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Here Now, ATL's Best Public Art For Autumn Enjoyment

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Trails and parks, even airports, playgrounds and stadiums — art is everywhere nowadays. To call public art a craze would be insulting to the concept, but the idea continues to gain loads of steam in Atlanta. With the weather approaching durn-near-perfect and with so many arty outdoor offerings, it's a great time to examine what the city has to offer. To be sure, this collection isn't exhaustive, but it paints a pretty good picture of the ATL's eclectic public art offerings. After this quick tour, you'll know one thing: You can find art in the damnedest places.


— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep

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Atlanta Beltline, Eastside Trail

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The Beltline's Eastside Trail is a lot of things, including a budding bastion of local public art. From 10th and Monroe to Inman Park, those interested can take in everything from murals and crochet-covered shopping carts to metal sculptures and good old fashioned graffiti. At the moment, there are also a few interactive pieces.

Turner Field

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Whether you're a baseball nut, a sculpture fan or both, Turner Field has the public art goods. The downtown baseball stadium's Monument Grove — outside of the main gates, free to access — features towering statues of Braves greats like Hank Aaron, Phil Niekro and Warren Spahn. Separate displays of each of the franchise's retired numbers are great photo ops.

High Museum grounds

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The High Museum of Art is the premier museum in the Southeast and holds high-profile collections inside its walls year-round — and it's got some pretty cool pieces outside, too. Among them, a replica of a Rodin sculpture that commemorates a 1962 plane crash that devastated Atlanta's arts community.

The Millennium Gate

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Perhaps best known as "That Big Arch By Ikea," the Millennium Gate is a classically styled, 82-foot-tall edifice outside the main confines of Atlantic Station. It's an impressive piece by itself, but the arch also houses a 12,000 square-foot museum that "narrates Georgia's and Atlanta's history."

Noguchi Playscape

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Designed nearly four decades ago by international sculptor Isamu Noguchi, this playground at Piedmont Park is art you (and your kids) can use. The only such "playscape" completed in his lifetime, it was "intended to make sculpture a useful part of everyday life." Find it near the 12th Street Gate.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

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It's not the first place you'd think of, but The World's Busiest Airport is also a healthy hub of artwork. The main terminal and most of Hartsfield-Jackson's gates have significant pieces of art throughout — past and present works include a suitcase-carrying penguin, a Zimbabwe-inspired theme and a not-at-all-phallic airplane fashioned from an ear of corn.

Freedom Park

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Freedom Park hosts the occasional temporary exhibit and several wonderful permanent ones. This trio of pieces, our personal favorite, was unveiled earlier this year, the product of renowned Mexican artist Yvonne Domenge. Titled "The Tree of Life and Kaan," it was originally part of a massive outdoor exhibit at Chicago's Millennium Park.

Centennial Olympic Park

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You know about the fountain — which is arguably a piece of art itself, as well as a bastion of child feces — but Centennial Olympic Park offers an intriguing selection of sculptures and other artwork throughout its grounds, including at least one piece still pockmarked by bomb shrapnel. Add in the city scenery all around, and fall is the perfect time for an inquisitive stroll.

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Atlanta Beltline, Eastside Trail

The Beltline's Eastside Trail is a lot of things, including a budding bastion of local public art. From 10th and Monroe to Inman Park, those interested can take in everything from murals and crochet-covered shopping carts to metal sculptures and good old fashioned graffiti. At the moment, there are also a few interactive pieces.

Turner Field

Whether you're a baseball nut, a sculpture fan or both, Turner Field has the public art goods. The downtown baseball stadium's Monument Grove — outside of the main gates, free to access — features towering statues of Braves greats like Hank Aaron, Phil Niekro and Warren Spahn. Separate displays of each of the franchise's retired numbers are great photo ops.

High Museum grounds

The High Museum of Art is the premier museum in the Southeast and holds high-profile collections inside its walls year-round — and it's got some pretty cool pieces outside, too. Among them, a replica of a Rodin sculpture that commemorates a 1962 plane crash that devastated Atlanta's arts community.

The Millennium Gate

Perhaps best known as "That Big Arch By Ikea," the Millennium Gate is a classically styled, 82-foot-tall edifice outside the main confines of Atlantic Station. It's an impressive piece by itself, but the arch also houses a 12,000 square-foot museum that "narrates Georgia's and Atlanta's history."

Noguchi Playscape

Designed nearly four decades ago by international sculptor Isamu Noguchi, this playground at Piedmont Park is art you (and your kids) can use. The only such "playscape" completed in his lifetime, it was "intended to make sculpture a useful part of everyday life." Find it near the 12th Street Gate.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

It's not the first place you'd think of, but The World's Busiest Airport is also a healthy hub of artwork. The main terminal and most of Hartsfield-Jackson's gates have significant pieces of art throughout — past and present works include a suitcase-carrying penguin, a Zimbabwe-inspired theme and a not-at-all-phallic airplane fashioned from an ear of corn.

Freedom Park

Freedom Park hosts the occasional temporary exhibit and several wonderful permanent ones. This trio of pieces, our personal favorite, was unveiled earlier this year, the product of renowned Mexican artist Yvonne Domenge. Titled "The Tree of Life and Kaan," it was originally part of a massive outdoor exhibit at Chicago's Millennium Park.

Centennial Olympic Park

You know about the fountain — which is arguably a piece of art itself, as well as a bastion of child feces — but Centennial Olympic Park offers an intriguing selection of sculptures and other artwork throughout its grounds, including at least one piece still pockmarked by bomb shrapnel. Add in the city scenery all around, and fall is the perfect time for an inquisitive stroll.