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Athens Cultural Affairs Commission News

Posted on: June 28, 2021

Public Artwork Announced for North Oconee River Greenway

Rainbow Forest artistic rendering

Rainbow Forest artist rendering

The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) announces an upcoming public artwork in Athens-Clarke County. Funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), “Rainbow Forest," by artist Andrew Kovacs will be installed on the North Oconee River Greenway on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy at Ruth Drive in Athens.  

After a national call in early 2021, “Rainbow Forest” was selected out of 34 proposals from 32 artists (two of which were local) by a selection panel of community members and ACCGov staff. The selection was approved by the Mayor and Commission on May 4, 2021. Kovacs, a Los Angeles-based designer and educator, will be working with two local artist assistants, Eli Saragoussi and Patrick Sprague, funded by ACAC as part of a continuing initiative to engage and educate local artists in our public art process. 

“Rainbow Forest” will consist of a grid of 36 slender, and brightly colored columns that will be visible from the trail and road. The intention behind the work is to spark a new imagination for the possibility of what art and architecture can be while at the same time trying to generate a culture of art and architecture that is accessible to a broader and public audience. “Rainbow Forest” will be made out of standard concrete block masonry units. The use of everyday building materials and techniques not only creates a work that can last in all weather conditions with minimal maintenance, but also celebrates the role that architecture and art can have in reimagining the everyday life of people in the public sphere.

Kovacs, who is best known for his previous work “Colossal Cacti” at the 2019 Coachella Music Festival, will install “Rainbow Forest” later this summer, as well as give a presentation about his work at the Lyndon House Arts Center.

For more information, contact ACC Public Art Coordinator, Tatiana Veneruso, at tatiana.veneruso@accgov.com and follow @athenspublicart on Instagram for progress photos.

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