Jimmy, Krog Tunnel, & The Artist Protest of 2014
This is a photo of me at Krog Tunnel - an underpass about 5 minutes from my apartment. It is an amazing display of graffiti art from many of the most talented and innovative artists within the local (Inman Park, Reynoldstown, Old Fourth Ward) community.
In 2014 The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces planned a masquerade ball in the tunnel - a private and ticketed event (for profit). The local Neighborhood Planning Unit fought against the scheduled masquerade ball - their complaints falling upon unhearing ears by the City of Atlanta. The masquerade was allowed to go forward.
So, as a protest (organized by local artist Peter Ferrari), over 100 local artists arrived at Krog Tunnel within the days preceding the masquerade with paint cans filled with plain, flat, grey paint. The artists didn't want their art to be used to promote and sell tickets to a profit-making event - so the artists painted over their own works of art.
The masquerade ball took place (the tunnel was shut down to traffic and foot traffic - except for paying ticket-holders), as scheduled, but all of the art was gone. All surfaces, across every inch of Krog Tunnel, were flat and grey. Lifeless.
A community standing up for itself can send a powerful statement. And - artists need to be compensated for their work. When artists give their art freely (without charge), then it should be available for all to see. At no charge.
A few days after the failed masquerade ball, local artists began painting new expressions and the brilliant colors returned. Ever since, Krog Tunnel has been an amazing location to visit. A place where local artists, musicians, writers (including poets) and other creatives get together. I am honored to be part of this community.
Photo Credit: Briana Botsford, Botsford Media. Photo taken July 25, 2021.