living walls…day 10

okay, right off the bat let me tell you that i went a-wall for two days, white water rafting in tennessee. and after that complete break with everything, came back to find everybody mostly done, and therefore not locatable when i went around with lunch for everyone. i ended up delivering most of the lunches back to the goat farm. plus, it rained bigtime right before lunch, so they’d scattered. no, wait. maybe that was on the monday?


so this is the wall that jaz made, and it’s a chart. he explained it to me. the trees are the way the greater atlanta area looked back in the time of the cherokee, when white people hadn’t made it this far inland yet. the yellow dots are representative of i think the land area that atlanta occupied at the time. you can’t see it, but each yellow and red bit stands for 10 years (or maybe 20), and goes up to 2020, or —-. the red diamond shape (which resembles the perimeter to me) stands for the population, and just keeps growing all around the building.


here is jaz taking a picture of the key, which says cherokee, km2, and modernism, which is way cryptic and will get people wondering.


agostino must have spent the two days i was gone painting this, because it’s finished, and very striking. he used a lift the whole time, and it’s parked out front with inti’s lift, waiting to be hauled away now that their walls are finished.


inti’s wall, finished. such a strange, peaceful image for a city where it hardly ever snows.


right next to inti’s wall, and completely unexpected, is another wall by pastel, who painted the red cows on flat shoals and moreland. you can’t see this from memorial, unfortunately, but reynoldstown residents who come that way get to gaze on this beautiful piece of work that was finished in 2 days. wow.


sam parker is doing three walls of this building. it’s a wonderful wall, unlike any of the others.


this kind of detail he painted freehand, using his pinkie to anchor his brush. such a peaceful time he must have had, filling that in. so three dimensional.


i bring lunch to the artists most days, so they love me. today i brought jim with me, and he talked to the artists while i went around snapping pictures. jim’s an artist himself, and has done many murals in his career, most of them inside tony suburban mcmansions.


joshua ray was starving when i took him lunch, up there on the ladder. he was actually talking to a dutch tourist who was looking for the martin luther king center, which is just a jog away. he’s almost finished with his wall. those white things are thought bubbles, i believe.


roti finally got his lift, and is going to town. he’s working on a hand, which is plucking at the head of radcliffe bailey’s piece from his high museum show. it’s such a lively piece. while i was there, a woman who raises horses stopped to look at the wall, not because of roti, but because her friend had emailed her a picture of the horses on the wall that were there before, and she finally stopped by to see them. she was very happy to find that roti wasn’t going to paint over them (as had been intended originally) but was using them as elements in his painting. roti didn’t stop to eat, so we talked to chris, his videographer.


here’s marcy starz’ painting, still needing a scaffold or lift to complete.


and here’s (insert name here) i t hink finished. the jar is a very interesting addition that wasn’t there on monday.


and wow (i forget) is doing another wall because the guy with the gazelles was supposed to continue onto this wall, but something came up, so (i forget) is doing a spontaneous wall. there’s jim talking to him and his assistant.


and here’s jim talking to a tourist from philly who had raggedy ann hair. he thought she looked just like the wall, so he got her to go stand in front of it and took a picture. you can’t see the unfinished part, but the wall is almost done.


trek matthews still has some of his wall to do, and i think it’s probably entirely abstract but amn’t sure.


and this is gyun hur’s wall a couple of days after they started. they’re around all four sides now, and going well. a whole team.

living walls day 5

it’s saturday, traffic was better, but there was a braves’ game yesterday that wreaked havoc with local traffic, and there’s another one tonight. i’m staying in.

today…hahaha i forget already. let me put the pictures up and then i’ll remember maybe. ah, now i have it. i helped clean up after breakfast, then took previous food out of the media room when i delivered the rest of breakfast to them. i ran some errands, maybe, oh yeah, like returning books to the library. and then i came back for a minute, until close to one when it was time to go get lunch. i was to meet sarah on the georgia hill walls, because she got lunch from Tin Drum Asiacafé, and i took lunch to my boys and the kids up on memorial. finally i went to take alex void his lunch, and them came back and took a nap. it’s the hottest day yet, and tho we had thunder, it didn’t rain. everybody’s sunburned, and i left my sunscreen at roti’s wall.


okay, i’m ashamed to say i don’t know anybody’s wall from whoosie, because i don’t have my list in front of me, and because i don’t do names. i know which one stood in an ant hill, and i know which one is allergic to cheese, stuff like that.

these first three photos are from one building, the one closest to turner field in summerhill (tho i think of summerhill as the next hill up, but maybe not)


this is the back side of the building. hey, see that umbrella they’re using? it flew off just a few minutes later. see those storms in the distance?


