The Hambidge Center and Colony Square today announced plans to reimagine Midtown Atlanta’s bustling core into the city’s largest creative enclave of working art studios, installations and experimental projects open to the public. Dubbed the Creative Hive, the unique project will take place at Colony Square beginning in March, and provide inspired artists and thinkers an opportunity to explore and share their work with the public.
“Oftentimes artist enclaves exist on the city’s edges and are difficult for the public to access,” said Carla Toro, director of marketing at Colony Square. “The Creative Hive at Colony Square offers artists an accessible place to host their project, as well as the freedom to imagine and create pieces for the public to experience. This is about giving artists a stage in the heart of Atlanta, and we can’t wait to see what comes of it.”
The Creative Hive will offer communal cross-pollination experiences to seven collaborative artists, providing them with their own studio and/or project space along with access to a living room lounge. The Hambidge Center is currently seeking artist teams, organizations, curators, individuals and any combination thereof to submit projects for consideration.
As the oldest artist residency program in the Southeast, The Hambidge Center will carefully select projects from a juried open call for proposals where artists are encouraged to experiment, and also to interact with the public in various ways both inside and outside, such as offering a workshop, creating a pop-up art installation, or staging an interactive performance.
The Hambidge Center has already selected one artist, Jason Hackenwerth, known for his intricate balloon sculptures that have appeared around the world including at the Guggenheim. Hackenwerth plans to begin constructing his installation in April in Colony Square’s atrium. The sculpture will debut during the Hambidge Art Auction + Performance Gala on April 29, and remain on view to the public throughout the month of May.
“Being in the presence of amazing works of art opens our minds and elevates our consciousness in countless and immeasurable ways,” said Hackenwerth. “There is plenty of mundane predictability in the world. The rare opportunity to create something special and awe-inspiring is as much a gift to the one who makes it, as the community it will serve. Thanks to The Hambidge Center for making it possible for me and so many other artists to give our gifts and grow from the experience.”
The Hambidge Center chose Colony Square for its prime location and dedication to Atlanta’s arts community. At the corner of Peachtree and 14th Streets, Colony Square is at the heart of Atlanta and just steps away from the High Museum and Woodruff Arts Center.
“Our plans for Colony Square’s redevelopment are well underway. In the meantime, we are excited to activate vacant spaces around the property this Spring to create an arts-infused gathering place for the community,” said Toro. Colony Square’s highly-anticipated redevelopment project is expected to break ground later this year.
Available project spaces at Colony Square vary widely, from a 12,000-square-foot former fitness center, to an 855-square-foot former barber shop, as well as former restaurants, yoga studios, etc. Many of the spaces open up to the atrium, which welcomes approximately 3,000 lunch-goers each day.
“It is our hope that the projects take advantage of the storefront window configuration, and plan for visually interesting views,” said Jamie Badoud, Executive Director of The Hambidge Center. “Our emphasis is on changeable, active, experimental works-in-progress, as opposed to a gallery-style installation of framed artwork. That said, engagement with the public is not required to be ongoing and studio spaces may be kept private as desired.”
Hive artists may alter their space in any way they wish. During the month of March, artists may get settled into their spaces. Public activation of the spaces begins in April and continues through May.
For Interested Artists:
Each project will be paid a $1,000 stipend and will be included in a variety of promotional outreach. Interested parties are encouraged to submit project ideas here by Feb. 24.
Although we are unable to offer living quarters, the Creative Hive is available to any artist in the country, if they can commit to participating for the three-month period of the project.
Several events have already been scheduled (see below), but the public activation of the Hive will be partly driven by the Hive Artists. We will work with the artists to schedule studio visits, pop-up shows, performances, etc.
Other Things Happening in the Hive:
Rock House Midtown - A Living Room/Salon space for all Hambidge Fellows and Hive artists to visit, hang out, connect, share, etc.
Weave Shed Midtown Project Space - Rotating opportunities for artists to present new work, including film, performance, readings, installation, etc. These projects will be chosen through a separate application process.
April 1 - May 27 – Several artist workshops/demonstrations as well as open house receptions are offered in Colony Square’s outside courtyard and/or indoor atrium. Free to the public.
April 29 - Hambidge Art Auction + Performance Gala (expected attendance 1,500) *required activation of the project spaces by all Hive Artists
June 3 - Closing event of Hive Projects with dance party and popping Hackenwerth’s balloon sculpture in the atrium *required activation of the project spaces by all Hive Artists
About Colony Square:
At the corner of Peachtree and 14th Streets, Colony Square is not only the heart of Midtown, it’s the heart of Atlanta – an original icon at the very center of the ever-rising capital of the modern South. Today, Colony Square is becoming an icon of another kind, bringing the Art of Modern Life to Midtown. With two office towers totaling 720,000 square feet, residential condos, a 467-room hotel and a 163,000-square-foot retail center, Colony Square is a sophisticated business, residential and cultural hotspot, that like all great city squares, is alive with possibility. The reimagined Colony Square will be known as a foodie haven; a shopping mecca; an events destination; a beautiful, amenity-rich and arts-infused place to gather with community and soak up Midtown’s vibe. Open, walkable and transit-friendly, the reimagined Colony Square will be seamlessly connected to the vibrant energy of the streets around it.
About The Hambidge Center:
For more than 80 years, the Hambidge Center has been nurturing creative talents within the arts and sciences at our 600-acre creative sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Eight individuals are in residence at any given time – each has private accommodations and studio space, and shares communal dinners prepared by an in-residence chef. The public is invited to the Center on Saturdays for a series of programs that include artist talks, nature hikes, gristmill visits, gallery openings and other special events.