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Living Walls and TILA Studios are partnering to promote love, hope and positivity in these difficult times through a project titled In This Together. It was conceived by Living Walls and curated by TILA.

In This Together features limited-edition digital works on vinyl by artists Erica L. Chisolm and Aaron Trimiar. Only 25 vinyl banners were made of each design. They’re for sale through August 1, unless they sell out sooner. Each costs $100. As of this writing, $1,500 has been raised for the Atlanta Solidarity Fund. The indoor/outdoor banners measure 1.5 feet by 3 feet and come with grommets, ready for display.

"Suffocation" by Erica L. Chisolm July 2020

“Suffocation” by Erica L. Chisolm.

Living Walls, known for its social-change efforts and public-art projects, and TILA, which champions Black women artists, see In This Together as a way to amplify Black Lives Matter issues and raise money for the Atlanta Solidarity Fund (#SignsOfSolidarityATL), which provides support for people arrested at protests or prosecuted for their involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement. The effort, not Living Walls’ first solidarity project, responds to local and national injustices against the Black community and memorializes Georgia’s Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks, Minnesota’s George Floyd and Maryland’s Breonna Taylor, all killed by police, and “the many more before them.”

Chisolm, a multimedia artist and activist based in Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama, created Suffocation, a piece that represents the literal and figurative struggle to breathe. On Instagram, she wrote about Blacks being suffocated by the nation’s “lies, semantics & racist antics.”

She uses acrylic paint, found materials and wood in her practice, creating texture that imitates the imperfections of the Black experience while highlighting its beauty. She advocates for the activation of public art in underserved communities and works as the Creative Placemaking Fellow with Urban Impact Birmingham, serving the Historic Fourth Avenue Business and Civil Rights districts of the city.

Trimiar, an Atlanta concept tattoo artist, titled his piece Black Lives Matter. It vividly portrays the truths of Black mothers, fathers and children. “We want better lives for each other because none of what we’re surrounded by is in our favor,” he said in an Instagram post.

He’s self-taught in figure and comic drawing, and often turns to Egyptian love, drug overdosage, a homeless man’s mental arguments with his demons and police brutality for his subject matter.

Sierra King, a photographer, archivist and TILA’s community manager, says the past is also a historical present. Whether words were from the ‘60s through songwriter Nina Simone, writer James Baldwin or Black Panther Party members Stokely Carmichael and Kathleen Cleaver, Atlanta artists continue to reflect what’s happening, the good and bad. In This Together is “just giving substance to the story,” she says.

To keep the positivity going, Living Walls is partnering with MARTA and the Upper Westside Improvement District and calling for an artist or collaborative team of artists from Atlanta to create a public art mural at the MARTA Brady Facility for Mobility in the Marietta Street Artery neighborhood. Interested artists can apply HERE through July 15.

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