Athens Area Arts Council, Athens Downtown Development Authority and Lyndon House Arts Center collectively announce the selection of seven artists for the Athens Mural Alley project.
John Ahee, Tayler Ayers, Luka Carter, Maria Elias, Elinor Saragoussi Phillips, Tori Watson and Beaux Xavier. The Athens Mural Alley project proposal, submitted by Athens Area Arts Council, is funded in part by the 2020 Arts in Community Resilience Award presented by Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) and Athens-Clarke County Unified Government. Additional support is provided by the Athens Downtown Development Authority through a grant from the Georgia Main Street Innovation Grant Program, administered by the National Main Street Center, Inc. and funded by the Williams Family Foundation of Georgia.
What is the Athens Mural Alley?
The Athens Mural Alley is a walk-by, bike-by art experience, viewable from outside and perfect for social distancing.
The Athens Mural Alley committee received more than 40 applications for seven murals that will be painted on panels and mounted to the brick walls along the alley between West Clayton Street and West Washington Street. This project supports the artistic community, beautifies this commonly used pass through, and adds to the cultural landscape of downtown Athens. Here & Now 2021 was the theme presented and was open to artists over 18 years of age with BIPOC identifying and LGBTQ+ artists encouraged to apply.
What will the Murals Depict?
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, arriving in the United States at the age of 16, John Ahee has long painted iconic images of African Americans. In his mural proposal, Trailblazers (Kamala and Ruby Bridges), Ahee acknowledges these important woman in his unique painterly style.
Tayler Ayers, will complement the Mural Alley with his graphic black and white work entitled The World is a Melting Pot and there is a Plate for Everyone. “I'm 26 years old, adopted, biracial and I love to meditate. I use life and personal experiences as inspiration for my work while using my creative lens to show it to the world" says Ayers.
Reflecting on the solitude of quarantine and the fear of all things cancelled, Luka Carter is creating a mural of many aspects of things that got him through the shutdown, such as the need to slow down, honor the human connection, and provide comfort. Carter, identifies as queer/trans inter-disciplinary artist currently in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the University of Georgia.
Unidos (meaning Unity in Spanish) is Maria Elias’s mural proposal. The artist shares hope through her images of embracing figures. “The Latinx community here in Athens is being disproportionately affected by covid. I think it would be beneficial for everyone if there was to be some kind of representation of Latinx people in downtown Athens.” – Elias says.
Give Love. Together, is the mural project proposed by Tori Watson. Watson’s is a design inspired by strength and resistance against racial injustice and highlights the pride flag which was updated by Daniel Quasar to include Black, Brown, and Trans colors.
Beaux Xavier’s colorful and symmetrical image is a call to community to establish kindness towards ourselves and others. He writes “in the midst of institutional failures and a lingering sense of dread from this past year, there are still ways to resist.” Xavier is a 22 year-old Trans Black artist and wants to make all that makes the world a little more beautiful.
Elinor Saragoussi Phillips, is a full time artist living in Athens whose work can be seen on magazine covers, murals, prints and sculpture. Her dream-like night garden and cityscape mural image will explore the complexity of being a human under a “friendly moon and a sky full of stars”.
The Artist in Community Resilience Awards were distributed through ACAC to 50 local artists or organizations to complete creative projects in Athens-Clarke County as a means of support to our arts community in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of the seven muralists will receive large mural panels, an artist stipend as well as access to two months of studio space at the Lyndon House Arts Center.
For more information, please contact email@example.com or call 706-613-3623.
Didi Dunphy, Lyndon House Arts Center
Cathy Padgett, ACCGov Leisure Services