‘Rockspinner’ art piece makes debut on Peachtree Street. Video by John Spink / AJC

‘Rockspinner’ art piece makes debut on Peachtree Street

There’s a new piece of art on Peachtree Street, and it weighs 22,500 pounds.

Rockspinner, a boulder found in the Nevada mountains 12 years ago, now rests on a spinning base at the intersection of Peachtree and 10th Street.

The Midtown Alliance contacted Atlanta Artist Zachary Coffin to express interest in his piece and obtained a three-year lease for the piece.

“It’s all in the name of public art,” said President and CEO of the Midtown Alliance Kevin Green. “We’ve been looking for ways to improve the public realm and the experience in Midtown and at the same time, we’ve been looking creatively at how to create public spaces where they weren’t before, so we worked a deal with the property owner to lease this corner for a dollar a year.”

Coffin originally formed the piece for Burning Man, a cultural, annual art event held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Coffin also has art works at the Lindbergh MARTA station, Cleopas Park and another similar Rockspinner near the Georgia Aquarium.

“All great cities have great public art programs and it really impacts the quality of life in a city and you don’t just want a bunch of steel towers around,” said a representative for the Metropolitan Public Art Coalition Anne Tracht. “You need to have creativity and vitality on the street level for people to experience and be inspired by.”

Tracht said she’s excited that Rockspinner is interactive and believes that will attract onlookers.

“I think from one level it looks like ‘why’d they plop a big rock down there,’ but hopefully people will see and experience that you can turn it and you can turn it with such ease that it becomes that fun playful part of their experience and I think that’s a really important part of art right now is having that magic,” Tracht said. “That magical experience for people to have fun with.”

Coffin got permission to take the granite boulder from federal land.

“When you can move something that is 22,000 pounds by yourself, it makes you feel like superman,” Green said.

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