• Photo of a tributary of the South River running through a tunnel under Memorial drive
  • A reflection in the tributary waters of the South River at Southside Park

Atlanta to the Atlantic: Connecting Communities to the South River

DETAILS

Journey from
Atlanta to the Atlantic
May 17 - June 24, 2024

Installations Sept. - Oct.

EVENTS

Flow Like Water Workshop
Mon, April 29, 5pm - 7pm
Flow Like Water Workshop
Sat, May 4, 11am - 1pm
Flow Like Water Workshop
Sat, May 4, 2pm - 4pm
Project Launch
Fri, May 17, 11am
River Journey Closing Events
Wed, June 25

Advisors

Jacqueline Echols  | South River Watershed Alliance

Margaret Spalding  | South River Watershed Alliance and the South River Forest Coalition

Dorian McDuffie | City of Atlanta Department of Planning

Nedra Deadwyler | Community Builder + Social Practitioner

Paul Medders | Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Ryan Gravel | Sixpitch

Kit and Mary Carson  | Ocmulgee Water Trail

Joe Cook | Georgia River Network

Ben Emanuel | American Rivers

Teri Nye | National Park Service

Scott Taylor | Three Rivers Outdoors

Adam Heagy and Madison Green | Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions

Cindy Dennard | SouthEast Adventure Outfitters

Neill Herring | Environmental Lobbyist

Francis J. Magilligan | Professor of Geology and Policy Studies

Janisse Ray  | Author, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood et al.

Suzanne Welander  |  Author, Canoeing & Kayaking Georgia

Richard Milligan |  Political Ecologist, University of Georgia

Adam McKinnon |  Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Cathy Sakas |  Coastal Naturalist

Marie Lorenz |  Artist, Tide and Current Taxi

by Rachel Parish and Sarah Cameron Sunde

Presented by Flux Projects in partnership with the South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA)

Follow the River Journey

Follow along as Parish and Cameron Sunde journey from the South River tributary in Atlanta’s Browns Mill Golf Course to the Atlantic Ocean at Sapelo Island.  They will share their adventure through daily livestreams at atlantatotheatlantic.com.

Each evening the artists will record their reflections on the day in a dispatch being broadcast on Wave Farm Radio.  These will be archived and accessible in the drop down “audio” button on the right of the Wave Farm page linked below.

Project Overview

Beginning in Atlanta, the South River flows southeast to the Atlantic Ocean, yet many Atlantans have never heard of it. Classified as the fourth most endangered river in the United States by American Rivers in 2021, Atlanta to the Atlantic aims to foster awareness of the South River and its environmental health by bringing people into closer relationship with its waters that run through their neighborhoods.

A two-stage project, artists Rachel Parish and Sarah Cameron Sunde will first journey hundreds of miles on the river to the Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards, they will return to create a series of temporary public art installations in three Atlanta neighborhood parks: Arthur Langford, Jr. Park, Kirkwood Urban Forest, and Perkerson Park.

The Journey: Launching mid-May, Parish and Sunde will spend over five weeks traveling by kayak and foot along the waters of the South River, from its beginnings in southeast Atlanta to Sapelo Island. A durational work, their journey will take them from the South River (aka Weelaunee) to the Ocmulgee, then along the Altamaha and finally to the Atlantic Ocean.

To highlight the interconnectedness of Georgia’s urban and rural communities, Parish and Sunde will invite engagement from local communities along the way. Documenting this journey through video, audio, drawing, and writings, their observations will construct a dynamic portrait of the human and natural communities that are united by this vital waterway.

The Installations: In the fall of 2025, their project will culminate with a series of temporary installations along the tributaries in three Atlanta neighborhoods. These installations (and supporting programs) will highlight the presence of the waterway, offer opportunities for recreation and reflection, and incorporate elements of the collective portrait that emerged along the journey.

Both a physical and artistic journey, Atlanta to the Atlantic seeks to bring residents in closer relationship with the water flowing through their neighborhoods, while strengthening community understanding of how to improve the river’s water quality and enhance the health of our environment.

Photos of the South River tributaries courtesy of the artists: a tributary running under Memorial Drive, reflections in the water at Southside Park, tributary running through Browns Mill Park

Subject to change

Saturday, May 18 – Wednesday, May 22
South River, Atlanta – Jackson Lake

Thursday, May 23 – Monday, May 27 
Ocmulgee River, Jackson Lake – Macon

Tuesday, May 28 – Monday, June 3
Ocmulgee River, Macon- Hawkinsville

Tuesday, June 4 – Saturday, June 15
Ocmulgee/Altamaha River, Hawkinsville to Lumber City

Sunday, June 16 – Saturday, June 22
Altamaha River, Lumber City – Darien

Sunday, June 23- Wednesday, June 24
Altamaha River/ Atlantic Ocean, Darien to Sapelo (then possibly Gray’s Reef)

Interested in joining Parish and Sunde for part of their journey?  Find out more here>

FLOW

Atlanta to the Atlantic is part of FLOW, a multi-year series designed to explore Atlanta’s history with water, how it has shaped our city and the potential it holds for our future. FLOW engages issues of conservation, equity, and urban design through installations and performances around the city.

