The first permanent mural at Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park aims to inspire residents to be kind not just to each other, but to their environment too.
The new mural is called “Be Kind,” and sits near the Barclay Drive entrance to the park, according to the city of Dunwoody. Local artist Megan Watters said she painted the piece in part to help teach residents about the importance of bees in a community.
“Murals and art … they’re supposed to be beautiful, they’re supposed to be enjoyed,” Watters said. “But it’s also really important to have a call to action.”
Watters has been honing her craft for years and spent 10 years in New York City where she painted community murals, worked in television, and even worked on the famous Macy’s Holiday Windows. Watters said while in New York, she became interested in environmentalism, an interest she carried back with her to Georgia.
“I was doing that kind of work in New York, and I was really interested in that,” she said. “Once I learned about the call for art here in Dunwoody, I knew that I kind of wanted to hit it at that angle.”
Waters said she was inspired by Bee Dunwoody, the city’s initiative to help make the city safe for pollinators. An official statement from the Dunwoody Nature Center on Bee Dunwoody said that the initiative was “happy to provide inspiration for this beautiful mural and hopes it will draw attention to the beehives and the important work of the Dunwoody Nature Center and Bee Dunwoody.”
According to a city spokesperson, the city first became aware of Watters when she applied for the Spruill Center for the Arts’ annual Amplify contest. Although Spruill did not select Watters, the center sent along the list of Amplify submissions to the city so Dunwoody could use that list for future art installations.
According to an official statement from the Dunwoody Economic Development department, the city’s Art Commission approved Watters’ proposal for the “Be Kind” mural on Nov. 2.
“The location at the back of Brook Run has been of particular interest to community members calling for a mural along that wall and the Be Kind proposal from Megan was a perfect fit with the use of bold colors and the proximity to the bee hives,” said a spokesperson for the Economic Development department in an email.
Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker said the city hopes to do more permanent art installations in parks around the city, and said there will be a public art component to the master plans for the city’s two new parks, one on Roberts Drive and one on Vermack Road.
“We want to continue to put in not just paintings and murals, but sculpture and all that kind of stuff throughout the park system,” Walker said.
Watters said she hopes the mural serves as inspiration for visitors to Brook Run Park.
“I hope it puts a smile on their face,” she said. “It’s not just being kind to other people, but being kind to themselves, being kind to the environment.”