COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Columbus Riverwalk is home to a new public art exhibit with the purpose of highlighting the history of the Chattahoochee River.
The “Chattahoochee RiverViews” outdoor photo exhibit is a collaboration between the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the Dragonfly Trial Network and can be found on the retaining wall behind Hotel Indigo just below the 14th street pedestrian bridge.
Executive Director of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Juliet Cohen hopes the art installation showcases the current reality of the Chattahoochee River while also allowing people to take a trip down memory lane.
“The river in Columbus has changed quite a bit in the last few decades. It’s an amazing amenity now and so through these photographs we really can tell different stories about how people really enjoy the river and have used it for business,” said Cohen.
In addition to education, Executive Director of the Dragonfly Trial Network Rebecca Zajac hopes the new exhibit will foster community around public art, all while hearing the sounds of the Chattahoochee River not too far in the distance.
“I also love that people could be running or biking or walking on their way to work and you just take a minute to stop and enjoy public art and maybe someone else does and you have a quick conversation. That engagement piece and connecting with other people is something I really hope people take away.”
Photos used within the exhibit were given with permission by the owner. Those contributions come from local photographers and organizations. Some organizations include The Columbus Museum and the Chattahoochee River Conservancy.
“It’s really cool how the exhibit is really a combination of people who care about the river and have photographed it and have allowed us to display their work on this retaining wall,” said Zajac.
Zajac says the original idea of a public art installation actually originated from a group of graduating seniors at Columbus State University. In normal times, those students would host an indoor art show, but with the COVID-19 pandemic that wasn’t possible.
In a turn of events, Zajac explored the idea of placing students’ art work on the retaining wall located on the backside of Hotel Indigo to showcase their hard work and creativity, and after much success the wall has now been home to numerous art exhibits.
The retaining wall is owned by WC Bradley, and Zajac says the company saw value in having public art installations, which is how new exhibits like the “Chattahoochee RiverViews” find life along the Columbus Riverwalk.
The “Chattahoochee RiverViews” art exhibit will be available for public viewing until August 31.