Volunteers joined in downtown Tallahassee off East College Avenue to transform the otherwise overlooked Gallie Alley into a series of eye catching murals that is sure to positively lift up the community. The walls that were once filled with graffiti have now been cleaned up and renovated to showcase the talented creations of local artists. Two of the artists, Matthew Forrest and Noelle Stillman, are students within the Art Department at the College of Fine Arts. Both Matthew and Noelle got involved in the Gallie Alley projects after seeing social media postings by the Tallahassee Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Artists, and being passionate about public art, they were thrilled with the opportunity to contribute to the murals.
“Public arts allow for the cultural creation, advocation, and preservation of our communities. They allow for arts to be accessible to all. As a public service artist who is new to Tallahassee, I actively seek opportunities that will allow me to engage our Tallahassee community in the arts.” –Noelle Stillman, Art Department
For Matthews’ contribution to the murals, he decided to paint a Hawk to symbolize strength and intelligence. In order to modernize his creation, Matthew chose to represent his design with “chromatic aberration to bridge the natural and digital worlds in one image.” The experience allowed for him to add a touch personal style to his hometown of Tallahassee.
Noelle approached the project with the goal of highlighting the beauty of biodiversity here in Tallahassee, inspiring her rendering of a Black Water Bird that is native to this city. The painting also includes a sun in the background. Which Noelle said she strategically included in her piece as “the cormorants are a particularly unique water fowl as they have no oils on their feathers to repel water, and must dry themselves in the sun.” Noelle added, “The ornamental sun in the mural shines brightly behind the bird as it dries.” Noelle acknowledges the importance of maintaining ecological history within the community. The Gallie Alley murals can be viewed at 109 E College Ave, Tallahassee, FL, 32301.