To the casual observer, the 275,000 travelers who pass through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) each day seem solely focused on getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Many of those traveling through the world’s busiest airport may not realize that, thanks to the ATL Airport Art Program, they are also walking through some of the most award-winning art exhibits in Georgia.

The mission of the ATL Art Program is to develop and integrate art, exhibits, and performances into the fabric of the airport for the benefit of passengers and employees. The Art Program has three major components: commissioning artists to create site-specific artwork, presenting rotating exhibitions, and scheduling performing arts series. Each part of the program strives to meet ATL’s goal of becoming the world’s best airport by exceeding customer expectations.

Anyone who has experienced these exhibits can attest to their impressiveness. A great deal of work is needed to maintain this level of service and, as a result, the Art Program needed a way to manage their assets in the most efficient way possible.

Caring for Valuable Assets

Managing art exhibits is not as straightforward as one might think, especially for exhibits that rotate from space to space, terminal to terminal. When was an exhibit placed? When is that exhibit due to be rotated? Where is the art inventory currently located? These are just a few examples of the information the Art Program needed to track as part of their day-to-day asset management. On top of that, it’s not just the art pieces themselves that need to be managed but also the configuration of floor spaces and exhibit cases, as well as the maintenance of infrastructure to ensure an area is functionally sufficient to properly display the exhibit.

The ATL Art Program traditionally tracked placement and maintenance activities with a series of spreadsheets and paper documents. However, as the variety and scale of the art assets grew, so did the need for a more consolidated and efficient way of managing them. The Art Program needed a better solution. With the help of GISinc, they determined that Cityworks best fit their needs.

Rotating Lifecycles

During the summer of 2017, GISinc worked with ATL to implement Cityworks Server AMS for both the art and signage departments. The approach included not only the installation and configuration of Cityworks, but also the configuration of a GIS infrastructure to accommodate the data needed to visualize the spatial distribution of the program’s assets.

In some ways, the ATL configuration is not very different than the way most Cityworks users track water, sewer, or street assets. Service request templates track any reported issues with the exhibits and exhibit spaces; work order templates track the installation, repair, and reinstallation of those exhibits; and inspection templates ensure the displays are kept in proper working order.

Cityworks helps the Art Program track the costs associated with maintaining the art exhibits, as well as the fabrication costs for new exhibit cases and supporting infrastructure. Work order templates even track the creation of promotional materials and brochures for each art exhibit.

Cityworks is being used to monitor the full lifecycle of each exhibit—from the time it is received, throughout its time on display, and finally to its removal. Where this differs from many other asset types is that the asset’s lifecycle can restart with its redeployment to another area within the airport. Once that occurs, the same work process is used, allowing the art department to get a holistic view of each asset within its inventory. 

On the Horizon

The Art Program, with the help of the ATL GIS department, is currently developing a work process to better track the whereabouts of art exhibit assets not on display. This process will involve action items within the Cityworks application, as well as work processes performed within the GIS to update the asset status and allow the user to easily identify what is currently deployed versus what is held in reserve for future use.

The Art Program also hopes to expand the use of Cityworks to support their procurement. This would include tasks that track the commissioning of art exhibits, communication with the artists, and the recording of financial interactions during that process.

As the Art Program grows, Cityworks will be there to help its users manage their assets in the most efficient way possible, allowing the team to focus on the art itself and on creating a more enjoyable experience for the many travelers who pass through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport each day.

By Thomas Wilson, GISP, Cityworks Architect, Geographic Information Services, Inc. (GISinc)


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