A first look at the proposed James Brown sidewalk art project


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – As the Garden City grows, many people want to beautify downtown Augusta.

“I don’t think you can ever have too much James Brown. He’s pretty important to everybody around here,” said Mike Bell. He works at Soul Bar on Broad Street.

There’s no doubt that James Brown’s imprint on Augusta and the CSRA will last forever.

Jennifer Bowen, a Vice President with the Augusta Convention and Visitor Bureau said, “Yes, we do have a great James Brown statue. We’re going to have a really cool James Brown mural in the near future. We have some James Brown art boxes, traffic boxes but when you’re able to continue building on those assets, when you’re able to continue building that package, if you will, then that really just gives visitors more options.”

So now a new James Brown memorabilia option. Sidewalk art in shape of a vinyl record. Honoring the Godfather of Soul.

A local group has been working hard to make the project happen.

“That’s kind of loosely named the ‘James Brown Journey Committee’ to think about what additional products can we add that will help be a visitor draw for Augusta specifically for James Brown,” explained Bowen.

There would be 12 pieces of art in total. The artwork would be placed on sidewalks near areas that have James Brown prominence. Like the Bell auditorium on Telfair Street, the James Brown Arena on Seventh Street, and Soul Bar on Broad where Brown would play his funk.

Bell said, “Bands that come into town that have never played here and hear some of the stories about it, it’s pretty cool to them. Especially since they get to play on the stage right in front of the big mural.”

The James Brown sidewalk art project is still in the early stages.

“Funding is still being worked out. But the funding will come from the All In Augusta campaign which was a private campaign led by the Augusta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. And we are hopeful the downtown development Authority Board will also come on as an additional funding partner,” said Bowen.

At least one local resident feels good about the sidewalk art idea already.

Bell added, “Spending money on art? That’s a good way to stick it to the man.”

If approved to project is approved, each James Brown sidewalk art piece would cost around $600 to $900 apiece. A local graphic design company are working on more vinyl artwork concepts.

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