Discovering the best out-of-the-way murals east and west of downtown Atlanta

Jurell Cayatano's mural is tucked away toward the end of the alley to the right of Noni’s Restaurant at 357 Edgewood Ave.
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Jurell Cayatano's mural is tucked away toward the end of the alley to the right of Noni’s Restaurant at 357 Edgewood Ave.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Check out some street art gems, including some that are hard to find.

A Falcons game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium might be seen by tens of thousands. A poetry reading in a coffeehouse might be heard by ten. Street art is often the same way. Because of its prominent location, the John Lewis Hero mural towering above the downtown connector has been seen by thousands of Atlantans, but Charmaine Minniefield’s obscurely located mural on the Westside Beltline is difficult to see even for people walking or biking there. Here’s a guide to finding Minniefield’s mural and other hidden street art gems in the West End and East Atlanta (and one in Sweet Auburn).

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Lacey Longino's work at the Skylark Apartments.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Lacey Longino's work at the Skylark Apartments.
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Lacey Longino's work at the Skylark Apartments.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

1. Artist: Lacey Longino

Lacey Longino is an artist-in-residence at the Skylark Apartments complex. Her colorful work often features floral and natural themes. The artist’s bio describes her style as follows:  “She is known for bright, imaginative works that combine funky patterns with realistic portraits. Beneath the surface, the work indicates her deep attachment to family and the nostalgic concepts of ‘home.’ This mural creates a balance between realistic elements toward the bottom and stylized elements above. The sun really brings this four story-tall artwork to life for those lucky enough to catch it in the late afternoon.

Location: On the back side of the central stair tower of this building in the northeast corner of the Skylark Apartments, 1099 Boulevard.

2. Artist: Jurell Cayetano

Here’s how Brooklyn native and current Atlantan Jurell Cayetano describes his artwork: “He transforms photo references of peers and other people of color into narrative paintings full of expression and realism.” Expressionism and realism seem to be at odds with each other, but Cayetano blends these two apparent rivals masterfully. The dynamic tension generated spills over into the enigmatic subject matter — a woman sunbathing in the snow. The secluded location only intensifies the mystery.

Location: Toward the end of the alley to the right of Noni’s Restaurant at 357 Edgewood Ave. in the historic Sweet Auburn neighborhood.

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Artoberfest murals painted in 2018. A sampling of murals by four of the artists, clockwise from upper left: Killamari, Mr. Totem, Niki Zarrabi, and Chris Alvarez/Courtney Hicks

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Artoberfest murals painted in 2018. A sampling of murals by four of the artists, clockwise from upper left: Killamari, Mr. Totem, Niki Zarrabi, and Chris Alvarez/Courtney Hicks
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Artoberfest murals painted in 2018. A sampling of murals by four of the artists, clockwise from upper left: Killamari, Mr. Totem, Niki Zarrabi, and Chris Alvarez/Courtney Hicks

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

3. Artists: Killamari, Mr. Totem, Niki Zarrabi, Chris Alvarez/Courtney Hicks

In October 2018, the Mutiny Artworks collective sponsored a live mural painting event called ARToberfest where different artists painted 27 murals along a 600-foot-long wall. (This year’s ARToberfest took place Nov. 18.) The variety of the murals is impressive. Styles range from graffiti writing to whimsical fantasy, abstract and realism. This spectacular collection of murals lined up on a single wall is second only to Forward Warrior’s Wylie Street wall, but not many people know about it.

A sampling of murals by four of the artists, clockwise from upper left: Killamari, Mr. Totem, Niki Zarrabi, and Chris Alvarez/Courtney Hicks.

Location: Between buildings 1 and 2 of the MET Atlanta complex directly across from the West End MARTA station on Murphy Avenue.

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Ashley Dopson's work on the driveway of the Kipp Strive Primary School.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Ashley Dopson's work on the driveway of the Kipp Strive Primary School.
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Ashley Dopson's work on the driveway of the Kipp Strive Primary School.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

4. Artist: Ashley Dopson

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, mural activity in Atlanta had almost come to a halt, but the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 ignited a creative outpouring of protest murals. This work by teacher and muralist Ashley Dopson was our city’s 1,000th mural. Many of her works reflect the experiences of Black women through a combination of childhood joy and worldly refinement. Her “Fish are Jumping and the Cotton is High” was selected by the Cabbagetown Initiative and ATL1000 to occupy the prestigious spot at the entrance to the Krog Street Tunnel. She was featured muralist for Elevate Atlanta in 2020.

Location: This horizontal mural is painted on the driveway of the Kipp Strive Primary School at 1444 Lucille Ave. about 200 feet in from the street.

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Charmaine Minnefield's hidden mural celebrates Adrienne McNeil Herndon.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Charmaine Minnefield's hidden mural celebrates Adrienne McNeil Herndon.
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Charmaine Minnefield's hidden mural celebrates Adrienne McNeil Herndon.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

5. Artist: Charmaine Minniefield

Charmaine Minniefield’s murals often feature Black women who influenced history. This mural celebrates Adrienne McNeil Herndon, an actress, professor, activist and teacher. She was one of the first African American faculty members of Atlanta University, where she was an associate of W.E.B. DuBois. The mural also features quotes from Atlanta’s young Black women about why studying history is important. Unfortunately, the side of the building holding the mural can’t be seen from the trail. Just before the trail joins White Street, it curves to the left. Instead of following the curve, go straight for about 100 feet. That’s where the mural comes into view.

Location: Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail behind 1326 White St.

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Eric Nine's trademark elephant on the side of Union EAV in East Atlanta Village.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Eric Nine's trademark elephant on the side of Union EAV in East Atlanta Village.
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Eric Nine's trademark elephant on the side of Union EAV in East Atlanta Village.

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

Credit: Courtesy of streetartmap.org

6. Artist: Eric Nine

Unless you make a specific point of walking through the side parking lot of Union EAV, you will probably never notice this mural featuring Eric Nine’s trademark multi-colored elephant. Nine is an artist-in-residence at the Skylark Apartments. He summarizes his ethos on Instagram: “I use my art to promote love and equality and the idea that perfection doesn’t exist, but there’s beauty in everything.” This mural is in good company right next to one by nationally known artist Adam K. Fujita.

Location: On the side of Union EAV at 485 Flat Shoals Ave. in East Atlanta Village.


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ArtsATL logo

Credit: ArtsATL

ArtsATL logo
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ArtsATL logo

Credit: ArtsATL

Credit: ArtsATL

Working closely with the American Press Institute, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is embarking on an experiment to identify, nurture and expand a network of news partnerships across metro Atlanta and the state.

Our newest partner, ArtsATL (www.artsatl.org), is a nonprofit organization that plays a critical role in educating and informing audiences about metro Atlanta’s arts and culture. Founded in 2009, ArtsATL’s goal is to help build a sustainable arts community contributing to the economic and cultural health of the city.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing more partners, and we’d love to hear your feedback.

You can reach Managing Editor Mark A. Waligore via email at mark.waligore@ajc.com.