On June 10th, 2023, District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson hosted an East Augusta Community Block Party to celebrate the completion of new crosswalk murals in the East Augusta community.
Augusta’s Public Art Advisory Panel used pedestrian safety data and AARP study to determine that the intersection of East Boundary and Telfair Streets is hazardous to people attempting to cross between houses on one side and businesses on the other. In 2023, The Greater Augusta Arts Council received a prestigious South Arts Cross-Sector Impact Grant for crosswalk art in the East Boundary and Telfair intersection.
Local artist Ray Sturkey led a series of community conversations to determine how residents in the East Augusta neighborhood, next to the intersection, would want to be represented in murals on the crosswalks. The community and Ray worked together for 5 months to create designs that feature the themes of PEACE, LOVE, and TOGETHERNESS in East Augusta. With the help of several residents of the nearby Magnolia Court Apartments and surrounding area, Ray painted the mural designs into the newly striped crosswalks.
The East Boundary and Telfair crosswalk is the first crosswalk mural in all of Augusta!
This intensive process begins by gridding every foot of each crosswalk in chalk and sketching the design on top to create an even image. The paint needed for this project is very specific that binds to the asphalt so it doesn’t instantly wash away when trekked over or in bad weather. In order for the paint to stick, the artists must go over each color 3-4 times, one color at a time, and wait until each coat is completely dry before moving on to the next. The larger areas are coated with a paint roller, followed by a “scrubber” who takes a long-handled brush and pushes excess paint into the grooves of the asphalt. The smaller areas are coated using paintbrushes, also followed by a scrubber to even out the paint.
The Arts Council would like to thank everyone, from teacher to mother to child, who took time out of their week to help participate in making this mural. It couldn’t have been finished without the help of everyone involved!
The Block Party was organized with the help of the Greater Augusta Arts Council, Felicia Rhodes of Magnolia Court Apartments, Angela Bakos of Resourced Augusta, and Chef Cassandra Loftlin of Goodness Gracious Grocery from 11 AM to 3 PM on June 10th, free to the public.
Speaker and Commissioner Jordan Johnson presented the Community Champion Award to local community leaders Wayne Lanier, Dolly Jones, Bishop Rosa Williams, Rev. William Blount, Rev. Johnny Hampton, and Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins Boseman. The block party included a wealth of free resources from community leaders and organizations, local vendors selling clothing and drinks, food trucks from K’s Wings and Maryland Fried Chicken, Kona Ice, and Ice Cream, live music and dancing by the Brown Beauty Magic group, and a fresh fruits & veggies giveaway by Goodness Gracious Grocery.
The Arts Council would like to thank everyone who participated in this event for making this happen!