Athens Cultural Affairs Commission

Visiting artist will offer “outdoor living rooms” for Athens citizens

The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission will present the second suite of a series of events to gather citizen input for the development of a master plan for public art in Athens, GA, Dec. 1–5, 2015. Coordinated by public art planner and consultant Todd Bressi — who has visited Athens twice before to advance the project — a visiting artist will conduct a series of "outdoor living rooms" to invite the public to sit, commune and share their ideas about what public art can provide for Athens.

The visiting artist, Matthew Mazzotta, is a conceptual artist who has worked in the field of public art for 15 years. Mazzotta's projects manifest themselves as participatory public interventions that aim to bring a sense of openness to the places where we live. The objects, situations, and spaces he creates ask us to relate to ourselves and to each other in unfamiliar ways, in hopes of finding new perspectives on how we see ourselves in this world.

In reference to the outdoor living rooms and his other works, Mazzotta has said, “Understanding the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences, we can see that when the only spaces a community has to meet each other are the transitional space of the streetscape or commercial institutions, only certain types of dialogues are produced within that community.”

In an effort to alter the dialogue in some of these spaces, Mazzotta and Bressi will offer outdoor living rooms on four occasions, all from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.: Tuesday, Dec. 1, at Tate Plaza on the University of Georgia Campus on Sanford Drive; Wednesday, Dec. 2, on College Square in downtown Athens; Thursday, Dec. 3, at Bell’s Shopping Center on Hawthorne Dr.; and Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park on Sunset Dr.

Mazzotta will also present a lecture, “The Architecture of Social Space,” on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 2:30 p.m. in room S150 of the Lamar Dodd School of Art on the University of Georgia’s East Campus, 270 River Rd.

Mazzotta is a graduate of School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Masters of Science in Visual Studies in 2009 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The events are free and the public is invited and encouraged to attend. The outdoor living rooms may be visited for any portion of their two-hour duration.

Athens Cultural Arts Commission was created through a city ordinance in December 2010 with the support of the SPLOST funds and members of the community. The Commission understands the importance of the arts as a method to promote tourism, economic development, a sense of community, and quality of life. 

Photos are available upon request; contact Michael Lachowski (volunteer citizen member of Athens Cultural Affairs Commission),

Pictured: Outdoor Living Room, Farmer's Park - Springfield, MO - Nov 2014 - Sponsored by Farmer's Park - 
photo credit - Patricia Lee Watts
The Master Plan for Public Art in Athens is well underway!  Please stay tuned for the next visit in December with our consultant, Todd Bressi and guest visiting artist Matthew Mazzotta from Cambridge, Mass.  Matthew's art practice includes setting up “outdoor living rooms” and community conversations that explore public art and civic space in Athens.

In the meantime, you can help the Athens’ public art master plan process by sharing your thoughts about what makes Athens a unique place, and how public art can be part of its future. Follow this link to a brief and simple questionnaire that will help give the master plan consulting team deeper insight into Athens, its valued places, and its opportunities for public art. The questionnaire also includes links that will allow you to receive more information about this ongoing planning process.
Respond to the
 questionnaire at:

Thanks and we look forward to sharing a cup of cocoa and conversation in Matthew Mazzotta's "outdoor living rooms" in December.

photo: Public Art Discussion at Broad Collective, October 2015
Broad Street Collective
The Master Public Art Plan process is on!  Please join us for the events listed.
Calendar information for Week of October 12

Monday, October 12, tune into WUGA at 2:20 p.m. for an interview with Todd Bressi and Seitu Jones as part of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission public art master plan process.

Tuesday. Todd Bressi, public art master planner and Seitu Jones will participate in a Roundtable at Broad 9A (160 Tracy St. #10) on October 13th at 1 p.m.

Tuesday. Seitu Jones, artist in residence, is a public artist from St. Paul, Minnesota. He will present a lecture, October 13 at 6 p.m. at the Athens-Clarke County Library, Appleton Auditorium (2015 Baxter Street). The lecture is “Art and Love” based on his award-winning work “Create: The Community Meal.” This lecture is part of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission public art master plan process and is free and welcomes the public.

Wednesday, October 14, tune into WXAG at 12:30 p.m. for the Barbara Sims “Lady B” show “Concerns and Issues of the Heart” where she will talk with Todd Bressi and Seitu Jones about concerns and issues of public art.

Wednesday. A second Roundtable will be with the Athens Art Crowd at Hotel Indigo on October 14th at 5:30 p.m. Both Roundtables are part of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission public art master plan process and are free and open to the public.

For further information please visit
Art enriches our Athens Community!

A very exciting time for Athens and the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission as we begin a 10 month process with Todd Bressi, a Master Plan for Public Art Consultant.

For news and updates on the Public Art Master Plan, upcoming visiting artists, projects and community meetings, please visit:
public art

Athens Cultural Affairs Commission Description

  • Members:: 11
  • Regular Meeting Information:
    • When: Second Monday of each month 
    • Where: The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Building, 245 West Hancock Avenue, Athens 
    • Time:  6:00 p.m.
    • Average Length: 2 hours 
  • Major Responsibilities:
    The ACAC has been established to advise the Athens Clarke County Unified Government on cultural affairs and aesthetic development of the built environment in accordance with provisions of planning, programming, procurement, installation, operation, and maintenance of public art projects and artworks. 
  • Address: 
    Athens Cultural Affairs Commission 
    P.O. Box 687
    Athens, GA 30603-0687
  • Email: 
  • Website: