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Atlanta Firm to Tackle Artwork Graffiti

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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Fulton County, GA, has awarded a $15,312 contract to Starbrite Window Cleaning of Atlanta for paint removal, clean-up, and anti-graffiti coating application to Sol LeWitt’s public art installment 54 Columns.

Art Meets Architecture

An echo of the city’s skyline, 54 Columns was commissioned by the Fulton County Arts Council and completed in 1999. The minimalist sculpture features 54 concrete pillars of varying heights from 10 to 20 feet tall, arranged in a triangular pattern.

 Detractors call Sol LeWitt’s 54 Columns a “Ghetto Stonehenge.”

hiplanta.com

Detractors call Sol LeWitt’s 54 Columns a “Ghetto Stonehenge.”

The sculpture, as well as the corner property on which it sits, was donated by the Taylor family with the assistance of the High Museum of Art, according to the Fulton County Department of Arts & Culture, which awarded the cleaning contract.

“The minimalist sculpture, like much of LeWitt’s work, integrates art and architecture,” the department said. “This piece makes reference to its urban environment through repeated lines and geometric forms.”

The artist has been linked to movements including conceptual art and minimalism, working with various media. According to the Freedom Park Conservancy, he preferred the term “structure” to sculpture and was once a graphic designer in the office of famed architect I.M. Pei.

History of Vandalism

Known colloquially as the “Ghetto Stonehenge,” LeWitt’s public art is not always respected as such. In 2005, one of the 54 columns was painted pink in what the then-director of the Art in the Park Program called an act of  “conceptual vandalism.”

 In 2005, vandals painted a single column Pepto-Bismol pink.

 Jim Stawniak / Creative Loafing Atlanta

In 2005, vandals painted a single column Pepto-Bismol pink.

“A graffiti artist’s tags express his or her individual flair; monotone pink on one single tower is more likely the earmark of a street artist,” Evan Levy told Creative Loafing Atlanta.

Two years before that, a group of neighbors who found the structure more of an “abandoned construction site” than art planted dogwood trees among the columns in an attempt to beautify it. The county promptly removed the trees.

Restoration Plan

The project involves removing paint graffiti by applying a waterborne paint remover and pressure-washing the 54 two-by-two-foot columns using high-pressure hot water at a minimum 180-190° Fahrenheit.

The contractor will then coat about 6,250 square feet of concrete surfaces with a sacrificial anti-graffiti coating. Because there is no water service at the site, the contractor will be required to use a water truck or obtain a water meter from the City of Atlanta for use of a fire-hydrant.

Reported by Paint BidTracker, a construction reporting service devoted to identifying contracting opportunities for the coatings community. Visit us on Facebook!

   

Tagged categories: Bidding; Concrete; Contract awards; Government contracts; Graffiti removal; Restoration; Sacrificial coatings; Waterborne coatings

Comment from Chuck Pease, (10/11/2012, 1:38 AM)

Why the use of a sacrificial anti graffiti coating as opposed to a non-sacrificial. Sounds like an ongoing maintanence issue going this route.


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/12/2012, 8:05 AM)

Wow, I missed that on the first time through. Sacrificial are cheap to put on at first, but have much higher ongoing maintenance costs. Might be "Hey we can put antigraffiti on these columns for just $1,000!" shortsightedness - or just ignorance that there are better solutions.


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