A rendering of "Follow the Flow," a new mural by Midtown Artist in Residence George F. Baker III. The mural will be painted on the Peachtree Place façade of AT&T's Central Office Building.
Have you ever walked down Peachtree Place and noticed the concrete building beside the Midtown MARTA Station? Maybe you’ve seen it and wondered what it is, as it has no significant signage. Or maybe the building’s nondescript appearance has caused you to walk straight past it without ever giving it a second thought.
The building in question is the AT&T Central Office Building, and starting now, you won’t be able to miss it. Midtown Alliance is partnering with AT&T on a new mural that will soar 80 feet above the sidewalk, serving as both a much needed pop of color and abstract wayfinding signage for the MARTA Station next door.
Read about what inspired the mural and how you can see the artist George F. Baker III at work on it in the coming weeks.
Baker celebrates on Peachtree Place after the 80' articulating boom lift he'll use to paint the mural was delivered.
'Follow the Flow'
The mural will be painted by Midtown Alliance Artist in Residence Baker, whose work will also be installed on windows adjacent to the sidewalk. Barring any complication, Baker’s work should be completed by mid-April.
“This work will be a significant addition to the public realm, and watching it come to life will be a sight to behold,” said Lauren Radman, Project Manager of Urban Design and Placemaking at Midtown Alliance.
Midtown Alliance staff are always searching for ways to direct newcomers to the district to transit stations to encourage alternative modes of transportation. The blank façade of the building was the perfect opportunity to incorporate some creative yet subtle wayfinding signage and support a local artist.
“The ‘Follow the Flow’ mural design was inspired by the beauty of the wind flowing throughout Midtown’s buildings and streets,” Baker said. “The winds, to me, mimic the flow of people that travel in and around Midtown corridors. Following that inspiration led me to create a design of ‘leaves of wind’ traveling across the AT&T building and leading you toward your next destination.”
Baker has painted over 40 murals across the country in the past three years. He was one of six selected to be part of Midtown Alliance’s inaugural cohort of Artists in Residence. As part of our Heart of the Arts Residency program, each artist received free studio space for a year in order to help them create a firm foundation and build a creative practice in Midtown. Baker’s studio space at One Peachtree Pointe was provided by the Dewberry Foundation, and he has worked steadily since he moved in last year — he was even featured painting a mural on ESPN’s College GameDay.
All six of the artists have been featured on Midtown street banners, and their work can be seen on super graphics on a vacant building at the corner of Peachtree and 11th in an “outdoor art gallery” that made its debut several months ago. But this new mural project is the biggest and most permanent installation by a Midtown Artist in Residence yet. It also marks the first time Midtown Alliance has worked with AT&T on a public art installation.
“We’re excited to partner with Midtown Alliance on this public art installation,” said Cherise Cantrell Mlott, AT&T’s Director of Portfolio Management and Transactions - Southeast Region, and Midtown Alliance Board Member. “The mural will be a wonderful addition to the exterior of this building, and everyone who passes by will get to enjoy the creativity of the artist.”
Peachtree Place: A Corridor of Public Art
Baker’s installation is in good company near the Midtown MARTA Station, which is home to its own mural by Andrew Catanese along with inviting seating and a dedicated performance platform. These enhancements made their debut in 2018 as a result of a partnership between Midtown Alliance and MARTA, and in 2020, Catanese returned to paint two MARTA structures across the street.
“Like Midtown Alliance, MARTA believes public art is a critical component of strong, vibrant communities,” said Katherine Dirga, MARTA Art in Transit Director. “That this piece will also serve to direct riders to our rail station is a wonderful added benefit. We’re excited to welcome this new mural by George F. Baker to our neighborhood!”
Stop by Baker’s site over the next few weeks to watch him paint the mural from the top of his lift, and make sure to follow his Instagram account for updates on when he'll be out working on the mural. For more about Baker, check out this recap of his recent Artist Talk. Sign up for one of his upcoming hand-drawn lettering workshops here (it's free!).