The Sandy Springs City Council is almost as giddy as the city’s children will be about the “playable art” that’s being donated to a new city park along Abernathy Road.
During its Jan. 17 meeting the council fast-tracked a resolution to formally accept the art pieces for the Abernathy Greenway Linear Park, moving the item from its work session to its regular meeting so it could be approved weeks ahead of schedule.
“I think we’ve got 1000 percent consensus,” Mayor Eva Galambos said before the council voted to accept the art.
Cheri Morris, president of Art Sandy Springs, and Linda Bain, executive director of the Sandy Springs Conservancy, screamed with excitement after the council’s vote.
“You’re in business,” Galambos told them.
Morris showed the council the playground equipment dreamed up by artists around the country. One, called “It’s You & Me, Kid” by Colorado artist Frank Swanson, is a granite boulder, with a laser cut hole that’s shaped like a child. The child-shaped hunk of granite is a separate part of the whole piece. Another is called “Twist & Shout” by Missouri artist Beth Nybeck. It is a new take on the monkey bars concept, with steel pipes arranged like a tangle of wires for children to climb on.
“We were astonished at the quality and the scale (of the entries),” Morris said. “We are getting way more than our money’s worth.”
The six pieces were chosen from a group of more than 120 entries judged by a jury that included art critic Jerry Cullum, Susan Krause, chair of sculpture at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta and Michelle Savant, Associate Conservator of Objects for the High Museum of Art. Northside Hospital is giving the Sandy Springs Conservancy money to pay for the artwork. The conservancy works to create and promote green spaces in the city.
Council members heaped praise on the project. Though the cost to the council at the moment is $75,000 to $100,000 to build a special fall zone surface, the council members predicted the park will be a wild success in need of additional parking and bathrooms.
“I’m so impressed with the quality of the people you’ve got on here,” Councilman Tibby DeJulio said. “This far exceeded our expectations.”
“This is unbelievable,” Councilwoman Dianne Fries said.
The park is slated to open in Fall 2012.