Vandals repeatedly strike artworks in Beltline exhibit

Visitors to the Atlanta Beltline were greeted by an ugly sight Sunday.

Larry Jens Anderson’s “Locked Out,” a multimedia commentary on unequal rights and homophobia, was practically smashed to bits. Several of its six wooden doors, which are arrayed around a copy of the Declaration of Independence, were off their hinges or broken in two and thrown on the ground.

Though it’s the second time the East Side work has been vandalized, it’s not the only piece in the city’s largest public art exhibit to be hit.

Ethan Davidson, the Beltline’s director of communications, said other works have been spray-painted with graffiti, pounded and repaired since “Art on the Beltline” opened early last month.

“We have responded as quickly as possible to fix them,” he said. “Even though it’s temporary art, we care very much about the art lasting through the exhibition. And we believe it sends the right message by getting out there as quickly as possible to respond to these acts of vandalism.”

On the West Side, Etienne Jackson’s steel sculpture “Reflections: Revolving Community” has been repeatedly damaged. Parts of Arturo Lindsay’s nearby installation “Sanctuary on the Beltline” were pulled from the ground. Staci Stone’s community garden called “Even Terrain” has been vandalized, as have the Cabbagetown Artist Tribe installation “Pardoned Eden”and the towering burlap tent under the Freedom Parkway bridge built by Dodekapus Artist Collective.

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