alpharetta sculpture

Members of Alpharetta’s arts community welcomed internationally acclaimed sculptor Olu Amoda, second from right, and his sculpture, “Miles,” to Brooke Street Park April 1. The work is the figure of a woman created entirely from automatic transmission discs. Present with the artist are, from left, Ben Hollingsworth, Arts Alpharetta; Gene Andrews Alpharetta Cultural Arts Commission co-chair); and Mike Buchanan, Arts Alpharetta.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Arts Alpharetta has announced its latest offering for public display, a work by internationally renowned sculptor Olu Amoda.

The work, “Miles,” is on display in Brooke Street Park in Downtown Alpharetta and represents the first endeavor in collaboration with the newly formed Alpharetta Cultural Arts Commission.

Amoda is known for re-purposing materials and metals to express modern African sensibility. The son of a goldsmith, he was born in Okere Warri in Niger in 1959. He graduated in sculpture from Auchi Polytechnic in 1983 and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern in 2009.

“Miles” is a sculpture created entirely of repurposed automatic transmission clutch discs. It stands 16 feet tall and is shaped in the figure of a woman.

“He takes metal pieces and figures out what else they can be,” said Mike Buchanan, Arts Alpharetta board member. Through his interactions with an automotive shop, Amoda collected hundreds of the discs.

“Most people are intrigued by an automobile's beautiful exterior, but the engine's interior is equally as beautiful, if not more,” Buchanan said. “Heating, bending, cutting and twisting are the dynamics of a vehicle's clutch discs; these actions were employed in ‘Miles’ creative process. Miles is configured to vibrate and rock gently as the winds transit through, much like I danced to the music created by the hammering of the discs on the anvil.” 

The work is part of the Alpharetta Art Walk, a collaboration between the city, the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau and Arts Alpharetta.

The outdoor displays located throughout the city are all associated with a program by which the artist is paid for the “loan” of the work for 18 months. During that time, the piece may be sold, and that sale would include the cost of the loan.

In most cases, artists are paid a $5,500 stipend for the loan.

Arts Alpharetta, which serves as an umbrella organization for about 14 local arts organizations, is involved in its own fundraising efforts to foster public art displays. It helps promote events, teach classes and foster the fine and cultural arts. It seeks to grow art venues, experiences and relationships within the city.

Kim Zane, Alpharetta Cultural Services manager, said outdoor art displays of the quality in Alpharetta show the city’s commitment to the arts.

She said outdoor art will become more prevalent as the city expands its public spaces, particularly along walking trails like the AlphaLoop.

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