The City of Augusta wants to make downtown ‘funky’ by paying homage to the Godfather of Soul

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) —- The Greater Augusta Arts Council is on a mission to beautify the downtown area by showing off the arts and paying tribute to the hardest working man in show business.

“Once we get James Brown everywhere, then we can move to Sharon Jones, we can move on to Jessye Norman,” said Pink Slips Graphic Designer, Jason Craig. “There are so many talented people here who we need to pay tribute to, and we have to start somewhere. I think James Brown is a great way to start.”

The arts council is looking for qualified local artists.

“If the arts council and the commissioners are going to prefer to have local artists, then I think local artists need to step up,” said Craig.

Craig creates a lot of James Brown paintings. You’ve probably seen some when you’ve been downtown. He says we need something to attract people to the city.

“You need to put something that is meaningful and has an impact, and a good message, people are going to flock to it,” explained Craig. “People are going to take field trips there, it’s going to be on the tourist map, it is going to be on the media map, it is going to be on the things you need to see when you come to Augusta.”

The response has been much bigger than expected, with 40 artists in the running right now. The graphic designer says with so many people wanting to paint; the city could choose proposals for other buildings, too.

“James Brown is iconic throughout Augusta and the surrounding area,” said Craig. “All of these designs can be done somewhere.”

Brenda Durant, with Greater Augusta Arts Council, says since there is such a high interest in the project, public input will be pushed back. The arts council will rank the proposals, then take the top three to the commission for approval. The best-looking one is in your hands to decide a winner.

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