Meet Midtown’s New Artist in Residence
Shoccara Marcus puts dancers in urban spaces to create masterpieces that juxtapose movement and architecture.
Midtown is a place where you can discover new and interesting things, and while walking through the district in the coming months, you might notice modern dancers striking a pose around buildings and landmarks.
That’s likely a photo shoot in progress by Shoccara Marcus, the new artist in residence at Cousins Properties’ Promenade building.
Marcus’ specialty is photographing dancers in urban spaces, from historic buildings to parks and the Atlanta BeltLine. Marcus is a dancer herself with a bachelors in fine arts from Howard University and a masters in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She recently shared with us a few of her plans for her time in Midtown.
Location Scouting in Midtown
“I’ve already been location scouting, and I’m very excited about shooting at the Coda building, which is so beautiful,” she said. “I’m telling myself, ‘You have to calm down, you have two years.’”
Her list for future projects also includes The Wimbish House, the rooftop of 1180 Peachtree, the Fox Theatre, the Georgian Terrace Hotel and the exterior of the High Museum.
Marcus is off to a running start in Midtown, with her first photo shoot taking place on the Promenade staircase.
“The staircase is beautiful, so I got a couple of dancers and had them start moving and molding their bodies while people walked by,” Marcus said. “People were scared at first, but that’s what makes a beautiful accident, people coming down the stairs and just walking through and being in the space.”
Recently Marcus also had dancers pose on the Midtown letters at Colony Square, one of the district’s most recognizable and Instagrammed spots.
“I’ve been thinking of that shot for a while, every time I passed by,” she said.
Real Estate Company Showcases Local Talent
Cousins chooses a different artist to occupy a studio space inside Promenade every two years.
“At Cousins, we are passionate about creating innovative environments that connect and inspire our customers and the community,” said Laurie Harper, Cousins’ director of operations in Atlanta. “A significant component in executing this vision is Cousins’ Artist in Residence Program, initially launched in 2013 in Midtown. By showcasing the unique talents of local artists, we believe Promenade has become a true reflection of Atlanta’s unique culture, a place where we can all find inspiration.”
Previously artist Chantelle Rytter held the residency and created Parliament of Owls, a community-based lantern parade that in 2019 brought out 1,000 participants on the streets of Midtown. Marcus is still formulating her plan for what she’ll gift to Midtown at the end of her tenure, but she already knows she’ll leave behind two permanent works outside Promenade near the building’s parking deck.
“I just want to put dancers in these spaces and create this organic atmosphere that just shows the spirit of Atlanta through dance,” Marcus said.
Check out Marcus’ Instagram to see more of her work, and stay tuned for next projects in Midtown!