A new art gallery could soon be built in downtown Atlanta. The gallery would occupy the old AJC building’s ground floor located at 72 Marietta St. The Atlanta City Council approved allocating $750,000 to go toward the new project in an 8-5 vote Tuesday.
Camille Russell Love, Office of Cultural Affairs director, says the new gallery is part of an effort to breathe new life into the downtown area and encourage economic growth.
“We anticipate it will be transformational for that corridor that will lead into Atlanta’s entertainment district so to speak,” Love said. “This will be one of the arteries that leads into it. We think it will help spur some development in downtown Atlanta.”
Love plans on opening the space in October as part of Elevate, a project focused on revitalizing the city using public art. The new gallery will replace an older version, City Gallery East, which is now located in Ponce City Market. When the old AJC space was given to the city in 2010, Mayor Kasim Reed insisted it be used to house a new art gallery.
Stanley, Beaman & Sears, an architecture company, was awarded a $100,000 budget by the city, which will be used towards the design of the art gallery. Space ideas include a natural light gallery with visual exhibits and a light-controlled gallery that will feature digital and multimedia art.
“[We’re] working with the cultural community to develop plans so the space is put to its best use,” Love said.
According to Love, the exterior will be a “signature architectural piece in downtown Atlanta.” However, she says that official arrangements have not yet been made as far as interior design, and the OCA is “taking this a step at a time.” On the other hand, it is her intention to present the first exhibit during Elevate.