Get in touch with your artistic side in downtown Macon

an image of birds flying is projected on a vacant theater
"SHINE," an immersive public art experience, opens Saturday in downtown Macon. Photo by Craig Coleman

Looking for more artistic activities? Then, check out downtown Macon! With seven art galleries, daily art classes and numerous public art installations, you can find something to fill your artistic heart around every corner.

This weekend, downtown Macon is opening a new art installation.

“SHINE” is an immersive public art experience activating vacant storefronts in the heart of downtown. Featuring light and projection installations by artist Darya Fard and Mercer University art professor Craig Coleman, the experience transforms the Bibb Theatre and Newberry building into temporary works of art, showing possible new uses for these historic spaces.

An opening reception for the exhibit, hosted by NewTown Macon, will be held 7-9 p.m. Feb. 11 in Third Street Park. Join other art fanatics for live music from Bootz & Katz and the launch of downtown Macon’s newest masterpiece. “SHINE” will be on display through April 7.

Looking for other activities to help you get in touch with your artistic side? Here are some of my favorite ways to get involved in the art community in downtown Macon.

Visit a gallery

The front of the McEachern Art Center
McEachern Art Center. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

Downtown Macon is home to seven locally owned galleries. Monthly, these galleries display new exhibits, host events, teach classes and open their doors for patrons to explore. The galleries downtown are Macon Arts Alliance, stARTup Studios, The 567 Center, McEachern Art Center, Triangle Arts Macon, Macon Clay and Gallery West. You can also see fabulous art inside The Bohemian Den. I love to visit these galleries on First Friday each month when new exhibits open.

Paint on the graffiti walls

Have you ever wanted to express yourself through graffiti but didn’t know where? In downtown Macon, we have several safe places for you to paint on massive canvases and beautify your neighborhood. The walls are set up in three different alleys and have clear rules for artists. These graffiti walls allow artists to create murals or practice their graffiti skills in a practical location. During holidays and First Fridays, the graffiti walls are often turned into interactive art games for downtown patrons.

Sign up for a class

From pottery on the wheel to painting mugs while you sip coffee, downtown Macon offers arts classes to pique all of your interests. To find an available class list, go to the Downtown Macon Facebook page and look under the events tab. Some examples are paint-and-sip classes at The 567 Center, calligraphy classes at Hotel Forty Five and Fall Line Brewing Co., pottery classes at Macon Clay, and glass blowing at stARTup Studios. My favorite is the adult art camp offered at The 567 Center each summer. Pro tip: Sign up quickly for classes because they fill up fast!

Take photos with the murals

Mural featuring two older ladies and the five members of the allman brothers band
This mural, painted by artist Stephen Teller, is located on the side of H&H Restaurant. The mural pays tribute to H&H founders “Mama” Inez Hill and “Mama” Louise Hudson as well as members of the Allman Brothers Band, who frequently dined there. Photo by Matt Smith

Two words: Insta goals! Downtown Macon is fortunate to have murals placed throughout our historic streets, adding fun pops of color and unique backdrops! Some notable mural locations include the parking lot of H&H Restaurant, Terminal Station, 7th Street Salvage, Visit Macon, Mercer Music at Capricorn, and the bridge at Poplar and 6th streets. There is also a collection of murals at Triangle Arts Macon and Quill cocktail bar. Make sure to use #downtownmacon when you post your photos online.

Go on a sculpture walk

Since 2018, downtown Macon has gained up to five sculptures on its sidewalks. These public art pieces help beautify our streets and create fantastic photo opportunities. If you stop by The 567 Center, there is a map of all the sculptures offered downtown, also known as “The Sculpture Walk.” Be on the lookout for new sculptures later this year.


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