As part of the ELEVATE Atlanta public arts festival, Atlanta Pride will be colorizing 1000 feet of sidewalk as a “Living Rainbow.” The Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs awarded Atlanta Pride a grant for this project, which will be on display the weekend of October 28-31. This artwork will be free and open to the public but will only be temporarily on display around Rose Circle Park (900 Rose Cir SW) during the scheduled ELEVATE Atlanta weekend of events in the Westside neighborhood. Mark your calendars to come out to see the work, because it will be washed away on November 1.
The purpose of this project is to give Atlantans a monumental-sized rainbow, as an acknowledgement of our city’s long history of supporting LGBT rights. Atlanta Pride was cancelled in 2021 as a result of rising cases of COVID due to the Delta variant, and our hope is to give the community ways to engage with a message of Pride even if we can’t have a full festival.
The material used for this project is an eco-friendly colored powder made of corn starch and other food-safe and cosmetic-grade natural colors. Large blocks of the sidewalk in Rose Circle Park will be colorized using the colors from the Rainbow Pride flag. Over the course of the installation, as people walk over the sidewalks, the colors will blend into a Living Rainbow that keeps on changing the more viewers interact with the work. The colored powders are safe, non-toxic, will not harm plants or animals, and are easily washed off. Since this is a temporary event, Atlanta Pride will have the sidewalks power-washed after the event to remove the color.
For this project, Atlanta Pride has partnered with local gay artist Matthew Terrell to create this installation. Terrell’s public artwork has previously included the “ephemeral” artwork, “This Too Shall Pass” which was stenciled on the Beltline in a material that would slowly wash away over the course of several years. In 2019, Terrell worked with Atlanta Pride to produce “The Hate Shield,” which was a mobile soundproof wall meant to block the sound of hate preacher’s megaphones from broadcasting into the Pride festival.
Editor’s note: This article was updated in October 16 to reflect the new dates for the installation, October 28 through 31.