The MARTA Mural
This striking, friendly work by the Milagros Collective (Joey Filastre and Felici Asteinza) represents a real community effort. It required input and approval from many different groups: City of Decatur, Decatur Arts Alliance (which makes art happen all around the city, all year long, and produces the Decatur Arts Festival every Memorial Day weekend), Decatur Housing Authority, MARTA, Oliver House Residents, Swanton Hill, Trinity Walk and Allen Wilson Terrace neighbors, the Decatur Tourism Bureau, and the Task Force for Global Health. There were numerous community input sections, a juried artist selection process, and meetings with the artists. The result is this striking mural, at the western gateway of the city. Watch the video here.
In Decatur, everywhere you look you'll find art. The Decatur Artway sculpture exhibit, a joint project of the City of Decatur and Decatur Arts Alliance, places 10 works around the city for two years, each. Find them all around the square and throughout Oakhurst. Get the inside scoop on each work and where you can find them at here.
Something We Had to Go Through
This piece by Alabama artist James Davis, was installed in the first phase of the Decatur Artway early in 2017, and seemed at home at its spot at the corner of Church and Sycamore streets. After two years, the city purchased it, and It will remain here as part of the streetscape.
Several Decatur property owners made their walls available to selected artists participating in Atlanta’s Living Walls Conference. Originally intended to be temporary, all but one of the Decatur works are still visible. Each adds color to the fabric of the community.
And another cool mural
This mural, on a retaining wall at Scott Park behind Decatur Recreation Center (231 Sycamore St.), was painted by two-time Caldecott winner Chris Raschka and graphic artist Bob Staake, as part of an effort to encourage children to turn off the TV and go outside to play. The project was spearheaded locally by Decatur Active Living and Little Shop of Stories.
The City's Collection
The City of Decatur has an extensive collection of art works on display around the city, ranging from the familiar sculptures installed around the square to pieces purchased at the Decatur Arts Festival over the years. These works are on display in various buildings and offices, and are featured in Art Walk events to make them as accessible as possible.
The complete collection has been cataloged and photographed, and the images and descriptions are available for viewing here: publicartarchive.org/search/apachesolr_search/decatur
The City of Decatur commissioned two custom-created benches to honor the memory of Alma Fleetwood, a much-loved civil servant who wove her way into the fabric of the community with her cheerful outgoing nature and a winning and ever-present smile. The city created the Alma Fleetwood Spirit Award to honor each year a city employee, resident, or business owner who embodies the spirit of Alma – someone who always has a smile, who is willing to stop and listen, who will share a story and who serves a community he or she loves. Alma began her career with the City in 1995 as a crossing guard at College Heights Elementary School, where the bench pictured here is placed.
Favorites Around the Square
Valentine by George Lundeen (left)
This bronze sculpture, located in front of the Old Courthouse, reflects the enduring love shared by two people. The artist completed a sculpture of this couple early in their life together and revisited them years later for this piece.
Celebration by Gary Price (center)
Dedicated to Mayor Emerita Elizabeth Wilson as a thank-you for her years as a community leader and more years serving as the city's first African-American commissioner, and then mayor, this work is a popular spot for photos and, in the warm months, for cooling off. Its upper pedestal includes a misting fountain.
Thomas Jefferson by George Lundeen (right)
This sculpture of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, sits in front of the Old Courthouse and is dedicated to the memory of U.S. Senator Paul D. Coverdell (1939-2000). Senator Coverdell devoted his life and career to the principles of liberty set forth by Thomas Jefferson.
Commodore Stephen Decatur 1779-1820
The City of Decatur was named in honor of Commodore Decatur, an early 19th century U.S. naval hero. This bust of the commodore was presented to the City by the Decatur Lions Club. It can be seen on the Roy A. Blount Plaza (also known as the MARTA Plaza) near the Old Courthouse.