(This year’s Spotlight on Local Talent series highlights some of the artists being exhibited on our Public Art Project “The Georgia FENCE” on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside trail. Every Tuesday at noon in October, check our Instagram live for a brief interview that will illuminate the stories behind these compelling photo projects and connect you with these exceptional local artists.)
In 1912 Julius Rosenwald, a child of Jewish immigrants and co-owner of Sears, Roebuck & Company, and Booker T. Washington, a former slave and founding principal of Tuskegee Institute, launched an ambitious program to partner in building public schools in Black communities across the segregated South. This watershed moment in the history of philanthropy drove dramatic improvement in African American educational attainment and educated the generation who became leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement.
The work documents the architectural remains of some of the remaining schools and portraits of people with compelling connections to these schools. These photographs tell of diverse Americans coming together across divides of race, religion, and region. It is a story that demonstrates that our individual actions can, indeed, make a difference.
About the Artist
Andrew Feiler is a fifth generation Georgian. Having grown up Jewish in Savannah, he has been shaped by the rich complexities of the American South. Andrew has long been active in civic life. He has helped create over a dozen community initiatives, serves on multiple not-for-profit boards, and is an active advisor to numerous political leaders. His art is an extension of his civic values.
Andrew's photographs have been featured in Slate, Lenscratch, Oxford American, The Bitter Southerner, and on NPR. His work has exhibited at such venues as the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (Memphis), Octagon Museum (American Institute of Architects) (Washington), and the International Civil Rights Center & Museum (Greensboro, NC).