The Decatur Artway, an outdoor sculpture gallery, began in 2015 with five sculptures on display and a new phase is added each year. 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.
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
‘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
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
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
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
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.