PRISM: Who makes public art at Woodruff Park?

This light-shifting sculpture by David Baerwalde and Alex Martinez is part of the public art installation “PRISM: Winter Lights at Woodruff Park.”   The exhibit spreads throughout the downtown park, enhancing existing landmarks like the International Peace Fountain and the iconic gazebo with geometric sculptures, "upcycled" lights, and a light garden.  Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com
This light-shifting sculpture by David Baerwalde and Alex Martinez is part of the public art installation “PRISM: Winter Lights at Woodruff Park.” The exhibit spreads throughout the downtown park, enhancing existing landmarks like the International Peace Fountain and the iconic gazebo with geometric sculptures, "upcycled" lights, and a light garden. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

Credit: bandres@ajc.com

Credit: bandres@ajc.com

The holiday decorations at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta are upscale this season.

The six-acre park adjacent to the Five Points intersection of Peachtree and Marietta Streets is festooned and illuminated with the work of ten artists, in an installation called “PRISM: Winter Lights at Woodruff Park,” that will remain in the park for three months.

"We asked the creators to reimagine Christmas lights," said Oshun Layne, of Dashboard, the curators of the project.

Last week the park was alive with the beeping back-up warnings of scissor-lifts, as the artists assembled their creations, many of them hung from the branches of trees in the park.

A ribbon sculpture by Sara Jimenez is among the artworks on display in an installation entitled "PRISM: Winter Lights at Woodruff Park." Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com
A ribbon sculpture by Sara Jimenez is among the artworks on display in an installation entitled "PRISM: Winter Lights at Woodruff Park." Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

Credit: bandres@ajc.com

Credit: bandres@ajc.com

"Yesterday it was even colder," said Gavin Bernard,  dressed for the weather in a gray jumpsuit bought from the set of "District 9."

Bernard was using a PVC pipe heater to bend the plastic tubing into the shapes of an invasive plant, twisting it to fit the curves of a few trees in one corner of the park.

Out of the pipes sprouted strings of tiny lights.

“Kudzu was the original concept for it,” said Bernard, his accent betraying a trace of his native England, where the weather, he said, was no better.

Sara Santamaria was putting the finishing touches on a collection of cage-like polyhedrons, outlined in luminescent laser wire, and hanging them in the branches of another group of trees. At night they were intended to create figures in the air that shift from two to three dimensions.

A cluster of yellow ribbons hanging from a tree nearby waved in the breeze like a silky anemone. Earlier that week the object, created by Sara Jimenez of New York, had been tossed by brisk winds and attacked by the sharp edges of a nearby holly tree.

The most prism-like piece in the park was made by David Baerwalde and Alex Martinez, who fashioned a large, gem-like sculpture of plexiglas sheets coated in dichroic film, which split the ambient light into changing colors.

Baerwalde watched as Martinez augured corkscrew anchors into the lawn at the center of the park, fixing the base to the ground so that curious visitors wouldn’t topple the sculpture.

Sculptor/painter/builder Megan Mosholder and her team strung a spiderweb of cord in the park's six-sided gazebo, then painted the white rope with invisible hues that are activated by ultraviolet light.

She installed black lights that switch on at sundown, when the colors of the cord will emerge. “I’m interested in twilight,” she said.

The installation was funded by Delta Air Lines, NCR, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement district and the city.

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