Living Walls is a non-profit organization in Atlanta that strives to educate Atlantans about public space and widen perspectives through street art. The organization was founded in 2010 and not only showcases art, but also uses it to change the built environment for the better by jazzing up the city walls with color and life. Living Walls hosts an international conference every year in Atlanta that brings in twenty artists form around the world. During the conference, each artist produces their own wall, providing the city with diverse street art. Below is a video from Youtube that provides more information about the artists and how the Living Walls organization has impacted them and the city of Atlanta.
The Living Walls digital space is set up rather simply. The homepage consists of three photographs that rotate as the background, the organization’s logo, and several tabs that link to different parts of the site: About, The Artists, Walls, Sponsors, Contact, Store, and Donate. By exploring these tabs viewers can learn about the organization’s goals and concepts, the artists and their origins, where the walls are located, who sponsors them, and information on how to donate. The store tab is currently under construction, so I was not able to delve into that part of the site. Each one of these tabs is clean cut and gives a short summary of information. I found the “Walls” tab and “The Artists” tab to be the most interesting. The “Walls” tab displays an interactive map showing where each wall is located, the address, and a link to the artist’s profile. “The Artists” tab shows a list of all ninety-five artists, where they are from, photographs of their street art in Atlanta, and some even have a short bio. No matter what part of this digital space you are exploring, each page is filled with color. The array of color used throughout the site makes it fun to dig deeper into the world of Living Walls.
The Living Walls digital space advertises itself in a simple and non-invasive way. In the top right corner of the site, logos of five different social media companies are displayed. Clicking on each of these brings you to the Living Walls page for that social media site, such a their Facebook or Instagram pages. This allows viewers to easily access and follow Living Walls on social media. Also, a “Share” button in the bottom right corner of the site provides an opportunity for people to share the Living Walls link on their own social media accounts. This type of marketing tells a lot about what type of audience the non-profit organization is targeting: millennials or others who are actively on social media. Those who are most likely to use this site are artists, Atlantans looking to get involved in the community, young adults/students, and possible sponsors who are looking to donate. Lastly, this site made me feel welcome and sparked my curiosity about Living Walls and I plan to visit some of the murals in the near future.
The “Sponsors” tab links to a page that shows the numerous sponsors supporting the Living Walls organization. This page is organized from high to low, meaning the sponsors who have given the most are listed at the top and as you scroll down the amounts decrease. The digital space gives a special thanks to the sponsors and states that Living Walls would not be what it is today without them. Each sponsor’s logo is present and can be clicked on so viewers can visit the different sites and see what each company is about.
This is the homepage for the Living Walls website. Being the first thing that viewers see when entering this digital space, the page is quite simple and pleasing to the eye. The photograph shows a beautiful shot of Atlanta and to the bottom left a multi-colored Living Wall can be seen. At the top of the page, the organization’s simple logo is present, along with seven headings that lead to other parts of the site. Above those headings are logos of different social media sites, which link to the Living Walls pages for Facebook, Instagram, and so on.
This is a screenshot of part of “The Artists” tab. This page is easy to maneuver and very simple, yet informative. There are ninety-five artists, so the sheer size of the list shows viewers how many different artists have contributed to the Living Walls movement. Each of these names can be clicked on and in doing so, photographs of their work appear as the background, their hometown and more information about who they are as an artist are listed. These artists come form all over the world. As I explored this page I noticed there were people from Russia, France, The United States, Italy, South Africa, Israel, Argentina, Switzerland and so many more. Below is a shot of one of the artist’s pages.
Living Walls is a website dedicated to building up the Atlanta community through street art. These pictures are of the “Misson Statement” page under the About tab. Their mission is to promote, educate, and change the community’s perspective about public space by using art. This is such a unique and creative way to create a positive outlook about the built environment. The fact that the mission statement is clearly stated on the website helps viewers to understand the organization’s overall goal.
This is the map that is shown when you click on the “Walls” tab on the Living Walls homepage. The walls are scattered in all directions across Atlanta, with some being further away from the heart of the city. There are living walls in Decatur, Inman Park, Buckhead, Cabbagetown, Little Five Points, and Eastpoint, just to name a few. When you click on each blue pinpoint, a description box appears. The artist’s name, location of the wall, and a photograph of the wall are listed. This map clearly presents how many walls there are and how spread out the locations are all across the city.
Criminal Records is located off Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points. This Atlanta gem is not what it sounds like; the shop is not a boring office building that stores files on convicts. It is actually one of the only record shops left in the city, and in some people’s opinion, the one with the widest variety of products. Criminal Records sells an array of things: albums, CD’s, cassette tapes, books, comic books, posters, clothing, knick-knacks, and the list goes on. Not only is there so much to choose from, but also the space sets a certain mood that makes you want to spend hours searching.
The structure of the space is set up similar to a maze. When entering the store the first thing that meets the eye are the rows and rows of albums and CD’s. Going down each aisle is like entering a new section of the maze, each one is different. The products are stored on shelves, in bins, boxes, and crates. So much musical history in one room, this shop is definitely an easy one to get “lost” in.
Although this shop is a labyrinth of music and culture, the area is actually very spacious. It does not feel closed in or small. The aisles provide pathways to the back of the shop and it is easy to maneuver around. The lighting and colors have a lot to do with the mood of the store. Many of the walls are painted a pastel green color and the lighting is soft, which has to do with the large skylight windows located on the ceiling of the space. The ceiling of the shop is constructed out of beams of wood, which gives the space a homey feel. The shop is definitely catered to customers with an eclectic style, which matches the trend in Little Five Points. The walls are filled with funky art and posters of all different colors. The floor of the space is dirty, unfinished concrete. The store advertises its use with its bold sign, its hip window displays, and location. Music/art lovers and curious passerbys mostly visit the shop.
Overall, Criminal Records made me feel welcome and sparked my curiosity. I am a huge oldies fan so flipping through the albums of Queen, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones brought me joy and made me almost buy one! The space is filled with repetition, colors, and the aural sounds of albums being flipped through and alternative rock songs over the loud speakers. This site has an urban feel and will definitely broaden any visitor’s knowledge of art and music if they dig deep enough.
In this recording, several different sounds can be heard. The first is the sound of CD cases hitting each other as they are flipped back and forth inside the bin that holds them. This is an iconic sound inside a record shop. Customers explore all the different album covers, artists, genres, and songs by flipping back and forth between them. The second sound is the soft alternative rock playing in the background. During my time spent at Criminal Records the music playing over the speakers stayed consistent in theme and set the mood for the space.
This is a photo of some signage I came across at the very back of the Criminal Records shop. These signs describe different genres of music, which are definitely sold in the shop, along with countless others. The miniature record stickers on the wall behind the signs make the area fun and colorful. Underneath the signs are, of course, more records stacked in bins.
This is a video I recorded while inside Criminal Records. At the beginning of the video it shows how many CD’s and albums are stacked on the shelves, and that’s just one aisle. Then, the camera pans around the room showing the entryway, the walls, lighting, and the back of the store. The lighting is somber and the store actually has several skylight windows in the ceiling, which provide natural light. Also in the video, a calm indie tune can be heard in the background, which matches the mood of Criminal Records and Little Five Points both.