around the side of the same building (and i got the wall on the front side a couple of days ago, and haven’t seen any further progress), they’re working on a scissor lift and a very narrow sidewalk that makes me crazy with anxiety.


however, they’ve got a dad on the wall (like i’m the mom running around bringing everybody lunch), and he’s watching out for things. and also bringing lunch by – thanks dad!


moving up georgia avenue on the same side of the street is this wonderful painting of i’m not sure what small deerlike animal. the artist is very quick, and stands there with his music playing in his ear, grooving to his work. i hope he stopped for lunch.


here’s his working reference. i’m afraid it’s not a good shot of the picture, but it’s a photograph of wildlife.


across the street, the figure that goes around the corner. it’s coming along very nicely, and they’re doing the face now. all the plant stuff went up this morning, and there are several other artists helping out.


and they’re just starting on this wall. early in the morning they were buffing the blue paint on, with someone on roller and someone else jabbing the mortar with a brush. now they’re laying out the points using a tape measure.


this is the wall they painted blue a couple of days ago. it’s across the parking lot from the new blue wall just being laid out.   so far the white looks like leaves, or duck feet, or birds.  we’ll find out, probably tomorrow. there’s some more complicated stuff behind the scaffolding. nice scaffolding job, by the way. maybe it will win the prize for best scaffolding.


this is roti’s wall at edgewood and boulevard. now we’re in my district, and these are my boys, so i know their names. yay me. this morning he put up the blue whale that’s reminiscent of the wyland whale at underground atlanta, which has been there for 20 years.


unfortunately joshua ray stephens got his car broken into, and his sketchbook was stolen, a real tragedy. i hope someone realizes how important it is and returns it.


up on flat shoals and memorial, jaz (i figured out who is jaz and who is pastel only today) has almost finished the side of hte building he was working on, and is now on the other side. there is still some blue tape on the wall, so he may come back for another pass.


this is the wall he’s working on now, an apparent continuation of the other side.

passing by you will see a cop car. everybody is very pleased with the courtesy and helpfulness of our atlanta police. especially the guys from europe and south america, who have experience with police coming up to see why they’re painting on a wall. they are very impressed with out police force, so yay.


this is pastel’s wall. he’s finished it. i’ll have to get a closeup tomorrow, because in the shadows, in the woods, is a pride of lions, or tigers (but not bears). it’s a lovely wall, and i stopped to ask the locals what they thought. they were very impressed with what pastel could do with a brush on an extension wand.


then, further down on memorial, and unfortunately on the back of a condo building so you can’t see it from memorial, there’s inti’s wall. it’s not yet done, he’s doing fine textures over everything. but i really love it.

next to him, on a side of the wall you can actually see from memorial, agostino has just started his wall. he was up on a lift when i came by with lunch (i hope his assistants didn’t scarf it down ;). he’s had a hell of a trip, with all sorts of travel issues, and he’s only now getting here from italy. but bless him, he went right to it.


then, across town in castleberry hill – on peters street – there is axel void’s wall. the figure he’s doing is a little kid with one good eye, and the assistant is hard at work watching the camera take a picture every 5 seconds, for the video. the other wall he’s doing, around the corner of the wall you can see, is delayed with lighting issues. he has to work at night, because he’s projecting his images, then painting them, then buffing them, and projecting another image and repeat, so he’s working at night, and currently it is very badly lit, so they have to figure out how to do the lighting. he might start it tonight and it might be tomorrow, but he said he’d call me so i could go down there and see. another issue was that he needed a lift, but there are power lines everywhere, and so he couldn’t have one, and is having to make do with scaffolding and an extension. but hey, he’s game, and determined.


he drew quite a crowd, they all do. here are some kids watching him paint, while their mom was off getting them some lunch so they could hang out and watch him paint for awhile. and the gentleman was passing by. turns out he’s a percussionist, and the boy plays saxiphone, and so does axel void, so they were all having a grand time. i love atlanta.

so that was my rounds for today. they mainly started on their walls on tuesday, and it’s saturday now. they’ll work sunday of course, artists don’t practice weekends. and now i’m going to eat an early dinner and crash out because i’m old, and these kids run circles around me. plus that, it’s finally gotten hot here, and hot in atlanta is insufferable. just thank god we had such a cool wet summer until now.


living walls day 4

r 5, depending on who’s counting.

