Painting the Town

Atlanta puts up murals exploring the city’s civil rights legacy for Super Bowl LIII

Art East News
Local arts organization WonderRoot and the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee selected 10 artists to design murals celebrating the city's civil rights and social justice history. (Courtesy Off the Wall and the Atlanta Super Bowl HostCommittee)
Local arts organization WonderRoot and the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee selected 10 artists to design murals celebrating the city's civil rights and social justice history. (Courtesy Off the Wall and the Atlanta Super Bowl HostCommittee)

Leading up to Super Bowl LIII, Atlanta, Georgia, is being outfitted with 30 new public murals depicting the city’s strong civil rights legacy. WonderRoot, a local arts and advocacy organization, has teamed up with the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee to detail these stories in a new citywide initiative called Off the Wall: Atlanta’s Civil Rights and Social Justice Journey.

Ten artists were chosen for the seminal project and were asked to create permanent murals based on 43 separate community conversations with over 1,000 local participants this summer. The extensive public engagement process is part of Off the Wall’s five-part program which, in addition to installing the large-scale artworks, includes a public media campaign and policy push to boost awareness of Atlanta’s history and current work to advance equality.

Chris Appleton, executive director at WonderRoot, told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that hosting this national sporting event is a can’t-miss opportunity to showcase the city’s diverse cultural landscape and create lasting iconic works for the residents of Atlanta.  

“We started asking the question: How will the stories of the communities be told during the Super Bowl?” he told the Chronicle. “We started pulling on that thread: Atlanta’s legacy relationship to the civil rights movement. We had a desire to shine a spotlight on Atlanta as a beacon for hope and change.”

The murals are currently being installed around downtown Atlanta and the neighborhoods of Sweet Auburn, Vine City, English Avenue, and Castleberry Hill that surround Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the championship football game will be held on February 3, 2019. Installation of the art works will continue through the end of 2019.

Check out some of the murals here.

Related Stories