The Neighborhood Artist: David Landis


The Neighborhood Artist
David Landis

If you’ve seen the stainless-steel sculpture of an endangered northern white rhino on the Atlanta BeltLine near Inman Park, then you know the work of David Landis. The sculptor, who welds and casts in a studio near Turner Field, is one of the South’s most prolific public artists, with installations in libraries, gardens, and hotels throughout Atlanta and elsewhere. Though animals are a common theme, Landis’s primary goal is to make art that is both beautiful and emotionally powerful—and that captures attention. “This world we’re in now—cell phones and everything—if you can grab someone for a minute and actually make them feel something, that’s pretty rewarding,” he says. Landis is currently finishing up work on thirty-three gleaming, oversize oak leaves—one for each species in Georgia—for the BeltLine, and sculpting a series of endangered birds for a children’s hospital in Palo Alto, California. When he isn’t in his studio, you’ll find him hiking with his family at Sweetwater Creek State Park, or driving around with his sidekick, a four-year-old Catahoula mix named Baxter. “I’m a big lover of the outdoors and space,” Landis says. “It’s a needed source of rejuvenation.”