About the Artist

Atlanta to the Atlantic is created by artist duo Rachel Parish and Sarah Cameron Sunde.

An Atlanta-based interdisciplinary artist, Rachel Parish works with diverse ecologies of collaborators, including humans, non-humans, and their histories.  Whether creating performances in London, developing art-based compassion trainings with the NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team, or designing creative placemaking programs in Atlanta, her work draws from conceptual and social practice, bringing together complex and often divided communities to guide them through collaborative co-creative processes.

Parish’s visual and performance art has been shown at venues internationally including Tate Britain, de Young Museum, Lyric Hammersmith, Battersea Arts Centre, and the Woodruff Art Center, as well as in public spaces such as train stations, community centers, homes for the elderly, streets, and in schools.

Parish is currently a Spillways Fellow at Antenna (New Orleans), the Inaugural Artist in Residence at the Vlerick Business School (Belgium), and a Scholar-in-Residence with Art on the Atlanta BeltLine.

A New York-based interdisciplinary artist and director, Sarah Cameron Sunde works in performance, video, conceptual and participatory public art — investigating scale and duration in relation to the human body, water, ecological crisis, and deep time. She was awarded a 2021 John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Fellowship to complete her series of nine performances and video works made on six continents: 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea (2013 – 2022).

Sunde’s work is part of an emerging field of environmental art made on, in, and with water and is presented nationally and internationally. Solo exhibitions include The Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, GA), Oude Kerk (Amsterdam) and Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery (Auckland). Other honors include MAP Fund, Princess Grace Award, NYSCA, NEA, and ongoing support from Invoking the Pause. She is Jon Fosse’s American-English theatrical translator/director, instigator/co-founder of Works on Water, and a Cultural Leader with the World Economic Forum.

South River Watershed Alliance

The South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA ) is a female and BPOC-led environmental organization committed to the ecological restoration of the South River for the benefit of nature and people. Founded in 1999, SRWA is the only organization working to restore the river, and is dedicated to environmental justice and the protection of the South River. Partnerships are critical to the continual advancement of SRWA’s efforts and programs, which have made strides through community outreach and advocacy, critical greenspace protection, water quality monitoring programs, improving public access, increasing recreational use, and strategic legal action.

Support

This project is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and Georgia Council for the Arts.  Additional programming is supported by the LUBO Fund. Equipment provided in part by Westbrook Supply Company.

We are also grateful to the following individuals and organizations who have contributed directly to the project:

Cary Aiken / Joy Appel / Arabia Mountain National Historic Area / Kevin Austin / Allie Bashuk / Jennifer Brooks / Anne Archer Dennington / Nicky Cohen & Simon Dibley / Katie DiGiovanna / Edward Galloway / Adriana Guiman / Courtney Hartnett / Lisa Henderson / Birgit Huppuch / Jane Jackson / Jenkins/Lefkowicz Family /  Kelly Jordan / Abe Kruger / Margaret Kaplan / Mary Swan Lamar / Laura Lieberman / Robbin Marcus / Birgit & David McQueen / Rosalind Minkhorst / Opal Moore / Dorothy O’Connor / Kathleen O’ Shea / Hannah Palmer / Timothy Renjilian / Mary Angela Taglia / Norman Teague / Angela West / Gail Jane Whatley / Steven Williams / Kathleen Wright / Donjenna Yokley

Thank you to the following for supporting the river journey with supplies and technical support:

Oru Kayak / Eddyline / Southeastern Paddlesports / Astral Designs / Aqua Bound / Westbrook Supply Company / UnlimitedIRL / NRS / Arro-Mark / Bahen Privett / Ann Kristin Lapidos / Lise Stahl / Marianna de Nadal / Attilio Rigotti

Thank you to the following for participating in the river journey as guides on the water and support crew along the bank:

Suzanne Welander, Author, Canoeing & Kayaking Georgia / Tom Welander / Margaret Spalding, South River Watershed Alliance / Stephen Morris, local guide, moderator of Kayak Georgia FaceBook Group / Daniel English & DJ English, Jackson Lake Rentals / Adam Heagy, Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions / Madison Green, Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions / Quint Rogers, Peach State Fly Fishing / Kit & Mary Carson / Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia / Polly Sattler / Whit Evans / Janisse Ray, Author / David Flaherty, Division Manager, Parks Division, Dekalb County, Georgia / Terry Alexander, Sugar Creek Golf & Tennis / Green River Campsites, Dames Ferry, Georgia / Scott Taylor, Three Rivers Outdoors / Cindy Dennard, SouthEast Adventure Outfitters / Paul Medders, Georgia Department of Natural Resources / Adam McKinnon, Georgia Department of Natural Resources / Cathy Sakas, Naturalist, Founding Chair, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

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