Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Hallelujah for JOURNEY, for moving throughout one's community on a TRAIL made exuberant with ART! Hallelujah for my city of Atlanta, which has just today officially opened its Eastside Trail of a much larger endeavor called the Atlanta Beltline!

TRAVELING THE EASTSIDE TRAIL WITH FELLOW PILGRIMS! On Saturday, October 13, 2012, I, Hallelujah, had the thrill of sharing the delights of the Atlanta BeltLine with colleagues in creativity, Elise Helfer, Jesse Merle Bathrick, Lesly Fredman, and Cecelia Kane. We entered the trail at Irwin Street in Inman Park. Look at the marvelous gateway made by artist Neil Carver. Called "Resurgens," it is a giant steel Phoenix rising from flames and will eventually be welded to train tracks! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
HALLELUJAH TRUTH AND BELTLINE ART. Next to the steel gateway "Resurgens" is work by Lamar Barber entitled "Sound Poles: Heavier Than Water." On site, there are two other telephone poles like the one I am standing by. The artist statement explains that these poles act as beacons of communication and the found objects surrounding them represent eviction. From this work, a larger theme emerges of "death and delinquency." (photo by Elise Helfer)
The Eastside Trail provides a wonderful 2.25 miles of a smoothe concrete path large enough to dance on, commune with the ART, "strangers," and those who live along this newly emerged artery of Atlanta! All of us still feel slightly surprised that this Eastside Trail connects five Atlanta neighborhoods (Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Midtown, Poncey Highland, and Virginia Highland)! Moreover, this pathway, is offering a new alternative to our workweek morning commutes to downtown! Imagine traversing the city without automotive traffic and stoplights! Hurray!

Our Saturday afternoon ART stroll was made magnificent by the abundance of people all seeming connected magically by the Eastside Trail! People who live in these re-interperted industrial spaces alongside the path are experiencing human traffic outside their front doors which used to be former loading decks for trucks!

RENOVATION, REINTERPRETATION, REVELATION! The past is reconciled with the present. We Atlantans can now walk through Atlanta's rail line past, but almost everything has been repurposed! Wow! This neglected industrial space is being beautified! Look at the arch over the doorway that is emerging! (photos by Hallelujah Truth)
DISCARDED RAILROAD PARTS BECOME SCULPTURES. Jac Coffey's sculpture, "Railroad Workers," echoes railway work from long ago made from actual parts of metal from the Atlanta BeltLine. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
STEEL FLOWERS BY CHRISTOPHER BIVINS. The intention of this work is to conjure up the width of the original railroad tracks and to express colors associated with the railroad industry. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
As our bevy of ARTISTS moseyed along this Eastside Trail, we paused to take in the ART and to resonate with it or at least to understand the artists' intentions. There was so much excitement in the fall afternoon air because of the anticipation of the dedication taking place on the following Monday. As you can see in the photo with the "Steel Flowers," there is yet to be grass along the path. And in the future, there will be a transit system--is that right?
SENSE OF TIME: PAST AND PRESENT. There are a number of these photographs along the Eastside Trail documenting what had become of the Atlanta BeltLine prior to its reclamation. Plant life was moving in and taking over. Hallelujah for positive human change unifying multiple communities! Sorry to the wildlife. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

EASTSIDE TRAIL: A WORK IN PROGRESS.  You can see how dynamic our ART walk was. There was the ART, the ongoing construction, two-way traffic of joggers and cyclists! What fun! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
DIVERSITY, TRAILS, CONSTRUCTION, ART, EXERCISE....Community is always a work in progress. This Saturday afternoon in the middle of October 2012 was resplendent, showing off the best of multiple cultures! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
RIVER BEND by HARRY ZMIJEWSKI. (photo by Hallelujah Truth) 
NORTHERN WHITE by DAVID LANDIS. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
CAMARADERIE UNDER THE BRIDGE. Our Bevy of Creative Souls was joined by Lori Feig Sandoval (right of me--I'm center) and her wonderful dog companion. Jesse (holding the walking sticks) had brought chocolate and thought it needed to be consumed before melting on the bright sunny warm Saturday. We enjoyed our graffiti setting! (photo by Lesly Fredman)
IMMOLATION by RYAN MATHERN and CECILIA MARRERO. Jesse Merle Bathrick looks into this very sobering piece of sculpture. It signifies the recent self-immolations of Tibetan Monks, who were protesting the oppression of the Chinese government. On November 4th 2012, there will be a performance in the Old Fourth Ward at 8pm to promote awareness of this situation.(photo by Hallelujah Truth)
JD KOTH's WIGWAM. These organic forms were made from native Georgia saplings along with vines and rope. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
THIS IS MY CITY--ATLANTA! Along the Eastside Trail, we were confronted with terrific views of Atlanta like the one you see here! This is our terrain--both valleys and peaks! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

