Ola Bad tells this story of how the mural came about…
This is my first wall which was done in collaboration with Howdy Nater. The wall is out in the West End of Atlanta on the border of two run down neighborhoods, Adair Park and Oakland City. It lies directly along the Northbound Marta Line which is what everyone coming into the city has to take from Hartsfield Airport. Living walls had started a few days before we started painting and we were just tripping out at how much all the out of town artists were talking about all the love they were recieving and how this felt truly like a home away from home. We had decided that because of the location we wanted to welcome every traveller into the city with the hope that they would experience the same feeling as the artists.
Howdy Nater came up with the saying Your Southern Home Away from Home. I wanted to do portraits but didnt know who. As HN was laying out some letters I walked across the street to goto the gas station to buy us some 40s of Colt 45. The gas station had two lines , mine which was barely moving and the other which was flying by. I decided to move over to the other line when I was greeted by a man named Fred. He had two gold fronts a towel over his shoulder and was completely thugged out. He congratulated me on my patience and offered to let me cut in line. We started a converstion when a homeless man i was talking to earlier came in and asked me to buy him a hotdog. Before I could even reply Fred interjected that anyone who was humble enough to ask for food deserved to eat and purchased the hotdog. Fred told me that he had lived in Oakland City his entire life. I was completely blown away by his kindness and the way he treated anyone in his neighborhood like family. I knew immediately that he was the perfect ambassador for the mural and got to work.
The second portrait is of a wonderful woman who is heavily involved in the atlanta graff/street art scene, whos name is Sharon. She and Fred both share the same love for Atlanta and its inhabitants no matter who they are or what they look like. Its rad to think that two completly different people with completely different backgrounds share the same love and the only hope I have is that there are people like this in everycity to welcome and love people.
Photos by Ola Bad