Stella Nova Gateway Sculpture

Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) are known in metro Atlanta for their traffic-unclogging transportation projects. But the Boulevard CID in south Fulton County is using the installation of public art displays to not only to denote the completion of a $1.8 million interchange improvement project, but also to embody the district’s renaissance.

Making visitors aware that they’re entering the largest industrial corridor on the eastern half of the United States is the goal of the sculpture titled “Stella Nova,” or “New Star” recently added by the Boulevard CID to the interchange at Fulton Industrial Boulevard and Interstate 20. The sculpture caps off a streetscapes improvement project that included upgraded landscaping, pedestrian crosswalks, streetlighting as well as concrete and curb repairs.

CID Executive Director Gil Prado said the district selected Atlanta-based artist David Landis to complete the unique sculpture after issuing a request for proposal that received international responses.

Prado said Stella Nova bolsters the CID’s commitment to increase awareness of the overall attractiveness and dynamic economy of the commercial district and pointed out that the sculpture expands on other public artwork that helps create a visual sense of place in the district.

“Having murals, sculptures and other art available to everyone encourages creativity and supports our CID as a special place to enjoy continued success,” Prado said. “This interchange is our gateway entrance, and this signature art piece adds to the welcome we offer to everyone and lets them know that they’ve arrived in a unique and intentionally-managed district.”

The CID has made art-related efforts a hallmark of its improvement efforts and has earned international attention from the art world by emphasizing visual elements to stand out from other districts and other areas nearby. In 2015, the CID undertook the restoration of the 1967 sculpture by artist Peter Forakis, Atlanta Gateway. The Forakis piece is considered one of the largest examples of modern geometric sculpture in the world.

In the 1960s, 30 sculptures lined the streets of Great Southwest Parkway in the Fulton Industrial District which at the time was considered the largest public collection of monumental contemporary sculptures in the world. Unfortunately, today, apart from the Atlanta Gateway sculpture, none of the other pieces remain in the District, having been transferred to Fulton County facilities, private collections and even the High Museum.

Prado said that other key intersections will receive similar streetscape improvements. The CID plans enhancements to include public art at the intersections of Fulton Industrial Boulevard at Camp Creek Parkway and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, in addition to other areas. “These projects are undertaken with a combination of funding resources, but the CID remains committed to incorporating public art in these projects.”