A pop of color is being added to downtown Newnan as Atlanta-based artist Corey Barksdale creates the city’s second large mural, sponsored by the Newnan Coweta Art Association’s Artist-in-Residence program. The piece can be found on Spring Street, on the outside wall of Glover Insurance Company facing the post office.
Barksdale arrived in Coweta just one week ago and has made great progress on the brightly-colored painting many locals might describe as street, urban or public art. Created in lively primary colors, the work depicts the image of two musicians, both playing guitars.
“This mural is bold and ethnic and celebrates music,” said local art instructor Bette Hickman. “This piece is very different from the first downtown mural, but I think it will blend in just as well.”
Hickman is a member of the Board of Directors for the Newnan Coweta Art Association’s Artist-in-Residence program, which provides artists from across the world the opportunity to visit Newnan, for a minimum of two weeks, in order to create art in a new environment.
“The board really enjoyed the first mural painted by Molly Rose Freeman, and hopes to bring more muralists into the ArtRez program,” Hickman said.
Like previous ArtRez participants, Barksdale submitted a portfolio of work to the board after applying for the residency online. According to Hickman, board members liked the Atlanta artist’s use of strong colors and dynamic composition.
Newnan’s temporary resident studied Fine Arts at the Atlanta College of Art, and from there continued to depict and express the African-American culture he found while studying in the city, according to online magazine wakezine (wakezine.com).
“My images are representative of the experiences that I have had and how I identify myself. The subjects reflect my community,” Barksdale said in an interview with the magazine published in 2014. “The bold colors that I use have been with me from the beginning. Much art from Africa utilizes some of the same color combinations that I use.”
Barksdale also remarked in the interview that music is a big part of culture. He noted that he enjoys jazz and oftens listens to music while painting. He said and tries to capture musicians at the moment they seem to transcend into the music they are playing.
The artist will remain available to the community for the last week of his residency and will reside in the Gray Cottage, which was renovated to house visiting artists sponsored by the ArtRez program.