Four muralists turn Candler Park tax dollars into vibrant art

Candler Park has freshly painted electrical utility boxes — those usually plain, stainless steel things at traffic light intersections — that brighten the area.

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Candler Park has freshly painted electrical utility boxes — those usually plain, stainless steel things at traffic light intersections — that brighten the area.

The phrase “your tax dollars at work” often elicits skeptical eye-rolls. But Candler Park residents recently had a chance to decide how City of Atlanta tax dollars would be spent in their neighborhood. They chose art. Four freshly painted electrical utility boxes — those usually plain, stainless steel things at traffic light intersections — are now eliciting smiles instead.

Muralists Azazi Andre, Brandon Moultrie, Andrew Blooms and Courtney Hicks painted the boxes; each one is unique.

“The Electrical Box Art Project has been a fantastic neighborhood beautification effort,” says District 2 City Councilman Amir Farokhi. “The art emerged from a participatory budgeting process that encouraged interaction with, and trust in, local government.”

In April 2021, Atlanta’s Council District 2 had $45,000 in city funding and $65,000 in private matching donations available for the arts and greenspaces in Candler Park. After soliciting proposals, 23 potential projects were put on an online ballot. Over 1,000 Candler Park residents responded, and the mural project was one of the winners.

A call for artists went out and the selected painters have transformed these boxes into vibrant works of art. Here’s where to find them:

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A mural by Aziza Andre adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

A mural by Aziza Andre adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

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A mural by Aziza Andre adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

Credit: streetartmap.org

Corner of North Avenue and Moreland Avenue

Andre’s colorful cuboid is adorned with bold and vivid characters. “I have always been intrigued by portrait art of all mediums,” Andre says. “I also love comics. That’s a large area of focus within the body of my work. For the Candler Park project, the designs are inspired by one of my favorite architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as well as one of my favorite surrealist painters, Frida Kahlo. I’d like the viewer to enjoy the overall vibrancy and liveliness of it. I hope in some small way it positively impacts the neighborhood.”

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A mural by Brandon Moultrie adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

A mural by Brandon Moultrie adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

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A mural by Brandon Moultrie adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

Credit: streetartmap.org

Corner of McLendon Avenue and Clifton Road

Across the street from that Candler Park institution, the Flying Biscuit Café, Moultrie’s redecorated rhombus presents serene imagery. “‘Take a Moment to Breathe’ is exploring that notion, asking the viewers to self-reflect and heal,” Moultrie says. The work incorporates nature imagery such as flowers and butterflies. “I want my artwork to remind people to take a moment to breathe and be present. Life can become beautiful if we take steps to love ourselves and become more aware.”

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A mural by Catherine Hicks adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

A mural by Catherine Hicks adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

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A mural by Catherine Hicks adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

Credit: streetartmap.org

Corner of Clifton Road and DeKalb Avenue

Within a short walk from several other murals at this corner, Hicks’ utility box has a feline theme. “My inspiration was pretty straightforward — cats. I like cats, and whoever doesn’t probably can’t be trusted,” says the artist, an illustrator and member of the Lotus Eaters Club artists’ collective. “I wanted to work within a limited color palette and focus on simple shape and expression. I hope everyone who sees this piece is inspired to make a feline friend!”

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A mural by Andrew Blooms adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

A mural by Andrew Blooms adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

Combined ShapeCaption
A mural by Andrew Blooms adorns a utility box in Candler Park. (Photo by streetartmap.org)

Credit: streetartmap.org

Credit: streetartmap.org

Corner of Candler Park Drive and McLendon Avenue

The box located at one corner of the popular neighborhood park hints at the profession of its creator. “This utility box was my first mural project,” Bloom says. “I wanted to incorporate all I had been learning about the Japanese tattoo, so I designed this box as I would design a tattoo on someone’s body. I chose bold primary colors as a way to combine a modern style with an ancient motif, making the dragon bright and explosive.”

Arthur Rudick created the Atlanta Street Art Map in 2017 after retiring from a successful career as an engineer with Eastman Kodak and the Coca-Cola Company. His first experience of art was seeing an Alexander Calder mobile as a child in the Pittsburgh airport. Rudick is ArtsATL’s street art expert and a regular contributor.


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ArtsATL logo

Credit: ArtsATL

ArtsATL logo

Credit: ArtsATL

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ArtsATL logo

Credit: ArtsATL

Credit: ArtsATL

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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.

If you have any questions about this partnership or others, please contact Senior Manager of Partnerships Nicole Williams at nicole.williams@ajc.com.