simultaneously disconnected as a result of these devices.
By using public art as a vehicle for expressing contemporary issues concerning communication I see the concept for my work becoming more relevant every day. Through the radiating spokes of my abstracted satellite forms I hope to engage the viewers’ curiosity and invite public interaction.
Dealing with issues of communication in my own life I have realized this is a struggle that many of us encounter. As I think about the idea of communication I realize that I can internalize this issue, or make it as broad as the world around me. How can we better communicate ourselves to the world? That is the question.
These forms seem to remind us of some type of foreign communication device. Appendages reaching outward to send or receive signals from others, it is difficult to discern whether it is from the future or the past, and how well it served its purpose.
We may also decide that these devices illustrate an overwhelming desire to be understood in our own efforts of communication. The examination into the roles we play and the quality of our own personal relationships is the intention of these forms. These devices may be tangible evidence of how communication succeeds or fails in our own lives and in the lives of others.
“Shelter II (basics)”
435 Oakview Rd. / Wylde Center
“Shelter II (basics)” is a site-specific installation that continues a body of work under the title “basics,” that explores an abstract notion of form, material, space, and utility. “basics” is based on a constructive logic of additive 2 x 4 ft. wood studs that allow a monumentality through every-day means. The work should be experienced both as an abstract sculptural gesture as well as an interactive spatial environment. “basics” encourages an uncertainty in the dialog between the viewer and the work and opens possibilities in the public quality and appropriation of the work. The temporality of the site-specific intervention is mirrored by the material and constructive logic of the work.
356 W. Hill St. / Decatur Fire Station 2
I strive to design and execute artworks that intrigue and inspire a viewer about their place in a space. My work exhibits a relationship between our existence as a human species and the universe in which we exist. I examine the tools and concepts that we have created in order to understand our world, and I explore ideas that dwell on the boundaries of reason and logic. I believe these explorations are the fertile grounds from which true discoveries are born.
“Earth, Water, Fire, Wind”
Hanna Jubran | steel and paint
321 W. Hill St. / The Solarium
This abstract, painted steel sculpture depicts the four elements of Greek philosophy — earth, water, fire, and wind. The circular form can be interpreted as the sun, the moon rising or setting, and the cycle of life. The horizontal and diagonal forms represent water and earth and are in a variety of forms, shapes, and colors as they occur in nature. Although specific colors represent the elements in this sculpture, those colors change depending on the time of day, season, surrounding landscape, and as you move around the sculpture. My work addresses the concept of time, movement, balance, and space. Each sculpture occupies and creates its own reality influenced by its immediate surroundings.
As Khalil Gibran said, “The mission of art is to bring out the unfamiliar to the most familiar.” With this, I would like the viewer to gaze, interact, and experience my sculpture.
4th Ave. and Oakview Rd. / F.AVE
“Prairie Vane” is based in the notion of a portable landscape stemming from my time living in the Midwest. The architecture of rural Iowa varies greatly, yet the common theme is how it is adapted to meet the needs of people. This adaptation isn’t always ‘pretty,’ but necessary.
Sculptures are composed in ways that imply a narrative to which the viewer becomes a witness – part of a scene; a moment suspended in time. I use color to accentuate form and shift scales and perspectives challenging viewers to question their physical relationship to the world. My recent work explores architectural influences on our cultural and social interactions. I find that seemingly mundane architectural elements become historical markers – visual beacons to our passage through time.
Phase 1 – 2015
Artist team: BFR lab (Daniel Baerlecken, Matthias Frei and Judith Reitz) and Sabri Gokmen; fabrication: Digital Fabrication Lab, Jacob Tompkins, and Georgia Institute of Technology | sheet metal aluminum
Lower MARTA plaza / Church Street
“‘Ver Sacrum’ studies a new form of digital pattern making on architectural surfaces by combining organic figures with structural scaffolds. Ver Sacrum refers to an engraving at the Viennese Secession Building with its golden, highly ornamented dome structure. Taking inspiration from the Viennese Arts and Crafts movement, this suspended installation attempts to achieve a technologically driven version of ornamented surfaces, generating a radiant array of spatial effects. The three iconic structures undulate, creating a contrast to the architecture around the Decatur square. Light meets solid, as ornament engages with industrial structure, and overhead the vibrant pattern radiates and projects onto the surrounding surfaces.”
Ira Hill | cast concrete
1 W. Court Sq., near Souper Jenny
“I create in stone and metal with the aesthetic and activity of graffiti. I feel newer urban aesthetics have yet to be explored in three-dimensional timeless materials. Graffiti is seen as a sore upon society, but the action of individual mark-making dates back to pre-historic cave paintings and is the epitome of free expression.
By utilizing durable materials within the graffiti paradigm, my works invite others to leave their marks upon my sculptures. This action breaks the sanctity of the art object and truly makes the work public, giving it life, and allowing it to change while also enduring time. Instead of some compositional arrangement in steel or stone to be maintained in its original beauty, I create public works that allow anyone to alter the surface. As the times and people change, so does the artwork, because it shares space and inhabits their community. This interactivity of allowing the sculpture to evolve through other peoples’ energy and enliven the work is what I find engaging.”
Matthew Phillips | mild steel
Upper MARTA plaza, near Squash Blossom at 113 E. Court Sq.
“There are lessons to be learned from simple things like the life cycle of a tree. I have observed throughout the years how trees self prune. When a limb becomes unproductive, it falls allowing more growth for the productive limbs. This continues until the tree has lost all its limbs and eventually falls to the ground. Even in falling the tree gives back to its environment. Seeds produced and cast off years, decades, and even centuries before benefit from the parent tree. The area where the parent tree once stood now provides these younger trees light and an opening into which they can grow.
As we grow larger as a country, city, company, or even personally, unproductive elements should be removed; however, we find ourselves dealing with various predicaments. Often we find it difficult to properly evaluate productivity and after removing elements we waste them by discarding them completely. Careful discernment should be exercised first as to what is being removed and then as to how. Care should be taken when deciding what is to be done with the elements displaced. Various elements of culture help to make a well rounded society that enjoys life, builds culture, and leaves a legacy for the future generations. How are we pruning and nurturing our environment? It is an important thought to ponder.”
Scott Garrard | steel
Old Courthouse square, near the community bandstand
“I create large scale works in metal, concrete, and wood. These sculptures are inspired by my utilitarian background in ceramics. My hope is that the work challenges the viewer to question the functionality of historical ceramic forms with new conceptual ideas and materials.”
“This Is Something We Had to Go Through”
James Davis | painted steel and cast iron
Northeast corner, intersection of Sycamore and Church streets
“This sculpture deals with personal thoughts and experiences derived from thinking about all the things a person has to go through in a lifetime. These things can be small or large, happy or sad, good or bad. Whatever the feeling may be, these are the things that direct you. Experiences make you who you are.
The sculpture holds different meanings for each viewer. I created an actual passage that viewers could go through so they could experience the feeling of going through something difficult. Everyone has to go through things they don’t want to and those are all different for each person. The sculpture is a visual version of some of the things that I was afraid to go through.”
The Decatur Artway is presented by the Decatur Arts Alliance in partnership with the Decatur Tourism Bureau and the Decatur Downtown Development Authority.