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Colorful Birds Take Flight Over New Commercial Row Commons Plaza

See the soaring new art installation that Midtowners are twittering about.

Published: 07/07/22

Nearly 200 birds have alighted over the Commercial Row Commons plaza space, which is scheduled to officially open to the public in the coming weeks. The plaza, located at Peachtree Street and Peachtree Place, sits adjacent to retailers and the Atlanta History Center's Midtown campus. The name is derived from the historical brick buildings that make up this block in the heart of Midtown, where various street-level commercial businesses have thrived over the decades.

These swallows by international artist group Cracking Art traveled to Midtown Atlanta from Milan, Italy, and they are the first public art project to be installed on the plaza’s catenary hanging overhead support system. Read more about Midtown’s newest art installation below.

“We hope this colorful array of birds provides a bit of surprise and delight in people’s day,” says Ansley Whipple, Programming and Activation Project Manager for Midtown Alliance. “We’re excited to bring Cracking Art to Atlanta for the first time and open Commercial Row Commons with a festive installation.”


For the Birds

From overhead construction cranes to the Parliament of Owls Lantern Parade, Midtown began cultivating a bird theme long before the swallows migrated to the plaza. With this new public art installation, we’re embracing the connection and free spirit of the colorful creatures.

Even though swallows are wild, they build nests on residential rooftops, suggesting that they are comfortable cohabitating with humans and sharing space in our domestic environments. With the enhancements to Commercial Row Commons, Midtown Alliance is hoping to mirror the spirit of the birds and encourage people to flock to the space and gather in the district.


A close-up of Cracking Art's birds, which are made out of recycled materials.


Natural vs. Artificial Reality

The Cracking Art movement started in 1993 with the intention to radically change the history of art through a strong social and environmental commitment. The revolutionary use of recycled plastic materials in their work investigates the close relationship between natural and artificial reality. The artworks are designed to inspire a community-wide conversation about the importance and the environmental impact of regeneration, while leaving a potent artistic trace in the communities where we live.


Next Up: Outdoor Seating and a Launch Party

The birds will rule the roost at Commercial Row for up to one year, after which Midtown Alliance will be looking for another rotating overhead installation for the space. In the future, we hope to commission local artists to do site-specific artwork for the first-in-Midtown catenary system, which provides yet another location to bring art to the public in interesting ways. Colorful tables and chairs are also scheduled to be delivered to the plaza in August, to be followed by bright turquoise umbrellas.

Save the date: Midtown Alliance invites you to join us for a launch party to celebrate the plaza enhancements on the evening of August 18. Details coming in the next few weeks!