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Monday March 1st, 2021 11:13PM

Buttons in Gwinnett celebrate the creativity, and the history, of the community

By Kimberly Sizemore Anchor/Reporter
  Contact Editor

If you have seen some 6’ tall buttons when you were driving around Gwinnett County, you may have wondered exactly what that’s all about. If you haven’t seen them, it won’t be long before you will.

Button Art is a non-profit organization committed to bringing creativity to Gwinnett County and further the love of public art. So, as part of that mission, they are working with the community to install art installations in the form of a button.

“It’s our job to create and manage and install these six-foot tall button shapes with original artwork on each of them throughout the county,” says Amanda Shelnutt, arts collaboration director with Button Art.

They recently unveiled two new ones at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth. These buttons were made possible by a grant from the Gwinnett Creativity Fund. There’s a jazz musician featured on one of the buttons, created by artist Bill Stevens.

The second latest button is on the same property but in front of the Hudgens Center for the Arts. This one is a chalkboard button, meaning it can be drawn on and erased multiple times. “This is meant to be interactive,” says Shelnutt. “It can be a platform for a temporary art installation. It can be something collaborate with community members so they can write their own thoughts or prayers or wishes upon it. We are putting it out there to write notes of thankfulness and gratitude on it right now.” This button is one of several that will allow for community participation.

These are just two new buttons unveiled, but there have already been ten other buttons installed. The goal is to have 200 buttons placed all over Gwinnett County in the next few years. Why 200? Shelnutt explains how the buttons came about and how it was decided that 200 was the target number.

“Gwinnett County was named for Button Gwinnett. He was one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence. When we were trying to come up with an idea, it made sense that we use the button,” says Shelnutt. “Then Gwinnett County had it’s 200th birthday a few years ago and that’s when it was decided we should have 200 buttons, as part of that celebration.”

So far, 10 others have already been installed; one stands at the Gwinnett Justice Administrative Center, several have been installed at Peachtree Corners and two are in Lilburn.

Several others are already planned for area businesses. According to Shelnutt, it’s o.k. if the art installations are on private property, as long as the public can see them, so they are encouraging local businesses to get involved.

Shelnutt says it’s been a fun project for her, personally. “When I first heard about it, I thought, hey I could help with that! It sounds like a lot of quirky fun.” She hopes the community enjoys the art as much as she has. “It’s meant to be whimsical and inviting and positive and fun. Just to bring color and joy into the community.”

For more information on the art projects, or to see them, you can go online to buttonart.org.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Gwinnett County, duluth, Lilburn, peachtree corners, art, art exhibition, Infinite Energy Arena, art installation, Button Art
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