...I realized that this ongoing relationship between artist and audience makes the Atlanta art scene so special.
That same spirit even appears along the Atlanta BeltLine, which features sculptures, paintings and other art every few paces along the 22-mile historic rail corridor that encircles the city with hiking and biking trails. On our final morning, Trevor and I wandered its paths while local joggers took in the al fresco museum promenade on fast-forward and stopped to catch their breath along with a feeling about the human condition at the art on display.
We made our way to one of Atlanta’s hip indoor markets, where we were honored to meet with Jamie Barton, a brilliant operatic performer in town for a performance. I asked her about our shared interest in Dvorak and Mahler, featured on her new album “All Who Wander,” and then asked what the idea of wandering means to her. She said she is from a small farming community outside of town and that opera wasn’t something she came from but something she fell in love with. To her, the curiosity for “life outside” one’s bubble is a “unifying journey” that speaks to all of us.
Atlanta is home not only to some of the most progressive and competent fine arts institutions in the U.S. but also to uniquely engaged creative communities. The call-and-response collaboration of pioneering expression and audience engagement informs A-Town. Artists paint ornate murals while spectators swill whiskey. Musicians bounce a track and take it directly to the club to gauge the response. It is this fearless and empathetic role of the artist in Atlanta that makes the place a paragon of a new American art mecca—all of which is a great excuse for me to visit regularly.