it didn’t rain today. yet. i didn’t do my homework – always read the schedule the night before, and always locate any venues you’re unfamiliar with. on the map – so i sat at the goat farm for half an hour and then did errands until it was time to pick up lunch.  this time lunch was at fabulous jason’s deli on 10th street in midtown.  it wasn’t hard to find parking, the staff was so very cool that we tipped them (which surprised them – management, they need a tip jar at the to-go counter!) and brittni and i sat there and divvied up the order to distribute to our various walls.

brittni took the georgia avenue crowd – 3ttman, elian, gyun hur, haffner + bell, know hope, marcy starz, trek matthews, and never 2501. please don’t ask me to figure out who’s who.


this is the one that goes around the corner.


and this is the one that was just sketches yesterday. i thought i was like cave painting, but he’s using a wildlife photo for his inspiration.

then i fed my own boys – roti, joshua ray stephens, and sam parker -on edgewood and irwin.


this is such a busy wall, there are always folks hanging out.


roti. such an interesting use of the negative space of the previous murals.


joshua ray’s coming along nicely.


sam parker. he’s doing lovely details inside the circles. i’ll get a closeup tomorrow.

and i also fed the group up on memorial – agostino iacurci, inti, jaz, and pastel.


okay, so this is inti’s wall. i am so bad with names


and these are the murals up on flat shoals and memorial (roughly opposite tower). i’m not sure which artist is which by name, but they are jaz and pastel.


then i went back to the goat farm and picked up a ladder for axel void, who now has a new wall.

his new wall is at 345 peters street, in castleberry hill. he’s got two walls. the one facing the street is going to be a little kid with an eye patch, and the other wall is going to be a video of a cat scan. so he’s going to be working from 10 in the morning to 1 am for a couple of days, until he finishes the video, and then it’ll be the rest of the time on the main wall. he’s going to get scaffolding rather than a lift, because the building’s within 10 feet of overhead power lines, and he’ll have a helper or two to actually help him paint instead of sitting around watching, like so many of the other artist’s assistants. i’ll go out there tonight and check out how he’s doing.

and then i came home. these are kids, and will go to a pool party tonight. some of them will party hard, and then get up in the morning. as for me, if i last longer than the sun in the sky i feel like i’m being daring.


the side wall will have the video on it.


living walls 2013 – day 3

actually i’m told it’s day 4. who’da thunk’it?


one of the georgia avenue walls. this is all four sides being painted, i believe.  you ‘ll be able to see this one from the nosebleed seats of turner field.


this is the side you’ll see from the stadium.


the other side. i’m putting up photos of them because i pass these buildings at least twice a day on my rounds, so i’m getting pictures. today i just happened to deliver lunch to most of the walls, so i’ve got pictures of most of the walls…and thanks to willy’s of caroline street for the lunch. the artists and their helpers loved it, especially the tofu burritos.


another wall on georgia avenue, just being buffed. what comes next?


a little further up georgia avenue, this takes up two sides of the building. looking good.


the around the corner part.


and the whole thing.


across georgia avenue. it almost looks like a cave painting at this stage.

now i’ll go deliver lunch to my walls, with my artists. i feel such ownership hahaha. most of them don’t need any help, and the ones that do are beyond my capacity to aid.


joshua ray stephens’ wall


sam parker’s wall. this one also goes around the side. i’ll take a photo tomorrow.


roti’s wall. unfortunately i didn’t get a closeup, but he’s filling it all in. tomorrow, i think, he gets scaffolding.

then i also went around to two walls right together, and sat with them for awhile because they didn’t have any assistants. i got to wash out a couple of brushes and get some fresh rinse water, wee hah.


this wall is one of two at the corner of memorial and flat shoals


this is across the street at memorial and flat shoals.

then i delivered the rest of the food back to the staff at the goat farm.


the goat farm used to be isolated. but now there’s big huge condo complexes going up, and traffic immediately outside the entrance to the place is always entertaining, and sometimes we sit there. but hey, would i rather sit in traffic on howell mill? or on the connector? or on edgewood? what does it matter? at least this is entertaining.


back at the goat farm, axel void’s wall has some issues. he wants to use a projector, and you can’t really use it in the daytime. but the owner of the roof he has to work from to get the wall would rather he work during business hours, so either he has to modify his image (which i’d rather not see him do), or he has to get another wall. monica is busily trying to locate him one, and has been sweating over the issue all day. you would not believe the number of tiny, but absolutely crucial problems come up every single day on a project of this size.  and they’re all handling the stress so well, so cheerily. such troopers. i love working with these people.


the media guys, working on their movie clip, a montage of all the cool people and walls. and i recognize most of them now, even tho i couldn’t tell you their name if that was my job.

so, it only rained once, which was good, because it threatened with lots of thunder. and tomorrow we should be in full swing. some walls start on friday, and on saturday as well.

