January 3, 2021 (Atlanta, GA) –
Hosea Williams, Atlanta’s beloved civil rights leader would have turned 95 on Jan 5, the day Georgians will vote in the Senate runoff. To honor Williams’ dream for universal voter participation, a joyful, grassroots, nonpartisan, public art installation has taken root in Atlanta, right at Hosea’s feet.
Under the Vote Tree initiative, Atlanta artist Fabian Willams has revitalized his iconic 4-story Hosea work with florescent paints to become the city’s first glow-in-the-dark mural. Hieroglyphics spell out the civic leader’s motto: Feed the People. The installation that has sprung-up underneath the mural features red, white, and blue yarn-wrapped trees, chalk, paint, fairy lights, and hundreds of strips of torn fabric. Community members are encouraged to add their own positive messages.
On Sun Jan 3, Vote Tree hosted a live-art juried activation, featuring established and young emerging artists, particularly women and BIPOC. In one afternoon, artists collaborated to transform a chain-link construction fence that traverses the area into a 250′ GOTV mural: Dear America: A Chain-link Love Letter From Atlanta (pass it on).
A stellar line up of judges includes muralist Fabian Williams @occasionalsuperstar, Hosea Williams’ daughter, Barbara Emerson Williams, and globally acclaimed Change The Ref artist Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was one of the 17 victims of the Parkland massacre.
Several local companies and collectives have donated materials, including Colorchrome Atlanta, the Windscreen Factory, Illuminating Design, and Mutiny Artwrx. The project is still actively crowdsourcing contributions to provide artist stipends/awards and the special uv sealant to protect Fabian’s Hosea mural. Donate: votetree.org/donate.
The socially-distanced event included live music, Janke Studios glass blowing demonstrations, Disco Zumba at dusk. Food trucks include Smoker’s Delight BBQ, the Honey Bun Cake Factory, and Academic Pizza.
All of are artists are available for interviews. Thank you for helping us honor Hosea, celebrate local artists, and create a lasting impact in Atlanta for decades to come.
Where: Under the Hosea Williams mural, behind the Studioplex parking lot, Old Fourth Ward. GPS: 22 Airline Street SE. The mural, which glows in the dark, is readily seen from the Edgewood overpass.
Vote Tree is a non-partisan public art effort spearheaded by artist/activist Jacqueline von Edelberg. The project aims to drive civic engagement, amplify community voice, and celebrate emergent artists, especially women and artists of color.
BlockPower is a nonprofit focused on maximizing black voter turnout by empowering members of the community to become paid Voting Ambassadors. These change agents reach out to friends and neighbors about the importance of voting and in turn these people commit to reminding three more people to vote – thus tripling voter turnout.
Mutiny Artwrx is Atlanta’s for profit art collective, offering artists opportunities to create and collaborate as well as sell and further their brand.
Change The Ref (CTR) was formed to empower our Future Leaders. CTR gives the kids of today the tools they need to be empowered to make changes to critical issues that affect our nation, through education, conversation, and activism. It uses urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass shooting pandemic.
Fabian Williams Video Interview above.
Credit: Jacqueline von Edelberg
Vote Tree welcomes all positive voices.
Masks and social distancing required.
If others can give up their lives for the Freedom of our people,
the least I can do is stand up and speak out! – Hosea Williams
© 2020 Forever Jacqueline von Edelberg. All rights reserved.
Make no small plans.