- Avery Newmark For the AJC
Atlanta is quickly becoming a city rich in street art − from the Forward Warrior assembly each summer in Cabbagetown to the connective fiber between art and urban development provided by Living Walls − our intown experience is increasingly colored by the muralists and street artists working here.
Living Walls, a public art project that promotes public and street art in Atlanta, has brought more than 100 projects to the city.
Though there are countless examples to choose from, here are six great murals you may not know about airbrushed all over our fair city:
Laura Calle Memorial Mural
Wylie Street, Cabbagetown
Across the street from 97 Estoria is a painted mural honoring the late Laura Calle, who served as the programming director of Living Walls and was among Atlanta's promising arts advocates. The mural was crafted by New Jersey-based street artist Lunar New Year in 2015, the year Calle died.
Beatlab, Little 5 Points
SKIE, a lifelong artist that specializes in graffiti/typography, fine arts and comic book illustration, has been painting murals for more than 15 years. At Beatlab, the Ren and Stimpy mural pays homage not just to the 1990s television cult classic, but also grants a subtle nod to Atlanta rap act Run the Jewels, via the two-handed logo tattooed to Stimpy's belly. Another Run the Jewels work by SKIE can be seen in the parking lot at 97 Estoria. Beatlab is in the shopping center across the street from Sevananda in L5P, around back.
Wylie Street, Cabbagetown
Lauren Pallotta is the painter, muralist and graphic designer behind the statuesque female figure painted along the walls of Wylie Street in Cabbagetown. Pallota, who is also the organizer of Moreland Mural Project says of her efforts, "I am enchanted with symbols and language and more specifically, their impacts on culture and gender... My current body of work combines portraiture with abstracted objects that represent transition, vulnerability, and cultural displacement." Blue Dancer is just a little to the left of the Laura Calle mural on Wylie Street.
Next to Langhorn Street on the Beltline
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks is a folk artist from “way down in the American South,” according to his blog. Those who have ever strolled the BeltLine might be familiar with his work on "The BeltLine Bears," which is fashioned after the Atlanta Beltline that loops Atlanta together, Though those looping bears may be visible to the city’s art savvy, it might be easy to miss that Brooks is responsible for much more of Atlanta's art.
Black Cat Tips' work is formatted in a unique way to resemble roadside oddities and country handmade signs. Look around and you'll start to notice the bear heads, street poems (tacked up on telephone poles) and other quirky art cultivated by Brooks. NOTE: To see this mural you’ll have to get out of your car. If you turn onto Langhorn from Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, it’s on the left before the raised median begins. There’s a small sign on a tree pointing to it. It’s on the side of the wall that faces away from the street.
209 Mitchell St. SW
It's hard to believe that it's been more than six years since anonymous street artist ROA came to Atlanta to give Mitchell Street its famous (and gigantic) alligator mural during the Living Walls Conference of 2011. Little is known about the Belgian muralist, though the work he does elsewhere in the world − including in cities like London, New York, Moscow, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Paris − shed light into his craft. ROA's works often feature larger than life murals of animals local to the region they appear in, painted in grayscale colors with attention to detail and a knack for capturing the creature’s spirit.
Ponce De Leon Avenue, Old Fourth Ward
You may have heard about a lawsuit filed against Atlanta over its regulation of murals on private property. The city has now backed off on what many believe was an unreasonable and heavy handed approach to art. That’s a good thing but it came too late for the conflicted couple above. No matter what your opinions are on gentrification in Atlanta, you should lament the passing of this comical scene by Chris Veal. Veal removed this mural, which was down the street from Ponce City Market after being contacted by the city recently.