Hundreds of volunteers help paint 'Black Lives Matter' mural in Decatur roadway

Hundreds of volunteers will descend on N. McDonough Street in Decatur Saturday to embark on a massive public art project.

City commissioners approved a $16,000 "Black Lives Matter" painting in early August, hiring artists George F. Baker III, Petie Parker, and Sharanda Wilburn to lay the template for volunteers to then bubble in.

Each artist led the direction of a single word.

Wilburn used her letters, B-L-A-C-K, to pay tribute to black lives lost, including George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and Breonna Taylor.

"I'm excited for the entire thing, " Wilburn, a Decatur resident, said. "I'm at a loss for words actually, I'm just honored to be able to be a part of this."

The painting almost didn't happen with off-and-on showers Friday, interrupting the artists as they laid the groundwork for the painting.

But city commissioner Lesa Mayer, who largely spearheaded the project, gave the go-ahead for Saturday after the rain subsided.

"We had a little bit of some showers this evening, but they have passed revealing a beautiful rainbow which tells us we are a go for tomorrow," Mayer said on Twitter Friday.

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Decatur's project joins a wave of Black Lives Matter paintings across the country, including one on the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington D.C.

But such artwork is not free of controversy.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, for instance, is being sued for the bright yellow roadway painting in our nation's capital.

Additionally, some city governments actually rolled back their plans for BLM paintings after they were met by intense disagreement.

Though the Decatur community appeared to embrace the opportunity to introduce one of their own, with more than 500 volunteers playing an integral role in making it happen.

The section of N. McDonough Street near W. Howard Avenue will remain closed through Monday morning; though there is a small opening for access to businesses.

Organizers expect the painting, full of varying bright colors, to be complete by 7 p.m. Saturday.

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.