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College Park artists are looking to ‘bridge’ the gap between Hapeville’s past and future with latest project

Tri-Cities artists, Whitney and Micah Stansell are transforming the Hapeville Pedestrian Bridge into a work of art.

It has often been said that the best things come in small packages.

Never has that idiom been truer, than when it comes to the city of Hapeville and its commitment to its public art initiative.

The latest in its string of public art projects is a pedestrian footbridge which is currently in the process of receiving a makeover of the highest caliber by the College Park-based ‘power couple’ artists, the husband and wife tag team of Whitney and Micah Stansell.

Having built up quite a reputation over the course of nearly the past two decades, the Stansells were selected by the Hapeville city council in a citywide call for arts to transform one of its biggest ‘eyesores’ into one of the city’s greatest landmarks.

Credit: The Hapeville Pedestrian Bridge sits literally across the street from one the very first public art programs, Butterfly Public Art Project in 2008

This multi-staged project began the week of June 28, 2020, with a fresh coat of paint that also serves a clever piece of lenticular art that spells out the name, ‘HAPEVILLE’ from the bottom and the top of the bridge.

Later in July, the couple will be adding a state-of-the-art LED light tunnel at the top of the bridge that incorporates programmable designs for residents, tourists, and art lovers alike to enjoy during those long summer nights. 

“We were wildly excited when we saw a national call for an art installation, here on the Hapeville bridge. We were so incredibly lucky to be in the top five. And then we were selected by the city of Hapeville to re-imagine this bridge,” beams Whitney Stansell.

“Part of our desire was to make it kind of a beacon when people want to climb the stairs and come up to this kind of glowing beacon. And then you get this whole new perspective on the city,” adds Micah.

The Hapeville Pedestrian Bridge joins an already impressive roster of public art projects sponsored by the city of the past thirteen years including but not limited to:

The “We Give Each Other the World” mural

The inaugural Black History Month Exhibition & Art Walk

The Grand Opening of the Academy Theatre

The Inaugural Día de Los Muertos Celebration and Parade

Not to mention, the Butterfly Public Art Project in 2008 and the public art Bench Project in 2007.

“A place like this is a place that has that kind of power to stay in people's memories whether they are growing up here or whether they're passing through, or whether they work here,” Council member Chloe Alexander tells My East Point News.

Credit: The Hapeville Pedestrian Bridge sits literally across the street from one the very first public art programs, Butterfly Public Art Project in 2008

Funding for the project came from multiple sources including art grants and partnerships such as the one Hapeville has developed with local art company, Dashboard.

The Hapeville Pedestrian Bridge sits Katy-corner to the Hapeville Depot Museum and Visitor’s Center on S. Central Ave, squarely in the downtown district.  

Ever since their billboards started popping around the metro Atlanta area, brandishing their new motto, A Home For the Arts, they have proven time after time that it is most decidedly not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog.

For more information about the Hapeville's Día de Los Muertos Celebration and Parade, visit the Hapeville Arts Facebook page. The Celebration and Parade take place in Hapeville on November 2nd.

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