Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff have contributed to a number of new works of art, all on display in the Richards and Westbrook Galleries at the Ferst Center for the Arts.
The Ferst Center doors, facing the spacious Arts Plaza and the new John Lewis Student Center, are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday noon-6 p.m. Students, faculty, staff, and the public are welcome to relax or study, meet up with friends or have a quiet moment, all surrounded by art installations created by their peers and Atlanta artists.
The four current installations, which hail from all corners of campus, are Raise Your Hand, The Humble Chair, Create Your Way, and a visual interpretation of the ballet, Step the Brain Along a Path. “Each of these works of art demonstrate what we mean by integrating the arts into the life of Georgia Tech, and making the arts accessible for student well-being,” says Aaron Shackelford, Director of Georgia Tech Arts. “They show what happens when our brilliant faculty and students are given a chance to create and explore, and what valuable and talented artists we have right here in Atlanta.” Georgia Tech Arts is proud to support and encourage these creative investigations and invites the Georgia Tech and greater public communities to experience and enjoy them in person.
About the installations
Kimberly Binns is an Atlanta-based interdisciplinary artist and producer. Her installation was created to accompany Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre’s performances of Step the Brain Along a Path in September 2022. That work, created in partnership with Georgia Tech professor Christopher Rozell, among others, explored neuroscience and the ethics of intervention with AI and other technologies. For her installation, Binns collaborated with Georgia Tech graduate students Abigail Paulson, Kyle Johnson, and Tim Min.
Binns’ artistic statement includes this account of her work’s origins and meaning:
“The creative elements in this lobby installation come directly from the research work completed by Georgia Tech’s neuroscience graduate students. As a visual artist my goal was to reinterpret academic, research-based findings and assets into a creative visual expression that connects the dynamic work of choreographic performance with the dynamic nature of the way the nervous system works within us.”
In April 2022, as part of the Arts Plaza Pop-Up series, Georgia Tech Arts commissioned ARTiculate ATL to bring together local artists with the Georgia Tech student body to create a dynamic mural, Create Your Way, that showcases how the Georgia Tech community plugs into their creativity. The professional artists created the outline, after which students were encouraged to drop by and fill in the colors.
ARTiculate ATL explains the work:
"In a triptych of panels, Create Your Way tells a story of imagination becoming reality through the powers of creativity. As the young man on the right paints upon the canvas his visions begin to come alive in various artistic disciplines. In this piece, an electrifying color palette is incorporated to symbolize the diversity of the student body and the elements of light that are within us. As the colors harmoniously unite, they begin to flow as one in a common journey of life as creative beings. Through the use of varied line-weights and color choices, various details will begin to dance from the foreground to background across the panels. Where the story begins and ends is up to the viewers’ eyes and thoughts, but it is our intention to inspire as well as ignite the student body."
As part of the Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Diversity Summit held on September 14, 2022, Georgia Tech Arts worked with Sohe Solutions to bring local Atlanta artist Charity “Cake” Hamidullah and art therapist Deanna Barton to collaborate with Summit participants in a creative reflection entitled The Humble Chair. Participants were invited to create the structural elements of a chair that represented their social location and lived experiences, and to share their chair with someone whose identity/intersectionality, position(s) of power, or privilege differed from theirs.
In the words of its developers, Barton and Zachary Van Den Berg, ”The Humble Chair encourages conversations about DEI across personal, interpersonal, and institutional levels and centers the identity, intersectionality, social location, and lived experiences of the individuals gathered around the table.”
The newest work, to be installed on November 1, 2022, is Raise Your Hand, an interactive virtual forest environment. Created in part by Electronic ARTrium, a Vertically Integrated Project at Georgia Tech, Raise Your Hand was created by students and faculty from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the School of Music, the School of Industrial Design, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Visitors to Raise Your Hand will enter a digital forest in which their motions have direct consequences on the auditory, visual, and physical nature of the space via original music, mechatronic flora and fauna, and video projections. The experience of Raise Your Hand depends upon individual exploration, and the participants are invited to move freely across three side-by-side sections of the exhibit.
Date, time, location, and further information
The Binns installation – now through November 14, 2022
Raise Your Hand – November 1-14, 2022
Create Your Way and The Humble Chair – now on display
Ferst Center for the Arts
349 Ferst Dr. NW
Atlanta GA 30332
Image credit: Create Your Way installed in the Ferst Center lobby