'Art in the Park' exhibit opens in Tattnall Square Park

'Art in the Park' exhibit opens in Tattnall Square Park
Charles Bergen's piece is featured in the Art in the Park exhibition. A similar art piece of his is also in Washington D.C. (photo taken by Carina Plascencia)
Charles Bergen’s piece is featured in the Art in the Park exhibition. A similar art piece of his is also in Washington D.C. (photo taken by Carina Plascencia)

Artwork will be up for the next five months in Tattnall Square Park as a result of Mercer Art Department’s new “Art in the Park” exhibit.

The opening event was held in Tattnall Square Park March 20, and Associate Professor of Art Craig Coleman said that there were more than 60 people in attendance.

This exhibit was the first of four, and the funding from the Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant will bring art to the park for the next two years.

” ‘Art in the Park’ is a series of four different shows that will display temporary public art,” Coleman said. “This first one was to raise awareness for the entire program, and give it a good kick off.”

The Art Department partnered with College Hill and borrowed their stage for the musical guests that performed. The headliner was artist Preston Poe from Tampa, Florida. Poe writes musical pieces about local artists and their works.

“Preston will be doing events for us about every other month for the next 11 months with the program,” Coleman said. “We are lucky to have him.”

In addition to Poe’s music, there were other musicians, a local DJ, and two large white screens with video projections on either side of the stage to set the scene.

Nu-Way Weiners provided hot dogs, and Coleman said that they wanted to highlight local food, so local restaurants will be at the next events as well.

There are seven pieces that are displayed in the park for people to look, and they will remain there for five months.

“Two of the artists that created pieces for the show were in Tattnall for the event,” Coleman said. “They spoke to the crowd about their work and took questions.”

Susie Hendrix, one of the local artists, displayed her piece called the “Cubic Throne.” It is a red shaped chair that is made out of glass, and there is also a tile mosaic painted as a carpet in front of the chair.

The second local artist in attendance was Chris Lavery. He displayed his piece called “Word Bubble,” which is a giant 12 foot tall word bubble that is made out of steel.

The artists in this show were chosen by the art department after many submissions were sent in. The next show will be a curated show by a chosen artist, and the third show will be curated by the Tubman Museum and the Museum of Arts and Sciences.

Coleman said that having the different shows will bring more diversity and give varying perspectives of art.

The series of “Art in the Park” shows will hopefully lead to annual showings of public art.

“We are hoping that eventually this leads to an art in public places program that could be part of the city of Macon and Mercer University,” Coleman said.