SOUTHWEST ATLANTA - Several popular murals in Atlanta have recently been defaced, but it's the creators of those paintings doing the defacing.
Fabian Williams masked his Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Colin Kaepernick murals earlier this month to remind passersby of the importance of wearing face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is a small act to make people realize that we need to be covering our mouths and nose to make sure we don't spread the disease more than it already has," said Williams, one of several participating street artists. Thus the name, Big Facts, Small Acts.
The grassroots effort partnered with C4 Atlanta, a local art non-profit, to share important protective measures against COVID-19 through video, social media and art -- in particular with Atlanta's black community.
Williams joined a growing group of participating street artists, including Dubelyoo, Matt Letrs and Melissa Mitchell. You can find some of their work near West End at Ralph David Abernathy and Peeples and on Wylie Street in Cabbagetown.
"In a way, [it] gets people to realize that this is still spreading, and African Americans are the hardest hit," Williams acknowledged. "We should cover up and do what we can to flatten the curve."
The roll-out of the vinyl masks comes amid a continued re-opening of Georgia, crowded protests against racial injustice and a notable spike in data. The state recently clocked in an all-time daily high in COVID-19 cases.
"You can see a mural going home or going to work, and vice versa," said Sherri Daye Scott, founder of Big Facts, Small Acts. "They're bright, they're colorful, it's a daily reminder that [the pandemic] is here, it's impacting our community, and there's an easy way to do our part to cover each other."
These larger-than-life depictions are impossible to miss. The splashes of thoughtful color now carry a dual meaning.
"Since the beginning of time, image has been the easiest way to communicate, and we really wanted this to touch people where they lived," Scott said.
Big Facts, Small Acts is recruiting other street artists to join their effort and mask their murals by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.