Parking Lot as Art Gallery
Davis Butner showcases a novel use of urban space in Atlanta during COVID-19.
Shifting Ground was an open call for visual reports about how the events of 2020 and 2021 reconfigured our relationship with both public and private space. Select entries were posted on the League’s Instagram account.
Davis Butner sent images of Drive Thru ATL, a socially distanced art show held in an Atlanta parking lot in the summer of 2020.
Atlanta is frequently criticized for its overwhelmingly car-oriented urban fabric, having long struggled with the spatial and environmental burdens of “parking deserts”: underutilized surface parking lots that contribute to the urban heat island effect and stormwater runoff. Whereas these parking deserts are often synonymous with urban neglect, these images showcase an example of their use as a spontaneous art gallery. When so many cultural centers have closed their doors, this concept reanimates a generic spatial condition so often overlooked in American cities.