ALBANY — A mural created by artist Chris Johnson and funded by a Georgia Council for the Arts grant awarded to the Albany Museum of Art was unveiled Friday at Lincoln Elementary Magnet School.
Six large, colorful panels on the south side of the school have been visible since Johnson completed them in late May. The mural was funded through a $5,000 Vibrant Communities Grant the GCA awarded to the art museum.
In Fiscal Year 2018-19, the GCA awarded nearly $300,000 in funding to a combined 78 entities in 52 counties. The AMA’s successful application was one of 100 GCA received from libraries, schools, arts centers, cities, historical societies, community theaters, Boys & Girls Clubs and more.
Johnson, an art professor at Andrew College in Cuthbert, is a printmaker and muralist. His work also can be seen in Albany at West Oglethorpe Boulevard and North Jefferson Street.
The muralist said the STEM and STEAM educational initiatives inspired the final look of the project and that he opted to use playful and bright shapes and colors. The work took six days to finish.
Johnson also has painted murals in the Georgia cities of Columbus, Cuthbert, Dawson, Shellman, Tifton and Arlington, and in Pickens, S.C. and Trinity, N.C.
“We wanted (the artwork) to be a spiritual uplift,” Johnson said of the reason for painting his murals. “(We sought) a rural revitalization through the arts.”
The cause has become a popular one, with individuals and organizations seeking his talents. Once a project is accepted, funding is determined from there.
For the Lincoln Elementary mural, Johnson said he is hopeful it will add a different look to the building, while even inspiring the students who see it to consider art as a career.
“It was a beautiful building to begin with, and this really enhances it,” he said.
Chloe Hinton, director of development and membership at AMA, said she was pleased with how the project turned out.
“We are very appreciative of the school system for letting us do it and entrust us with their building,” Hinton said. “I think it contributes to this whole community.”
For more information about AMA visit albanymuseum.com or call (229) 439-8400.