From Midtown Alliance
BY ELLIE HENSLEY
Midtown is taking a giant leap forward in making its streets more fun and welcoming with the addition of a frog mosaiculture sculpture, on loan from the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
The frog has a new pad at the corner of West Peachtree and 10th Streets, where it will welcome visitors entering the district through early 2022.
The frog sculpture was originally featured in the garden’s 2013 Imaginary Worlds exhibit. The frog’s feature in Midtown is the first time the Atlanta Botanical Garden has displayed a sculpture anywhere outside of its grounds.
The sculpture is modeled after a native Lemur frog from Central America - it is found only in Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama. Currently on the endangered species list, the Lemur frog has lost more than 80 percent of its population in Panama and is on the decline in Costa Rica. Lemur frogs are bright green during the day and turn brown when they hunt at night.
More than 1,500 plants cover the metal frame of the frog, which will be cared for weekly by the garden’s horticulture team. The plants on the frog are Alterananthera “True Yellow” and Dichondra argentea “Silverfalls,” and its lilypad is covered in moss.
"The Atlanta Botanical Garden is excited to partner with the Midtown Alliance in bringing creativity and art to our city for all to enjoy,” said Mary Pat Matheson, the Anna and Hays Mershon President and CEO of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. “We are especially happy to provide a Lemur Frog, resplendent in succulent plants, to showcase how nature, horticulture and art can come together in one perfect combination! Enjoy Midtown!"
The frog’s lilypad on the traffic island at West Peachtree and 10th has been surrounded by new plants that are hardy and drought-resistant, and these will be cared for by Midtown Alliance’s Midtown Green team. A striking combination of Yucca “Color Guard,” Setcreatea “Purple Heart,” Juniper “Sea Green,” and Paniccum “Northwind” provide a lush habitat for Midtown’s largest amphibian.
“It’s amazing the amount of teamwork it takes to create a gateway feature like ‘Frog Island’ and we are fortunate to have the talent on staff to help maintain this beautiful and sustainable landscape enhancement,” said Ginny Kennedy, Midtown Alliance Director of Urban Design.
The frog will also mark the southernmost entrance to Art Walk, a forthcoming half-mile pedestrian promenade and linear park between the Midtown and Arts Center MARTA Stations. The first phase of Art Walk will be implemented by Midtown Alliance and partners between 10th Street and 11th Street along Peachtree Walk. Construction is estimated to begin in late 2021. Follow the Art Walk’s progress here.
Midtown's newest public installation was defaced over the weekend. Read this story about how our public safety resources and relationships with partners achieved swift resolution to the mischief. This is a timely example of how Midtown Blue and our community partners work together, and how the district functions at its very best when we all pitch in to keep the public realm in good shape.