A concrete MARTA station in Midtown will be getting a slight face-lift soon.
Midtown Alliance and MARTA are partnering together to revamp the Midtown MARTA Station on Peachtree Place. Earlier this year, the organizations sent out a request for submissions to enhance the public space.
Atlanta-based painter Andrew Catanese was chosen out of 40 artists.
Catanese is a young artist who moved to Atlanta in 2015. He has only done one other public mural — on the Atlanta BeltLine. He applied thinking he may not make it past the first round, but he ended up making through the second.
“I think it’s really just such an incredible opportunity as an artist and careerwise,” he said. “I didn’t know why I wouldn’t apply to it.”
Catanese’s colorful paintings are filled with the flora that commonly grows in Georgia. Scattered among the trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs are characters from Greek mythologies, fables and biblical stories.
Catanese grew up in the South hearing and reading these stories. His father would read him Greek mythologies and Aesop’s fables. Then he read the Bible on his own.
“Growing up in the South in a family that wasn’t religious, I was interested in biblical stories largely because of how many of my friends were Protestant,” Catanese said, “and so I ended up reading the Bible on my own just because I wanted to know what it was that they were learning.”
Lately, he has been focusing on Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”
“So, struggling with those stricter — not stricter but more rigid — systems that don’t really leave room for different interpretations,” Catanese said, “that is particularly interesting to me. It’s kinda the same reason that I often identify my work as sort of in line with Southern Gothic writers like Flannery O’Connor, Zora Neale Hurston or Eudora Welty (or) Truman Capote. They’re often, as Southerners, dealing with something similar in terms of confronting this rigid ideology in the South.”
What’s Ahead For New Murals
Catanese said that this MARTA station mural is going to be less engaged with religious texts, and it will focus on celebrating Midtown’s diversity.
“It’s a little different than the work I do in galleries, and I think that’s the nature of public work,” he said. “Sometimes, the kinds of topics you can address are kind of different, and it’s nice, too. It kind of forces me into a maybe a more positive voice.”
He is planning to paint on two large walls at the station and two vents in the plaza area.
“I think, in total, it’s about 1,000 square feet,” he said.
Work will begin soon, Midtown Alliance said in a blog post. Catanese said he may be finished by late May or early June.
Correction: This report has been corrected to show that the murals by Andrew Catanese will be installed at the Midtown MARTA Station on Peachtree Place.