In March, C4 Atlanta wrapped up a 6 month long pilot of our newest educational program, Hatch. This program is designed to help educate artists in the “soft” skills needed to perform art within a community context.
While our C4 Atlanta team is hard at work this week mapping out the final curriculum of our Hatch program (look for application details this summer), we wanted to highlight one of the pilot program graduates who has been utilizing her skills to produce artwork in the Little Five Points Community.
Lauren Pallotta is a painter, mural artist and graphic designer who’s work in community has, until recently, been mostly confined to two dimensional artwork. Through her recent project as part of Little Five Arts Alive, Lauren was given the opportunity to not only explore work in a new community but also within a new context. Here is her story in her own words:
Since 2016 began, I have promised myself to better align my actions with my aspirations. The result so far – I have become more integrated with my community through art. The kaleidoscope of my creative offerings gained new complexity when I joined the Little Five Arts Alive roster. With the encouragement of Arts Alive Curator Rachel Parish, my community mural idea evolved into urban place-making, which became “spontaneous sculpture” from upcycled materials. I was asked to make things from junk, to “set the stage” per se for the performances in the plaza. I was not in my comfort zone. So of course my answer was a bold yet shaky yes.
I’ve spent lunch hours dumpster-diving to forage for materials. William [Massey] graciously offered me advice on materials (Nothing spongy or water-catching, check. Bailing wire, check.) My plan was to be plan-less, to show up with materials and let the community be my guide. Focus on the process! On April 15, I unloaded the trashy treasures into the plaza – old electronics, computer cords, landline telephones, plastic car seats, modular shelving, CDs, garden hoses, fire extinguisher canisters, etc. – and got out some bright paint.
Then we made stuff. We made stuff with teenagers from the suburbs, train kids from “that side” of the plaza, a mother and daughter on a day out, a little girl who liked pink, a human rights canvasser on her break, passersby, tourists and locals. Ava made a peace sign with a garden hose and some blinds. Fred painted flowers on an old amplifier. We teased out the creative capacities of the community with random acts of art-making. By the end of the weekend, we had jazzed up the space to mirror Little Five itself: eclectic, vibrant and a little weird.
Creative Loafing called me a “sculptor.” I laughed. I am hardly a sculptor. But I did get to build some awesome new experiences because of the social, experimental and exploratory aspect of Little Five Arts Alive. I am incredibly grateful. It has let to new friendships, new projects and new vigor to keep living the life I have imagined.
By Lauren Pallotta
You can see Lauren’s project on display now at Finley Plaza in the Little Five Points neighborhood as part of Little Five Arts Alive, running every weekend until November. Little Five Arts Alive is a community building arts project produced in partnership between Horizon Theatre Company and the Little Five Points Community Improvement District. To find our more about Little Five Arts Alive, please visit www.littlefiveartsalive.com.