Tag Archives: Georgia Murals

Mr. Fish Fry King, Cordele

This a soul food-seafood restaurant. The murals are nice.

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Filed under --CRISP COUNTY GA--, Cordele GA

Holley Mural Dedication, Lumpkin

Ezekiel and Lonnie Holley

On 24 July 2021 I was honored to attend the dedication of a mural designed by nationally renowned artist Lonnie Holley and painted by his son Ezekiel, on the side of the Singer Hardware building on the square in Lumpkin. Mr. Holley’s work is often classified as Outsider Art, though The New York Times called him “the Insider’s Outsider”.

The work actually comprises two individual works of art. The image on the left is “Born into Color”, and the image at right is “Black in the Midst of the Red, White, and Blue”.

According to his website, Lonnie Holley began working by the time he was five years old. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1950, and lived in a whiskey house, the state fairgrounds, and several foster homes. Holley notes that his early life was chaotic and he never got to experience a real childhood. Perhaps this explains why the artist has such an infectious good spirit today.

Also from Mr. Holley’s website: Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. Holley’s sculptures are constructed from found materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. Objects, already imbued with cultural and artistic metaphor, are combined into narrative sculptures that commemorate places, people, and events. His work is now in collections of major museums throughout the country, on permanent display in the United Nations, and been displayed in the White House Rose Garden. In January of 2014, Holley completed a one-month artist-in-residence with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, Florida, site of the acclaimed artist’s studio.

A nice crowd turned out for the dedication and braved excessive heat for the opportunity to meet Mr. Holley.

This young man kicked off the ceremony with a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem.

Annie Moye, who organized the event and helped secure the mural, speaks at the dedication.

Mike McFalls, an Associate Professor of Art at Columbus State University and Director of Pasaquan, gave context about Mr. Holley’s place in the art world and a brief overview of his life and career.

Spontaneity was the order of the day, and Mr. Holley was quick to join the improvisational street dance and shared some good moves with the crowd.

Carlonie Holley putting the finishing touches on her chalk art

Mr. Holley also took time to visit with anyone who was so inclined and personally answered many questions from those in attendance.

He also gave a demonstration of his process to local 4-H members.

The hand of the artist

I want to personally thank Annie Moye for inviting me to document the event and to give a special thanks to Lonnie, Ezekiel, and the entire Holley family for allowing me to photograph them. They were really nice folks and I’m honored to have had the opportunity.

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Filed under --STEWART COUNTY GA--, Lumpkin GA

DeLamar Hardware Company Murals, Hawkinsville

The Chero-Cola mural, as well as the Dutch Boy Paints and store murals have been nicely restored on this commercial block in downtown Hawkinsville. It is presently home to Batts Drug Company.

 

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Filed under --PULASKI COUNTY GA--, Hawkinsville GA

Conner’s Food Store & Hardware, Pineview

 

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Filed under --WILCOX COUNTY GA--, Pineview GA

Commercial Block, Hoboken

This is the only significant historic commercial structure still standing in Hoboken. The excellent Coca-Cola mural, added in recent years, notes that Georgia’s favorite soft drink has been “refreshing Hoboken since 1905”.

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Filed under --BRANTLEY COUNTY GA--, Hoboken GA

Lee Drug & Supply Company, Plainfield

During the heyday of Plainfield, the community was large enough to support a pharmacy and other businesses. The old Coca-Cola mural identifies this typical business block as home to the Lee Drug Company and the Lee Supply Company.

The supply company was located in the rear of the building and was in operation long after the pharmacy.

The commercial properties in town are now owned by Mr. H. Kingsley, a self-made entrepreneur who came to the U.S. from Sierra Leone 36 years ago. He hopes to be able to save the structures. I had a nice conversation with him while I was photographing the community.

 

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Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Plainfield GA

Mason’s Jewelry Mural, Dawson

Dawson Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --TERRELL COUNTY GA--, Dawson GA

Historic Warehouses, 1907, Valdosta

These derelict warehouses are well-known landmarks in downtown Valdosta. Multiple tenants have occupied them over the past century.

The W. L. Wisenbaker Company, wholesale grocer, was one of the earliest tenants. Others have included the Thomas Dekle Hardware Company, Valdosta Paper Company, Pearce & Skinner, and Mutual Candy Company.

The ghost signs are popular with photographers.

Valdosta Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --LOWNDES COUNTY GA--, Valdosta GA

Dedication of Morris Abram Mural, Fitzgerald

I was honored to be at the ceremony dedicating a mural to one of Fitzgerald’s most accomplished native sons, Morris Berthold Abram (19 June 1918-16 March 2000). Mr. Abram was an attorney and tireless civil rights advocate who notably argued the case before the Supreme Court that ended the county unit system in Georgia that gave rural votes equal value with urban votes. The system was a juggernaut which allowed discrimination at the voting booth and gave undue power to local political bosses. The decision essentially ended voter segregation by upholding the principle of “one man, one vote”. I remember very well that many people in my hometown didn’t have a great opinion of Abram for his “meddling” in local affairs, but as a teenager I read his autobiography, The Day is Short, and developed a great respect for the man. Among Abram’s numerous accomplishments: He was appointed first general counsel to the Peace Corps by President Kennedy and served on various commissions under four more presidents; president of the American Jewish Committee; president of Brandeis University; chairman of the United Negro College Fund. My friend Richard Owens fondly recalled: Morris was George H. W. Bush’s ambassador in Geneva when I started my UN job there in 1991. It was phenomenal to have a Ben Hill-Irwin connection to a man of such stature and courage. His dinner table was famous for encouraging often-spirited debates among people from very different backgrounds and perspectives.

Penson Kaminsky, a lifelong friend of my family and scion of  one of Fitzgerald’s oldest Jewish family’s, gave the invocation.

The dedication was done in conjunction with Georgia Cities Week and I must say that I was very proud of my hometown for the great job they did honoring Mr. Abram.

Fitzgerald mayor Jim Puckett presented a proclamation to Ruth Abram, daughter of Morris Abram, who was in Fitzgerald with her son, Noah Abram Teitelbaum. Ruth has been an advocate for numerous good causes and is quite accomplished in her own right. She conceived and directed the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, one of New York City’s most visited museums, and has been a tireless advocate for women’s history and scholarship. She’s also the author of Send Us a Lady Physician: Women Doctors in America 1835-1920. She recalled  her father’s time in Fitzgerald, and the challenges of a poor immigrant Jewish family in early-20th-century South Georgia. It was quite moving, with Noah giving voice to his grandfather’s words.

Noah Abram Teitelbaum and Ruth Abram unveiling the plaque detailing Morris Abram’s work and accomplishments.

I had a great time talking to mural artist Dylan Ross, whose work you may already know. Dylan has quickly become one of Georgia’s most sought after muralists.

Clark Stancil, of the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, designed the mural using archival images.

 

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

Railroad Mural, Fitzgerald

Railroads were integral to the settlement of Fitzgerald in the late 1890s and for much of its history have been one of its main economic components. The city commissioned Dylan Ross to create this colorful mural. You may recall Dylan as the artist behind the brilliant Andy Griffith Show mural in Broxton.

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA