‘PRISM: Winter Lights’ shines in Woodruff Park through January

“Abracadabruh” by Fabian Williams.

David Batterman

Through these chilly winter months where daylight seems a scarce resource, a new sparkle now lights up Downtown Atlanta. In an outdoor exhibit curated by the experimental public art company Dashboard and presented by Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Woodruff Park shines with light installations by national and local artists. “PRISM: Winter Lights,” now in its third year on display, explores themes of imagination, identity, and the artist’s journey through sculptures on the park’s main lawn, which are open for free to the public through Jan. 31. Alice Lovelace, the exhibit’s curator, joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes along with contributing artist Fabian Williams to talk about “PRISM” and its dazzling light works.

The three large-scale pieces featured at Woodruff Park include Williams’ piece, “Abracadabruh,” a whimsical light sculpted creature by Dan Lam, and an installation of neon poetry curated specially by Lovelace.

“The poetry art installation is a section from a poem from Theresa Davis. That neon piece of art sits right above the waterfall and it says, ’Ring Yourself Awake,’” said Lovelace. Davis, an Atlanta poet, host of several local open mic events and winner of the Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion title, offers the full text of the art installation’s featured poem, “Inheritance,” via a QR code at the sculpture’s base.

“It’s about some of the things that you inherit from your family, that sometimes, even within the family, you have to, what she says, ‘ring yourself awake.’ You have to become aware and pay attention to what’s going on within the family,” said Lovelace.

Williams’ “Abracadabra” features a painting, photographed and printed on acrylic film to be mounted in a light fixture created with a number of collaborators. Within the piece, the open mouth of a man suspended in flight releases a string of words saying, “I will create as I speak.” The artist commented, “It’s about speaking what you want, you know…. A lot of times, when I’m about to do something, I usually don’t know how to do it fully. So there’s always a five-to-ten percent part of the production where I have no idea what I’m doing, and it’s scary.” He went on, “I wanted to create a visual memo for people like myself that have to psych themselves into doing stuff they don’t know how to do.”

The creations on display in “PRISM: Winter Lights” will remain on view at Woodruff Park through Jan. 31, as will a second location at Peachtree Center featuring a piece by InKyoung Chung. More information is available at www.atlantadowntown.com/do/prism-winter-lights.