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Photos: How the highly visual Arts & Entertainment Atlanta district is coming together

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The light-up downtown initiative moves closer to “creating light, vitality, and activity” in the city

Mural of shadow figure with pink background.
Pockets of downtown continue to brighten up with new artwork.
Brock Scott, courtesy of AE Atlanta

Pops of color and light continue to brighten up Atlanta as part of a growing light-up-downtown initiative.

Introduced in 2017, Arts & Entertainment Atlanta, or AE Atlanta, aims to fuse “new media, local art, and performance with advertising to fund cultural and public space programming in the city’s core,” per AE Atlanta officials.

What that translates to is light projections, glowing billboards, murals, and other forms of signage throughout downtown, as well as parts of Vine City and Castleberry Hill.

Currently, installations have been placed at five locations:

  • Peachtree Center, which has one large LED display with transit information and art curated by Living Walls, featuring Atlanta artists Sarah Neuberger, India Nabarro, and Jason Travis;
  • The 76 Forsyth Street garage, which has two large static banners, a mural, and rotated art banner by Atlanta artist Neka King;
  • 101 Marietta, which has one large corner digital display, one static banner, and a mural by ASK/SKY;
  • The Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta has a large corner digital display, one LED display over the motor lobby on Carnegie Way, and one static banner by local artist Dave Ranney scheduled for mid-March installation;
  • The Embassy Suites Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park, which has kinetic architecture lighting and two static banners currently featuring the work of artist Meredith Anne White;
  • Finally, the American Hotel has one two-sided blade sign with LED and static banner displays.
Map of downtown Atlanta, with the district highlighted in yellow.
The Arts & Entertainment Atlanta District covers the core of downtown, as well as portions of Vine City and Castleberry Hill.
City of Atlanta Department of Planning & Community Development

Another installation is planned at the Reverb Hotel by Hard Rock.

Some have claimed the project is trying to implement Atlanta’s version of Times Square, but AE Atlanta officials say a better comparison is the Denver Theatre District.

Given the district is limited to 25 sign locations, it won’t be all-encompassing, but the district’s backers believe it’ll be a shot of light, color, and vitality that downtown needs.

Parking deck painted white at one end with the letters ATL on it.
This Ted Turner Drive parking deck sports a mural by ASK/SKY.
Justin Chan
Lighted sign with colorful artwork of ATL on it.
Peachtree Center features a large LED display with transit information and art curated by Living Walls, featuring Atlanta artists Sarah Neuberger, India Nabarro, and Jason Travis.
Photo courtesy of Orange Barrel Media
Lighted billboard featuring Coca-Cola ad.
A familiar Atlanta brand holds court at 101 Marietta street.
Courtesy of The Wilbert Group
Parking deck painted with mural of large shadow figure with pink background.
A parking garage at 76 Forsyth Street, dominated by a mural by Atlanta artist Neka King.
Courtesy of Orange Barrel Media