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Public Art Dedication
Celebration of New Public Art and Streetscape Improvements at Cascade Road & Benjamin E. Mays Drive, SW
Artist Ayokunle Odeleye to introduce new public art,"Chi Wara Sundial Lantern"
Atlanta, GA. Council Member Keisha Lance Bottoms, the Cascade community and the City of Atlanta's Department of Public Works and the Office of Cultural Affairs, invite you to join us in a dedication of "Chi Wara Sundial Lantern," a new public art installation that accentuates streetscape improvements at the intersection of Cascade Road and Benjamin E. Mays Drive, SW. The artwork was commissioned by the Department of Public Works and administered by the Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program. The dedication ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 10:00 am at 2295 Benjamin E Mays Drive Southwest Atlanta, GA 30311 in front of Providence Missionary Baptist Church.
Commissioned in 2009 and recently installed in a plaza designed as a component of streetscape improvements resulting from the 2008 Quality of Life Bond Program, the Chi Wara Sundial Lantern is the creation of Stone Mountain based nationally acclaimed artist, Ayokunle Odeleye. The artwork is a bronze and stainless steel sculpture that serves as a sundial during the day and a lantern at night. As a sundial, the lower points of the sculpture direct the viewer's eye to twelve plates arranged on the surface of the circular concrete foundation. Engraved on the plates are names of significant individuals from the Cascade Heights community who have made political, spiritual and cultural contributions to the community and the city.
The concept is derived from the "Chi Wara," a mythical animal of an ethnic group from Mali along the West African coast. The image is used as a headdress in a special ceremonial harvest dance designed to pass on knowledge from the elders to young people in the village. Odeleye's Chi Wara Sundial Lantern interprets this mythological image and conceptually uses it to suggest the ceremonial passing of scholarship from Cascade elders to the youth of this community
The City of Atlanta, Department of Public Works and the Office of Cultural Affairs collaborated to commission and include the sculpture in the design of the streetscape improvements along Cascade Road and Benjamin E. Mays Drive, SW. The departments have been privileged to work with the artist for over three years to design and fabricate this important artwork and memorial to the community and its leaders.
The Cascade Road & Benjamin E. Mays Streetscape improvements are part of a phased project that will improve pedestrian access and safety, while upgrading and enhancing the existing streetscape elements at the intersection. Odeleye was selected by an art selection committee to develop art for the plaza that anchors the project.
About Ayokunle Odeleye:
Ayokunle Odeleye has been working as a professional sculptor and arts educator for the past thirty-eight years. He is a senior Professor of Art at Kennesaw State University where he has been teaching for the past twenty-four years. In November of 2012 the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCAGA) will honor Odeleye with a Retrospective Exhibition of drawings, photographs and models of his work highlighting thirty-three years of excellence in the field of Public Art. For more info, please visit: www.odeleyesculpturestudios.com
About the Department of Public Works:
The Department of Public Works provides transportation, solid waste, and fleet services for the City of Atlanta. The Office of Transportation, a component of the Department of Public Works is responsible for most public improvements in the City of Atlanta public right-of-way such as sidewalks, streetscapes & plazas, and traffic improvements. For more information visit www.atlantaga.gov.
About the Office of Cultural Affairs:
The City of Atlanta's Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA), a division of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, was established in 1974 to encourage and support Atlanta's cultural resources. The initial mission was to solidify the role that arts and other cultural resources play in defining and enhancing the social fabric and quality of life of Atlanta citizens and visitors.
About the Public Art Program
The Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program (OCA/PAP) is charged with administering the development and management of public art projects for Atlanta. OCA/PAP also provides programs and services that support our arts community while improving the quality of life for all citizens and visitors.
More About Providence Missionary Baptist Church
For 139 years, Providence Missionary Baptist Church has had a major impact on Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Providence grew out of Friendship Baptist Church on Mitchell Street in Atlanta following the Civil War and the emancipation of slaves.
In 1995, it relocated to Benjamin E. Mays Drive in southwest Atlanta. Since 1987, Rev. Gerald L. Durley has led the congregation as senior pastor. The church is committed to health promotion and has formed health committees and served as the site of a South Fulton Red Cross center. Providence, which completed renovations between 2008 and 2009, also has a successful Marriage Ministry, which offers engaging classes for couples.