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Lucy Rice

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"The Pointy People," a mural created by Kyle Brooks, aka street artist Black Cat Tips, for Forward Warrior.

Lucy Rice

Lucy Rice

"The Pointy People," a mural created by Kyle Brooks, aka street artist Black Cat Tips, for Forward Warrior.

Wylie Street in Cabbagetown is famous for the authentic murals painted along the wall that separates the town from the CSX tracks. Each June, in an event called Forward Warrior, some of Atlanta’s most notable street artists repaint the walls with new colors and designs in an effort to bring the community together.

Forward Warrior was started in 2010 by Peter Ferrari, an Atlanta local with a passion for public art. His goal is to encourage people to publicly showcase their talent, instead of letting what he calls “bombers” (people without an appreciation for art) destroy the wall.

The Cabbagetown/Reynoldstown community has faced conflict over people using street art for the wrong reasons. Krog Street Tunnel is open for the public to paint at all times and is a special place for the neighborhood to display its creativity. In October 2012, The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces planned a masquerade inside the tunnel, selling private tickets. The neighborhood and local artists were so outraged by the event that they completely painted the tunnel grey the night before, making it art-less for the masquerade the next day.

Every June, artists are invited for the two-day live event on Wylie Street where locals are encouraged to watch the artists contribute to the community. This year, 36 Atlanta artists attended, almost three times the number that attended the first Forward Warrior in 2010. Some of the artists included Black Cat Tips, Cat Lanta, and Lonnie Garner.

Kyle Brooks, aka Black Cat Tips, returned to Forward Warrior for his third year. He calls his folk art-styled mural “The Pointy People.” Brooks credits his fluorescent-colored, corky style to his grandfather, who passed in 2008. Brooks was inspired when he discovered his grandfather’s journal, which was filled with notes about the wonders of life. Brooks’s solo show, Just South of Love, will be showcased at the Janet Day Gallery at the Atlanta Institute of Art in Dunwoody until September 17th. Brooks dedicates the show to his grandfather, who allowed his creative mind to expand.

Forward Warrior is already planning on its seventh year being larger than any before.

This is simply our way of giving back to a great city that supports us and our passion,” Ferrari told Creative Loafing.

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The arts, cultural and news magazine of Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia