An upcoming public art initiative called the Athens Mural Alley will soon beautify and enliven an otherwise overlooked downtown space. A series of murals will be painted onto primed 5-by-5 panels and installed along the alleyway that connects Clayton Street to Washington Street through entrances near Max and Classic City Cycle. The panels will join Taylor Shaw’s mural, a postcard-inspired tribute to the musical legacy of Athens, which was painted last May.
Seeking to establish a new art environment while providing pandemic recovery assistance to local artists, this project is a collaboration among the Athens Area Arts Council, Athens Cultural Affairs Commission, Athens Downtown Development Authority and Lyndon House Arts Center. The project reflects a nationwide trend of “alleyway activation” through which these narrow passages are revitalized into welcoming, vibrant spaces through aesthetic and functional improvements.
Artists are currently invited to submit design proposals that visually interpret the theme “Here & Now 2021” with inspiration drawing from “recovery, advocacy, activism, optimism and hope [or] a testament to the resiliency of our community.” This opportunity is open to residents of Athens and surrounding counties, with Black, Indigenous and people of color and LGBTQ+ artists encouraged to apply. Up to six artists will be selected, and each will receive a stipend of $750. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 15, and the panel installation is scheduled for June. Visit athensarts.org to fill out the application form.
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