A Critic’s Notebook: Living Walls and gloATL hit the road

The Traveling Show brings Atlanta art to Georgia towns


  • Photo by Andrew Alexander
  • STREET SCENE: Creative Loafing Photographer Dustin Chambers’ piece at the Rhodes Theatre on Peachtree shows the work of Living Walls and gloATL. The two acclaimed grassroots public art organizations have hit the road this Fall and will end their journey at the beloved former movie theater for a weekend of performances, November 8-10.

It’s been a few months since Atlantans have seen the artists of Living Walls painting their murals or the dancers of gloATL performing in the streets, but that doesn’t mean that the organizations have been sitting idle. Far from it.

gloATL and Living Walls have hit the road this Fall, taking on a busy schedule of travel outside Atlanta to bring their work to smaller towns around Georgia. The two grassroots arts organizations are teaming up for a series of residencies around the state in which they host lectures, town meetings, school visits, potluck dinners, demonstrations, and workshops and then create their signature street murals and public dance performances.

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So far, the Traveling Show has visited Dalton, where Living Walls created a mural downtown at the corner of Hamilton and King Streets and the dancers of gloATL performed their work (weaving their way on a sunny Sunday afternoon from Dalton City Hall, through the Downtown Dalton Beer Festival and past the Whitfield County Republican Party’s Freedom Rocks Festival), and then Athens, where Living Walls muralist Trek Matthews created a mural on the side of the Little Kings Shuffle Club and gloATL performed at the Georgia Museum of Art. Each residency involves the artists living, working, and exploring in each town over a period of several days.

Still ahead: Rabun Gap, Oct 16-19; LaGrange, October 23; and Gainesville, October 24-25.


For those in the mood for a road trip: Especially intriguing is this weekend’s free-to-the-public performance in the mountains of North Georgia on the evening of Saturday, October 19. On the third and final day of their residency in Rabun County, gloATL will perform a new work titled Choir B, taking place in the center of a sprawling, one-million square foot former textile factory. Founding artist Lauri Stallings is employing old southern chants and choirs as a way for people to get their bearings, to find and join the performance area. It’s nearly a 1/4 mile walk to arrive to the center of the factory space where the dancers and viewers will be staged on fresh grass. “Light, or having no light, is the primary theme.” The enormous empty former Fruit of the Loom underwear factory is now known as the Rabun County Business Park at 400 Kelly’s Creek Road, Rabun Gap, and the performance takes place there on Saturday, October 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. Click here for a full schedule of glo and Living Walls activities in Rabun County this weekend.

Perhaps most intriguing of all, gloATL and Living Wills will finish their fall Traveling Show right on Atlanta’s doorstep. When they’re not on the road, the busy groups are in the process of resuscitating a beloved Atlanta landmark, the Rhodes Theatre just off Peachtree Street near Rhodes Hall. The historic theatre, closed and empty since 1985, will be reopened for a weekend of performances, November 8-10. The location already features Creative Loafing’s own Dustin Chambers’ photographic murals in the windows, showing a montage of previous gloATL and Living Walls works.

To keep up with gloATL and Living Walls on their journeys, visit the Traveling Show’s Facebook page.