Orange Barrel Media Extends the Reach of Public Art in Atlanta
Orange Barrel Media (OBM) is pleased to partner with artist Genevieve Gaignard and Atlanta-based independent curator Karen Comer Lowe on a largescale outdoor public art exhibition that explores the issues of race, class, and gender. The multi-media project, titled Look At Them Look At Us, is on view until December 31, 2022, and includes a newly commissioned site-specific permanent art installation by Gaignard.
OBM, the largest operator of outdoor signage in the Atlanta Arts & Entertainment District, and internationally recognized artist Genevieve Gaignard have transformed the north façade of the utilitarian parking garage at 79 Marietta St NW into a dynamic public art destination. The exhibit takes place at one of OBM’s newest sign locations in Downtown Atlanta and reflects how the intersection of outdoor media and art can enliven public spaces. In addition to launching Gaignard’s impactful large-scale installation, Look At Them Look At Us features the photographic works of eight Atlanta-based emerging artists on OBM’s new digital display. The exhibition amplifies themes such as the construction of identity, Blackness, authenticity, and invisibility in conversation with Gaignard’s artwork. Local artists include AD Kaya Clark, Ken West, Chip Moody, Davion Alston, C. Rose Smith, Jhalin Knowles, Artemus Jenkins, and Natrice Miller.
“Using our media platform to enrich communities and extend the reach of diverse public art is at the heart of OBM’s mission. Our role is to support artists, art organizations, and civic entities like Arts & Entertainment Atlanta and we’re proud to be a part of this exciting project. It is powerful when culture, commerce, and community work together,” said Pete Scantland, CEO of Orange Barrel Media.
Gaignard is a Los Angeles and Massachusetts based multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on installation, sculpture, collage, and photographic self-portraiture to explore race, class, and femininity. The artist’s public installation in Atlanta is a new reworking from her 2020 series, Look At Them Look At Us. The series invited viewers to look within and reconsider preconceived notions of race through diverse pieces which included photography, sculpture, and mixed-media works. The new work in Atlanta exhibits Gaignard’s distinctive aesthetic, which blends glamour and camp and resonates with the exaggerated visuals of the social media age. The collaboration with OBM coincides with the artist’s recent solo exhibition at Atlanta Contemporary, This Is America: The Unsettling Contradictions in American Identity (Feb 11– May 15, 2022).
“Collaborating on public artwork for the city of Atlanta is such an honor. The city is so rich in culture and creativity like none other! An artist’s work is not always given a platform to reach folks outside galleries or museums on such a grand level. In this presentation, not only does the work reach pedestrians and drivers, but OBM has set it up so I can be in dialogue with other artists in the community, which is such a beautiful thing,” said Genevieve Gaignard.
“I am excited to collaborate with OBM and Gaignard to engage with the unique artistic voices of Atlanta. The unveiling of Gaignard’s new public art installation and sign provides an important platform and opportunity for creative expression and collaboration, while supporting local emerging artists in conversation with an international artist,” said Karen Comer Lowe.
OBM’s new signage at 79 Marietta St NW is managed by Arts & Entertainment Atlanta (A&E Atlanta), a neighborhood activation and economic development project for Downtown Atlanta. OBM operates a total of 21 signs within this district. A&E Atlanta fuses new media, local art, and performance with advertising to fund cultural and public space programming in the city’s core. All sign locations in the district are required to have an art or cultural component, and OBM’s new sign on Marietta St. will be activated with ongoing public art and digital exhibitions.
“OBM has been a dedicated partner of A&E Atlanta since its inception. Their commitment to presenting art in a way that is accessible to the community fully aligns with our goal as an art and cultural district. We’re excited to showcase the work of Genevieve Gaignard and Atlantabased curator Karen Comer Lowe as another example of how the A&E Atlanta and OBM partnership strives to provide a platform for artists downtown,” said Fredalyn M. Frasier, Project Director, Planning and Urban Design Central Atlanta Progress (CAP)/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID)
About Genevieve Gaignard
Genevieve Gaignard’s work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions including: The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, D.C.; Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, AR; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; California African American Museum, CA; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, MA; and Prospect.4, LA. Gaignard received her BFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and her MFA in Photography from Yale University. Gaignard lives and works in Los Angeles.
About Karen Comer Lowe
Karen Comer Lowe is an Art Advisor and Independent Curator in Atlanta. Previously she worked as Manager and Curator of the Chastain Arts Center for 12 years. She has a passion for the arts and has experience in museums, galleries, and arts institutions for over twenty years which includes positions at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, the Tubman African American Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has also worked as an independent art advisor, appraiser, lecturer, and curator working with acclaimed artists such as Amy Sherald, Rashid Johnson, Carrie Mae Weems, and Elizabeth Catlett among many others. Most recently and during the pandemic, Lowe worked with internationally known artist Hank Willis Thomas in placing the sculpture All Power to All People in Atlanta as a stop on its tour across the US.
About Arts & Entertainment Atlanta
Arts & Entertainment Atlanta (A&E Atlanta) is a neighborhood activation and economic development project for Downtown Atlanta established by Atlanta City Council legislation in 2017. A&E Atlanta fuses new media, art, and advertising to fund cultural and public space programming in the city’s core. A&E Atlanta is managed by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID), a 501(c)3, charitable organization that strives to create a livable environment for Downtown Atlanta.