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Downtown Gainesville gets mapped by art troupe
Dance group performs on square as part of weekend arts events
A gloATL performer moves about the square Friday afternoon in downtown Gainesville using artistic expression and movement. He was joined by other gloATL performers leading a group of Centennial Arts Academy students to The Arts Council’s Smithgall Arts Center for an interactive lecture.

Olympic Tower mural reveal

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Center, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville

How much: Free

The Historic Downtown Square in Gainesville was taken over Friday afternoon by contemporary dance group gloATL as its members performed a “mapping” event for the public and about 150 fifth-graders from Centennial Arts Academy.

“We are an interdisciplinary platform for contemporary performance,” said Lauri Stallings, the founding artist of the group. “My interest is in creating no barriers for the public to find themselves in art and experiences.

“Public art is a way into people’s communities; it invites people to look into their towns in new and fresh ways.”

gloATL is part of The Traveling Show, a collaboration with the public art organization Living Walls. The show has visited several Georgia communities since late September, including Dalton, Athens, Rabun County and LaGrange, to engage local communities with dance and paintings.

One of the primary ways gloATL interacts with the public is through mapping, which involves performing in public areas with dance installations and heavy interaction with passers-by. In Gainesville, the group entertained adults and children with a variety of dances and public displays, often beckoning passive observers to participate.

The Traveling Show was brought to Gainesville by The Arts Council, Quinlan Visual Arts Center, North Georgia Community Foundation and Main Street Gainesville to perform in conjunction with the opening of Quinlan’s “Inspired Georgia: 28 Works from Georgia’s State Art Collection,” which held its opening reception Thursday night.

“I like glo’s approach to movement, using physical gestures rather than just dance steps to communicate,” said dancer Kristina Brown. “It’s using the body as the best instrument there is, and I think that hits people in deeper places.

“Also, being with the public is a huge treat.”

gloATL has been in Gainesville since Thursday and has held a number of performances, including children’s shows at Mount Vernon Exploratory School and Centennial Arts Academy, a performance at the “Inspired Georgia” opening at Quinlan, Friday’s mapping installation and artists’ talks at The Arts Council Smithgall Art Center and at the Gainesville School of Ballet.

The group’s tour partner, Living Walls, held talks at the arts center and Gainesville High School and played host to Argentine mural painter Franco Fasoli, who painted the Olympic Tower at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue last weekend.

The Traveling Show’s Gainesville residency culminates in the Olympic Tower mural reveal and performance, which will be held at 7:30 tonight at the Lake Lanier Olympic Center. The event is free and open to the public.

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