The Juicers Get Artsy in South Downtown Atlanta!
On Wednesday, September 30th, 2015, the Creative Juice team met up with the Atlanta Ad Club for an educational art stroll through South Downtown. You may have seen the Mitchell Street Alligator during your commute through downtown, but are you familiar with some of the other amazing street art that South Downtown has to offer? We will walk you through the tour we took so that you can try it on your own!
We met up with the AAC at Eyedrum, an artists’ collective located at 88 Forsyth Street to enjoy their current gallery and begin our walking tour. Our first stop was the Mitchell Street Alligator, an upside down alligator mural traversing the entire side of a historic 1920’s building. Roa, the Belgian artist who created the alligator, came to Atlanta in 2011 as part of the Living Walls 2011 Conference.
Our next stop was the American Flag Mural on South Broad Street created by Tilt, a French street artist from Toulouse, France. Tilt came to Atlanta in 2011 for Elevate, an annual event created by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. The letters that form the flag are names of people Tilt visited with on the streets of Downtown Atlanta. Tilt began his graffiti career as a youngster on the streets and trains of Toulouse. Here are some fun facts about Tilt and Toulouse. Tilt creates bubbly and curvaceous letters because he feels inspired by beautiful women. Also, Toulouse and Atlanta are sister cities!
Our walking tour continued to South Broad St. and Martin Luther King Jr Drive NE, where we learned, with the help of http://thelockboss.ie about the history of this colorful block. Every wall is touched by graffiti of some kind on this street, from polka dots, to creative creatures, to a giant sentence: “I’m not a player, I just read a lot.” This intersection also boasts the location of Miller’s Rexall Drugstore, established in 1965. Known as being a new-age pharmacy, Miller’s Drugstore found new fame when Paul McCartney paid a visit in 1999. Sir Paul was in Atlanta after losing his first wife to breast cancer, and happened upon Miller’s Drugstore. He was intrigued by some of the products sold, especially by a line of bath salts called “Run Devil Run”, intended to ward off Satan. He thought that was a good title for a song, and it ended up being the title of his album. A photo of Miller’s Rexall Drugstore is the album cover!
The Juicers thoroughly enjoyed this historic art stroll through South Downtown. Downtown Atlanta has a rich and colorful history, and efforts by the city are helping to make it even more colorful. If you’ve never participated in ELEVATE, you’re in luck because the 9-day long event begins Thursday, October 15th, 2015! The Office of Cultural Affairs creates this annual event as part of its mission to instigate positive urban growth in Atlanta. Elevate is free to the public and includes over a week of fun events such as a block party featuring the artist B.o.B., art installations, and dance expressions. Elevate’s 2015 goal is to generate a heightened sense of pride in Atlanta. For more information and a schedule, please visit Elevate’s Homepage.
Want even more street art? The Juicers highly recommend the movie “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” This documentary, directed by Banksy, chronicles the street art process and weaves an interesting and surprising story of a street art phenomenon.