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  • Writer's pictureHannah Ghafary

Stack Squares Mural Project

At the beginning of September, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Stack Squares Mural Project in Cabbagetown, Atlanta. The Stack Squares Mural Project is an award-winning public mural initiative in Atlanta, Georgia. I worked alongside nine other talented artists in this ongoing project to fill ten spaces with unique artwork outside of the Carroll Street Lofts.

The other two artist pictured are Seven @theartistseven (left) and Anne Stuhler⁣ (right).

Cabbagetown is a colorful and historic neighborhood of Atlanta filled with public art. When it comes to street art, Cabbagetown is best know for Krog Street Tunnel, a 109-year old tunnel that connects historic Inman Park and Cabbagetown. The tunnel and surrounding streets are covered from top to bottom in colorful art that make it a unique and vibrant corner of Atlanta. Artwork stretches far beyond the famous tunnel, filling up Wylie Street, Tennelle Street, and even reaching as far as Carroll Street (where the Stack Squares Mural Project can be found).

Inspiration for the design of my mural came from New-York based photographer @joztakethosee on Instagram. I first discovered his work over a year ago, and I saved it because I knew I would come back to it for inspiration when the time was right. This mural project presented itself as the perfect opportunity to bring that vision to life.

I spent about 25 hours creating the mural over three days, excluding prepping and priming the surface. As pictured below, I used a projector to transfer my image to the wall. However, there are several other techniques to transfer a design onto your designated mural space, from a traditional square grid to a doodle grid. I saw all of these methods used by different artists on the Stack Squares Project to transfer their designs.

The square on the left shows a doodle grid by the artist Seven (@theartistseven on Instagram).

A doodle grid is a method that involves overlaying two images digitally to create a visual system of landmarks and references in order to transfer your design easily onto a larger space. The doodle grid method involves drawing numbers, shapes, characters or other symbols in a random fashion onto the designated workspace. Afterwards, the artist takes a picture of the random design they just created and overlays that image with an image of the planned mural design. As these two overlaid images become one, the artist can use it as a reference to identify landmarks and transfer the image successfully.

I learned that the doodle grid is a great strategy for mural artists who don’t have access to a projector or artists who are working on a space too large to project an image onto.

You watch the process of me creating my mural on TikTok, along with more of my work.

Whether you’re a Georgia native or you’re just passing through, the art of Cabbagetown is most definitely worth checking out. There are bars and restaurants stretching from Wylie Street as far as Carroll Street where you can enjoy great food and drink with a view of the art. I’d recommend checking out 97 Estoria, Milltown Arms Tavern, and the Carroll Street Cafe.

If at all possible, try to arrange your visit to Cabbagetown on a Forward Warrior Weekend! Forward Warrior is a live-painting event that brings the Cabbagetown neighborhood and local artists together to create large scale murals over an annual two-day event. On these weekends, you can peruse 30+ booths in the park, eat and drink, and listen to live music, all while artists bring new work to life around you.

My mural is located outside of the Carroll Street Lofts, so definitely tag me on social media if you stop by to see it! You can also see the work of all of the other talented artists who were a part of this project (as well as future rounds of the ongoing initiative) on the Stack Squares Project on Instagram.

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