Graphic swirls and whorls brighten an underpass along Arizona Avenue in Atlanta, the work of street artist Hense, commissioned by the city to produce public art. Murals dot several of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, many sparked by Living Walls, an annual street art conference. Hip and historic mix everywhere in this southern city, growing by leaps and bounds.
Center for Civil and Human Rights
Dedicated to highlighting the struggle for human rights past and present, the Center for Civil and Human Rights opened its doors in downtown Atlanta in 2014. Exhibits include a look at activists killed during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, pictured here.
Part of the Art on the Atlanta BeltLine public art project, “Northern White” by David Landis calls attention to the plight of the threatened northern white rhinoceros. Similar to New York’s High Line, the BeltLine—dreamed up by a Georgia Tech grad student—is transforming 22 miles of historic railroad corridors into a system of multi-use trails and parks. Four segments of the line are open now, with more in progress.
Ann’s Snack Bar
Ann Price has been serving up diner fare at Ann’s Snack Bar in Kirkwood since 1971. A 2007 Wall Street Journal article called her “ghetto burger”—a double cheeseburger with bacon, jokingly named by patrons—”next level in burgerhood.” Locals and burger hunters agree; there’s usually a wait for one of the restaurant’s eight counter stools.
Atlanta’s rich musical heritage includes blues, gospel, country, R&B, and hip-hop. A popular venue for performers is the ornate Fox Theatre on Peachtree Street, which opened as a movie palace in 1929. (Its first showing was Steamboat Willie, the cartoon that introduced Mickey Mouse to the world.) Today the Fox holds concerts, musicals, special film screenings, and events like the Soul Train Awards, attended by music pioneers such as rapper Kurtis Blow, photographed here on the red carpet.
At Gunshow in Atlanta’s Glenwood Park neighborhood, diners don’t order off a menu. Instead, the chefs themselves present the day’s offerings on rolling carts, dim sum style. No substitutions allowed: “You are a guest in our home, and we have prepared for you what we love,” reads the restaurant’s website. Gunshow is the creation of Atlanta restaurateur Kevin Gillespie of Top Chef and Woodfire Grill fame, pictured here explaining a dish to patrons.
Midtown Atlanta rises behind Lake Clara Meer, the blue heart of historic Piedmont Park. First established in the late 1880s as a horse racing ground, the park has seen highs and lows. Site of national and international exhibitions in the 19th century, the park expanded with the addition of bathhouses, a bandstand, tennis courts, and more before falling into disrepair in the 1970s and ’80s. A major restoration has brought the green space back better—and more popular—than ever.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
A blown glass installation by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly creates a centerpiece in the Levy Parterre Fountain in the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Spread across 30 acres in midtown Atlanta, the center features flower and fragrance gardens, a Japanese garden, an edible garden, and a “secret” walled garden, just to name a few standouts. The garden is also the site of art exhibitions, concerts, cocktail hours, and other popular events.
Goat Farm Arts Center
Books and brick set the scene at Warhorse Coffee Joint, part of the Goat Farm Arts Center in west Midtown. A collection of former industrial warehouse buildings in various states of repair, Goat Farm is part artist studio, part performance venue, and part other.
High Museum of Art
“The Shade,” a sculpture by Auguste Rodin, graces the garden of the High Museum of Art, part of the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown. More than 14,000 works of art make up the High’s permanent collection. The museum got its start as the Atlanta Art Association in 1905.
This feature is adopted from National Geographic.