The Mystery of Stark Alley

Explore the mystery of the Stark Avenue alley. The alley, one of only two in the original 1911 Wildwood neighborhood, disappears from maps and memory by the 1950s. Alleys, important to southern geography of an older era, are often forgotten, taken for granted, or associated with illicit activity. They served important functions, like hiding utilities, and hold metaphor–for public and private life and as a signifier of race and class. These themes are readily present in Carson McCullers’ work. Her preoccupation with boundaries, the attention she gave to race and class, and her own love of place and space (and her characters’ mobile propensities) all inform our interest in the alley. The installation will be in the backyard of the Smith-McCuller’s Center from October 1 – November 1, 2017. In addition to a seventy-foot textile recreation of the alley border, we include a research-based installation in the small storage area of the home’s original carport.

This project is supported in-part through an investment from IDEA CAPITAL, a community-based pool of funds created by and for the Atlanta arts community. We are also grateful to the Welch School of Art & Design for the graduate supplemental funding grant awarded in support of this project.