INTERACTING WITH THE ART. Notice the construction worker riding the metal sculpture of the deer? Public art is for everyone. How splendid to see this moment of frivolity along the Eastside Trail as it was being readied for the dedication ceremony two days later. Our hearts flew up in joy! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

CHUGS by TARVER SIEBERT. Finally! After driving under this North Avenue  bridge numerous times and seeing these structures peeking out above the walls, I got to see them up close! I also learned that they are lit at night by solar powered LED's! Do these shapes suggest congregating humans looking out over the city? As well as lanterns, shelters, and wacky boats? That was the artist's intention! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

SUNSHINE ON YARN WRAPPED AROUND TREES. Artist Gyun Hur created this work entitled, "Spiritus Lenus"  to highlight nature's beauty. The term "spiritus lenus" means "smooth breathing." (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

A SYMPHONY OF LINE AND SHAPES. WHOOPS! I forgot to capture the artist name and statement for this work! I love how the arrangement of the lights in the trees  punctuate the linear movement of the windows in the building behind them. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

THEN THE PATH BECAME SAND! Right now, this Eastside Trail holds such fascination for me. Because it is a work in progress, our bevy of artists got to experience walking in different environments. Here artist Elise Helfer stands with the work of Alex Rodriguez called "Whirling Wheels." His intentions were to celebrate the Eastside Trail's bicycle accessibility by turning bicycle parts into spinning windmills. The lightness of these mechanical parts were to starkly contrast with the BeltLine's heavy industrial railroad past. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

BELTLINE WHISPERS CAPTURED BY ART.  Misao Cates created an interactive work here along the Eastside Trail. She asks travelers to write down their "whispers" on hand-dyed linen and then to tie it along with other "whispers." On this sunny Saturday afternoon, "What Ties Me To You" was glistening in the sunlight. Do you think she was suggesting railroad ties? And look at the shape of the piece which echoes the width of the railroad tracks! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

EASTSIDE TRAIL PERFORMANCES! A big discovery for me was that starting on September 7, 2012, there were seven performances scheduled along the Eastside Trail all the way to November 11th! Check here to see the list of performances. On the Saturday we walked the trail, you can see there was "The Big and Small Insect Show." (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

ART ENGAGING AND INSPIRING ARTISTS.  Public works found along the Eastside Trail invite everyone, not just artists, to be fully engaged in and with them. Think that art outside a museum allows us to be children again, to play, to be, to see, and to frolic with one another! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

SPRIALING CAIRNS by CHRIS HIGGINS(photo by Hallelujah Truth)

PIEDMONT PARK AND  ITS CITY SKYLINE. How fortunate we Atlantans are to have this Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine! Now the view of the city has moved from the skyscrapers of Midtown to those lurking in Buckhead. In the city park below, the Gay Pride Festival is taking place. This is our city! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

RURAL PATH IN THE CITY! Walking behind the main plaza of Piedmont Park, we found ourselves on this unpaved path evoking a feel of more rural times. We urbanites need nature, and this quiet part of the trail provides relief from the more hurried pace of the earlier part of the Eastside Trail. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

ART IS STILL TO BE FOUND ON THE EASTSIDE TRAIL BY PIEDMONT PARK.  Although the Atlanta BeltLine continues for many more miles, we stopped our artwalk here. This piece is  "Easy Pickings" by Virginia Byers and Aria Finkelstein(photo by Hallelujah Truth)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: A BIG THANKS to Jesse Merle Bathrick, who always has great ideas for gathering her creative bevy of friends! It was her organization that brought us together on this gorgeous Saturday in the middle of October in the year of 2012! She also fed us chocolate and grapes and had taxi money in her pocket in case we were too tired to walk back! Hurray Jesse!
THANKS  ALSO TO OUR ATLANTA MAYOR! I am also thankful for having a mayor who would ride a bicycle to the dedication of the Eastside Trail. But, please Mayor Reed, next time wear the safety helmet! (Photo taken from the official fanpage for the Atlanta BeltLine on Facebook.)
Read about other Atlanta Art Events or Georgia Artists at the links below:

Flux 2012 in the Castleberry Hill District
Hale Woodruff "Rising Up," 2012 High Museum Exhibit
Selections 2011 Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Ty Butler 
Flora Rosefsky
Cecelia Kane 
Karen Phillips
Robey Tapp
Carol Ruckdeschel


  1. What a great day of creative camaraderie! Thanks, Ruth for photographing us all, the art, people and landscape along the way.

  2. You are welcome See See! It is always a pleasure to share such events with you!