“The South Got Something to Say“, a new digital art exhibit hosted by Arts & Entertainment Atlanta, brings visual art to Atlantans in an unusual medium. Works by 10 Atlanta-based artists will be on display on digital signs around the downtown area, alternating pieces thematically centered around Atlanta culture. Curator Karen Comer Lowe and featured artist Sheila Pree Bright joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes to talk about the exhibition’s concept and featured artwork.
On repurposing billboards for digital art showcases:
“That’s the objective, is to bring the museum outside,” Lowe said. “I wanted to present something of museum quality, but for the public. Because there are many people who don’t think about museum spaces, they don’t enter those spaces. But if they happen to encounter something, my hope is that it will spark some kind of curiosity in them.”
Statements on Georgia history in Sheila Pree Bright’s “Invisible Empire and Untitled #12 (Suburbia)”:
“I decided to go up to Stone Mountain because I wanted to challenge myself to landscapes, and talk about the institution of white supremacy through landscapes,” Bright said. “Because that park is very beautiful … but that symbolism of white supremacy has not necessarily been really dealt with.”
“I’ve been working with Sheila for years … and so I know her various bodies of work very well,” Lowe said. “I selected two of Sheila’s works for this exhibition, and this particular piece, this ‘Suburbia’ piece, she speaks about the invisibility of the African-American community … it also brings to mind to me the Breonna Taylor situation, and when I look at this image now, it’s changed in context because of that piece of our recent history that has happened. And I think about the safety of African-Americans in our homes … I thought it would be provocative.
“Many people may look at it and just see an African-American woman reading this Newsweek magazine. But I think it has many layers of meaning.”
On Atlanta’s place in America’s cultural consciousness:
“I’ve seen this city grow in dominant ways, and I really do think that we have an influence,” Lowe said. “And I think the world is looking at us, and they want to know what we’re going to do next, and what we’re going to say next.”
‘The South got something to say,’ that came from Andre 3000,” she went on. “He made that statement at the Source Awards back in the ‘90s, and I thought that would be a fitting title for this exhibition and what I wanted the work to connect to.”
“The South Got Something to Say” is on display June 1 through July 31. A map of the digital signs’ locations can be found at https://aeatlanta.com/program/the-south-got-something-to-say.