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June 18, 2012

SCAD Students Get Streetwise with The Sidewalk Art Project

A unique collaboration between Sidewalk Radio and SCAD Atlanta takes the students’ arts curriculum from seminar room to sidewalk

The result of the Sidewalk Radio collaboration with SCAD: a groundbreaking exhibit, opening June 21 at the Atlanta Preservation Center, in which SCAD fine arts students display diverse works inspired by Atlanta’s layered city history and arts heritage

Atlanta's historic, art & architectural heritage, as discussed by Sidewalk Radio, was the inspiration for SCAD students Atlanta's historic, art & architectural heritage, as discussed by Sidewalk Radio, was the inspiration for SCAD students

The Project

“The Sidewalk Art Project is a creative partnership between Sidewalk Radio and SCAD Atlanta, with the goal of teaching students about Atlanta, and in turn, teaching Atlanta about the student and their work,” says Gene Kansas, host of Sidewalk Radio.  “The conversation that occurs with this type of educational experience goes beyond the walls of the classroom, and creates an open dialogue with people not necessarily associated with the school or the project.  It allows all of us the ability to become the student.”

The project began in April when previously aired episodes of Sidewalk Radio (fresh from the iTunes vault) were introduced into the curriculum of SCAD Atlanta’s School of Fine Art.  Students listened to Sidewalk Radio favorites like “Atlanta Drinks”, “Peachtree Street”, “The Skyline”, “Freedom Parkway”, “Oakland Cemetery”, and of course, the infamous “Clermont Hotel”.  Afterwards, they created paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints inspired by Sidewalk Radio’s programming and the show’s exploration of Atlanta’s civic, architectural, cultural, and developmental history.


The Player: Gene Kansas

Gene Kansas may be young, but he’s got loads of local street-cred on his resume. A connector and originator, with an eye on Atlanta’s civic big picture, he is nothing short of a local treasure. Here’s a look at the brainchild behind The Sidewalk Art Project.

Sidewalk Radio's founder and host Gene Kansas Sidewalk Radio's founder and host Gene Kansas

Kansas is a respected Atlanta cultural authority, civic leader and creative entrepreneur. He first made a name for himself with his commercial real estate business that often touted heritage pieces of Atlanta’s recent and distant past. His out-of-the-box marketing programs have included “The Clermont Hotel Design Competition,” which attracted the city’s best and brightest architects and designers to reimagine this, well, storied landmark and Kansas was also instrumental in launching Midtown’s first ever retail pop-up shop district. He’s served as a Board Member of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and currently with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta as well as volunteering his services for many other civic, cultural and educational organizations including SCAD.

Kansas also originated and hosts the innovative monthly radio program, Sidewalk Radio on AM 1690 “The Voice of the Arts”, that lays bare Atlanta’s rich civic, architectural and cultural history. Since its founding in October 2010, he has interviewed such noteworthy Atlantans as artists Radcliffe Bailey and Todd Murphy, poet Pearl Cleage, former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell, Serenbe founder Steve Nygren, restauranteur Bob Amick, Chairman Emeritus of the Atlanta Braves Bill Bartholomay (who brought the team from Milwaukee to Atlanta) and Woodruff Arts Center President and CEO Joe Bankoff. In the process, Kansas’ radio program has shone the spotlight on iconic Atlanta treasures from The Fabulous Fox Theatre and Oakland Cemetery, to MARTA, Little Five Points and the Atlanta BeltLine Project.


The Sidewalk Art Project Gallery Show &  Radio Show

Now it’s Atlanta’s turn to explore as The Sidewalk Art Project’s Gallery Show brings radio beyond the audible dimension and into the physical realm with the best of the SCAD student work on display at the Atlanta Preservation Center beginningJune 21st.  The show, on exhibit through July 20, is open to the public and will feature carefully curated original works completed as part of the project. 

An all-star panel of jurors: Stuart Horodner (Atlanta Contemporary Art Center), Spalding Nix (Spalding Nix Fine Art), Bruce McEvoy (Board Chair, MODA) and Ronnie Land (Atlanta artist) will be on hand at the gallery opening to mingle with and meet the students, see their work, and select the “Best In Show”. 

The student selected “Best In Show” will then join Kansas as a guest on “An Arts Education” airing June 25th on Sidewalk Radio.  Other guests for this episode include Atlanta art critic Cathy Fox, and student life expert and architect Jeff Stebar.

“It’s been a great project, the gallery opening is going to rock, and we’re going to have a great show,” says Kansas. “When you combine artistic inspiration with education about our city, the result is original expression and a colorful representation of our past.  I’m excited to see Atlanta’s history transformed into fine art, and happy to be a part of the educational process.”


See the show:


"Skyline" by artist Matt King is part of The Sidewalk Art Project

Sidewalk Art Project – Gallery Opening

Thursday June 21st

6:30pm  - 9:00pm


Atlanta Preservation Center

327 St. Paul Avenue SE

Atlanta, GA 30312


The show will be in place through July 20.


Hear the show:


Sidewalk Radio – “An Arts Education” episode

Monday June 25th

8:30am & 6:30pm


AM1690 “The Voice of the Arts”

On your radio and live

For all episodes visit Sidewalk Radio on iTunes: