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David Hale’s “Birdsong” Mural Panels Up For Auction Oct. 1

Located on the exterior wall of Epiphany Athens across from the 40 Watt Club, David Hale’s mural, “Birdsong,” was funded in 2016 by an AthFest Educates grant to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the AthFest Music & Arts Festival. With assistance from student artists Kalib Hubbard, Sam Watson, Mara Bastow and Kiran Fernandes, Hale painted 20 Georgia songbirds on individual panels that were installed onto the wall to form a cohesive mural. 

The panels have been removed and retouched, and will be available to bid on through an online silent auction at from Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. until Oct. 10 at midnight. The starting bid for each panel is $500, with proceeds supporting AthFest Educates in its mission of funding music and arts education for local youth.

In place of “Birdsong,” Hale intends to create new mural called “Hope” in commemoration of the festival’s 25th year. The design will depict 24 swallows carrying branches to the nest of a 25th swallow.

“Swallows are seen as symbols of Hope for a number of reasons, but particularly because they signal the proximity of land for sailors crossing open ocean,” said Hale in a press release. “This year’s AthFest was supposed to be the 24th year of a festival that is deeply rooted in our community and culture. Next year offers a strange consideration if AthFest would still represent its 25th Anniversary. These are moments when Hope will carry us through and help us build a nest together to perhaps support something truly Unknown. Hope is integral to our survival, and I personally hope that this creation can be a beacon to help collectively remind ourselves that there is always a distant Shore, even if it is not always seen.” 

Hale hopes to finish the new mural by the end of October.