The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission will present the second suite of a series of events to gather citizen input for the development of a master plan for public art in Athens, GA, Dec. 1–5, 2015. Coordinated by public art planner and consultant Todd Bressi — who has visited Athens twice before to advance the project — a visiting artist will conduct a series of “outdoor living rooms” to invite the public to sit, commune and share their ideas about what public art can provide for Athens.
The visiting artist, Matthew Mazzotta, is a conceptual artist who has worked in the field of public art for 15 years. Mazzotta’s projects manifest themselves as participatory public interventions that aim to bring a sense of openness to the places where we live. The objects, situations, and spaces he creates ask us to relate to ourselves and to each other in unfamiliar ways, in hopes of finding new perspectives on how we see ourselves in this world.
In reference to the outdoor living rooms and his other works, Mazzotta has said, “Understanding the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences, we can see that when the only spaces a community has to meet each other are the transitional space of the streetscape or commercial institutions, only certain types of dialogues are produced within that community.”
In an effort to alter the dialogue in some of these spaces, Mazzotta and Bressi will offer outdoor living rooms on four occasions, all from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.: Tuesday, Dec. 1, at Tate Plaza on the University of Georgia Campus on Sanford Drive; Wednesday, Dec. 2, on College Square in downtown Athens; Thursday, Dec. 3, at Bell’s Shopping Center on Hawthorne Dr.; and Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park on Sunset Dr.
Mazzotta will also present a lecture, “The Architecture of Social Space,” on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 2:30 p.m. in room S150 of the Lamar Dodd School of Art on the University of Georgia’s East Campus, 270 River Rd.
Mazzotta is a graduate of School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Masters of Science in Visual Studies in 2009 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The events are free and the public is invited and encouraged to attend. The outdoor living rooms may be visited for any portion of their two-hour duration.
Athens Cultural Arts Commission was created through a city ordinance in December 2010 with the support of the SPLOST funds and members of the community. The Commission understands the importance of the arts as a method to promote tourism, economic development, a sense of community, and quality of life.