A section of the Atlanta Beltline turned yellow overnight in a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement gaining momentum across the country.
Street artists painted the movement’s slogan in large yellow block letters on the Eastside Trail. The mural, which was seemingly completed sometime Thursday night, sits in view of nearby New Realm Brewing and Ponce City Market.
In a statement released Friday, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta Beltline said the newest addition was not commissioned by the organization in charge of the popular trail.
“Although we did not commission or sanction this artwork along the corridor, we are in complete support of the dialogue that our creative community is generating at such a momentous time in our history,” said Twanna Harris. “The Atlanta BeltLine is a catalyst for building bridges, connecting communities and uniting our city.”
While it’s unclear if the unsanctioned message will remain on the trail, the fact that it was painted on Juneteenth was not lost on Beltline officials.
“Right now, there is a much-needed conversation happening in our country and around the world,” the statement read.
The artwork is fashioned in the same style as the mural commissioned by city leaders in Washington, D.C. The original yellow letters stand 50-feet tall and have been the inspiration for similar murals in cities around the U.S.
Atlanta’s version spans the width of the Beltline’s paved walking and biking path. It joins another, smaller “Black Lives Matter” mural set against the city skyline. Among the words are tributes to several high-profile deaths of black people, including the recent police killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
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Nearby, an installation of about two dozen iron beams is also freshly emblazoned with the initials “BLM” in white paint.
Walkers and bikers on the Beltline on Friday stopped to admire the art and take photos.
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