i’ll try to keep track.

living walls 2013 – day 2

so the guy who donates the use of their lifts and scaffolding was concerned that the artists use the equipment properly, and gave us all a lesson first thing in the morning.

which is good, because it was raining, and nobody could paint.


they use aluminum scaffolding, which is totally light and strong, and easy to work with. billy page, who is a bit of an artist himself, walked us thru it, and now we all know, at least theoretically, how to use the scaffolding.  it’s a really elegant system.


then everybody who was going to be up on lifts had to learn how to operate them, what a safety harness is, and why we need to wear them when we’re up there.  all these shining artists are waiting their turn to work the controls.  please note the evereman bag in the foreground.  this lucky artist needs to be constantly aware of that bag, because i want it.


afterwards i cruised all my walls to see how they were going. this is sam parker’s wall, and he’s moving fast on his design.


this is roti’s wall, and he was busy marking out his lines with a roller.


his plan is to use the art that is already up on the wall and do his own thing over it. so far he’s using spraypaint to make the delicate tracery. it’s really cool to watch him – i didn’t know you could use variable pressure to make lighter or darker lines. he’s a master of it. and he had quite the crowd of friends willing to stand around in the sun and watch him do it.


joshua ray stephens was well on his way.  this is the scaffolding he was working with. not a bad job, altho i’d like to see braces on the top part.  i saw his sketch for the wall, it’s going to be very interesting.


this is axel void’s wall, actually the wall is above, out of camera range.  here we have volunteers and several staff members hanging out with him for a moment. axel is having various issues with his wall, and may have to rethink his planned work. but i’ll keep you posted on that.


unfortunately i can’t tell you whose wall this is at the moment, but it’s coming along well, and will be very dramatic when it’s done.


so, it waited to rain again until the late afternoon, so everybody but axel got a chance to get some work done.

living walls 2013 – day 1

okay, the artists are all here, and they’ve seen their walls. some of them are already buffing in the backgrounds.

i went down to the goat farm this morning, bright and early. i got there before everyone, and so it was leisurely. then everyone showed up, there was plenty of donated pastries and coffee, and after awhile they all walked out to get materials out of the tool bank, and went off to their walls.


i got to take axel void and roti to their walls – i’m their chief droid – and i met joshua ray stephens and sam parker, the local artists i am also being droid for (who have their own transportation). we picked up 10 gallons of white paint, an extension ladder, and some brushes, rollers, and extensions, and drove over to edgewood.

the walls at this point (one of them isn’t assigned yet) are:


roti’s wall, at the corner of 483 edgewood and boulevard. currently it has a wonderful double horse image, and a high museum exhibit banner for radcliffe bailey’s work. roti loves the idea that there’s already work underneath, and instead of buffing the art out, he’s going to make use of it in his work. so basically he sat across the street for awhile and looked at his wall, letting inspiration strike.


axel void’s wall on 513 edgewood belongs to a law firm that works with veterans and the disabled. it’s a second storey wall. he went up there to get a photo of his wall, and is now drawing and sketching what he wants. he will also be consulting with the law firm about his image.


it’s very difficult for artists who don’t live here to figure out what to put up on a wall. both of these artists like to get to know the people in the neighborhood, hear the stories, and reflect on the peoples’ lives with their art. but they’re here for two weeks, and have to hit the ground running. so it’s very hard to strike exactly the right note in that short a time. so we talked a lot about the area, the other art, what the people are like, the changing neighborhood, the history. and since we’re blending the martin luther king historical district with the burgeoning young art scene and bordering on cabbagetown, we’re blending a whole lot of atlanta history which has not always been peaceful. which should make for some good art.


after dropping axel void back at the goat farm (across town), i came back by way of georgia avenue, where they’re putting up several walls. i’m not sure whose walls these are, but they’re coming along nicely. i’ll go back for progress pictures tomorrow, if i can.




on my way home, i dropped by joshua ray stephens’ wall, and sam parker’s wall. joshua ray is technically at 501 edgewood, but actually it’s on daniel street, and until this afternoon was a temporary art piece called before i die, which is evidently a nationwide art piece where people fill in the blanks with chalk. i got to put my wish in – to change the world – before they started buffing it, so my wish is now permanent on that wall, albeit underneath a coat of paint.


then i stopped by sam parker’s wall at the corner of irwin and randolph streets. it’s purple.


so tomorrow i’ll visit them all again, and report on the progress. i’ve seen everyone’s wall (everyone on my droid team) except for christopher derek bruno’s, and we’ll find out where he’ll be painting on saturday.

onward living walls.