ATLANTA: Non-profit Urban Catalyst Lab revealed Tuesday afternoon the names of the four local artists behind their forthcoming collaborative art installation that will be hosted among the 4-block Underground redevelopment. Bringing to life their mission of contributing positively to urban space by using Art-As-A-Solution for a resilient and equitable community and city, the artists include William Massey, Shanequa Gay, and duo Jessica Anderson and Sebastian Monroy. The revelation of the local artists, in the form of a lunchtime panel, comes on the heels of Underground Atlanta developer WRS announcing the approval for Urban Catalyst Lab to install the first Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based local-to-global art installation on property.
In addition to Atlanta-based artists, there will be one Afro-Cuban artist, yet to be selected. In partnership with UN-Habitat, a contemporary public artist from Africa will also be selected. The African artist will bring the global perspective of social justice and will contribute to Urban Catalyst Lab’s efforts of democratizing the narrative.
“It is with great honor that I stand with Urban Catalyst Lab and fellow artists as we embark on a journey of collaborative creative impact on the behalf of social and civil history in the city of Atlanta,” said Shanequa Gay. “Through research, discovery, and response; the initiative brings with it not only an artistic component; but also provides a global and diversified platform to speak to the past, the issues of our time along with creating new concepts of hope for our future.”
“The types of interactions that computational art make possible are endless, and these interactions can inspire new insights,” said Jessica Anderson. “The immersive experience of digital art and the active engagement through interaction make it a uniquely effective medium for impactful understanding and learning. We use guests’ movement, voice, or even brain waves to design exploratory ways of engaging that convey educational and insightful meaning in an immersive environment.”
"I will have had no greater creative gift before now, than to work alongside the community of our city generating a monument to embody the authentic history and hope of Atlanta, in all its grit and all its glory,” said William Massey.
Installation of the art will begin in 2020 on Lower Alabama Street. The future-focused installation will constantly evolve, creating a connection between the past, present, and future. It will be powered by Urban Catalyst Lab’s proprietary IoT and AI technology, collecting and measuring real-time and meaningful community impact. This installation and framework will be the first IoT and AI-based local-to-global art installation in the world.
To learn more about the local artists involved in the art installation, please read the bios below.
Shanequa Gay, an Atlanta native, received her AA in Graphic Design and Fashion Marketing from the Art Institute of Atlanta (1999), a BA in Painting from The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD),summa cum laude (2015), and an MFA from Georgia State University (2019). Gay was one of ten selected artists for OFF THE WALL a city-wide Mural initiative led by WonderRoot and the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee (2018). In 2013, Gay was chosen by The Congressional Club to be the illustrator for the First Lady's Luncheon hostess gift for First Lady Michelle Obama. Gay's work includes features in the Lions Gate film Addicted, the BET television series Being Mary Jane and Zoe Ever After, and the OWN series Greenleaf. Solo exhibitions include the Hammonds House Museum, Atlanta, GA (2015); Anne O Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA (2016); Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC (2017); Mary S. Byrd Gallery, Augusta University, Augusta, GA (2018); Sumter Gallery of Art, Sumter, SC (2018); and Milliken Gallery, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC (2018).
William Massey is a freelance artist, sculptor, creative entrepreneur, and a co-leader of art programs within social organizations and health facilities throughout Atlanta. William initially found his voice through art during his time at Valdosta State University, receiving his BFA in 2012. William arrived in Atlanta in 2013 to begin his art career consisting of outlets such as glassblowing, teaching art to homeless youth, and public art installations. He has gradually evolved into a force of creative connection in Atlanta – utilizing the power of art to unify communities, uplift public spaces, pursue social and racial reconciliation, and creatively comfort those in hardship. William is currently the art director and curator of the Sweet Auburn Community Museum at ReMerge, serves on the board of Renew the Arts, is the CEO of ColorATL, and has a number of works exhibiting publicly around Atlanta, Ga.
Jessica Anderson and Sebastian Monroy
Artist duo Jessica Anderson and Sebastian Monroy work together to create computational artwork. The first indie mobile game Jessica played was Sebastian's, and she was delighted by how artful video games could be. At the time, she was building a 22-foot steel geodesic dome, fabricating the cover, and projection mapping it. They were both in graduate school studying design and computer graphics respectively. After falling wildly in love, they teamed up to create immersive and interactive art. Jessica designs environments, concepts, and narratives, fabricates and projection maps onto objects; Sebastian programs generative art, making computer graphics that respond to different kinds of data. Both share the vision of bringing people together, building empathy, and using technology to show new ways of seeing and engaging the world.
To follow updates on the art installation and transformation of Underground, visit:
About WRS, INC: WRS Inc. provides a range of real estate investment services, including the development of commercial retail, office, and mixed-use projects, real estate property management, and commercial brokerage services. Currently, WRS, Inc. is developing projects throughout the Southeast including The West-End District in Charleston, SC, and The Foundry in Chattanooga, TN.
About Urban Catalyst Lab (UCL): UCL is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to using ‘art-as-a-solution’ to urban sustainability and social cohesion. Their mission is to merge art with science and technology to measure and promote the use of public art for change. Based in Atlanta with a global network of partners, UCL welcomes all catalysts for change to join the #UCLmovement.