‘Pop-up Project’ turns abandoned Coosa Mill into art installation
At the heart of a new development on Chattanooga’s south side, Mill Town, is the old abandoned Coosa Mill, and for this past weekend and next, it will be transformed into an interactive art experience.
Ethan Collier is the visionary and developer behind the new southside development Mill Town.
Collier sees the unexpected beauty in the abandon Coosa Mill he purchased about three years ago. He saw an opportunity through new a collaboration with local artist group Pop up Project to breathe life into the venue and bring a crowd in to appreciate the eclectic space
“Okay, so we’re in Mill Town, which is a 40 acre development on Chattanooga, south side, and we’re between the blocks of Main Street and 19th Street, Dodds and Lyerly. So, we have over 40 acres here for over 700 homes. As a part of that is the Coosa Mill, a 350,000 square foot abandoned warehouse that is coming to life all next weekend,” said Collier. “The Pop-up Project is activating the space with some of the most incredible performing arts that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The folks that have been here have had an incredible time seeing stuff that they’ve never seen. It’s an experience like none other in Chattanooga.”
The show titled “If These Walls Could Talk” is an epic, immersive arts experience in the abandon mill. Jules Downem is one of the masterminds behind the installation. She said there was an amount research into the Coosa Mill history that went into the show.
“So the Pop-up Project is a nonprofit production company in Chattanooga. Our mission is to build an arts economy here that can really pay artists to do big epic work, collaboratively, across genres. So we focus on dance, we have a dance company of 20 amazing dancers. We bring in musicians, lighting designers, hair and makeup, and costumers to do big immersive events,” said Downem. “It’s kind of a dream venue. It’s gorgeous. It has an amazing history. So, yeah, it’s kind of like a dream opportunity to come bring and create dance in this space. The show is about the history of the mill. The show is about the history. So part of our process, because we really like to do site specific work, we really like to dig into the history of wherever we’re working. We started this process by doing research, archival research. We interviewed people that used to work here, then we wrote a dance show based on that. So it’s not pantomime, but the inspiration comes from all of that history and the stories that we found.”
There are nearly 40 artists all are local and all are being compensated for their performance.
The show kicked off this weekend but if you missed out on this unique experience you have a couple more chances to participate November 18th and 19th at 7:30 pm, and November 20th at 2pm.
For tickets you can visit Coosamill.com