Arts Sandy Springs is proposing a new public art project to bring murals to now-blank walls throughout the city.

ArtSS president Cheri Morris said the non-profit group hopes to bring three to 10 murals to prominent locations in Sandy Springs within the next year.

“We are way ahead of the other new cities in public art and we want to keep that lead,” she told members of Sandy Springs City Council at their Feb. 4 meeting.

The murals would be paid for the Atlanta Hawks basketball team as part of its public outreach programs, Morris said. “The Hawks want to become part of this community through this art outreach,” she said.

Peter Sorckoff, vice president for marketing and creative for the Hawks, said after the meeting that the project was part of Hawks campaign “to bring things with in-town cool to the suburbs.”

Morris said designs for the murals would be chosen by judges selected by ArtSS and then presented to the City Council for review to ensure they were appropriate.

Locations for the murals would be worked out with city officials or private landowners, she said. Allowing the murals could require an amendment to the city sign ordinance, city officials said.

Mayor Rusty Paul and council members generally backed the idea of the project, but Paul said public discussion of the proposal would be needed before murals are approved. “This is a significant step for the city,” Paul said. “I think it would be very wise on our part the bring in some public input on this…. If you’re talking about putting public art on publicly owned buildings, we ought to have some public input.”

Council members generally agreed ArtSS could proceed to investigate using a wall at Morgan Falls Athletic Complex for the first mural.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.