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Amie Blanton, Lisa Belber, artists; AnnaLysa Kimball, Thomas Nolfa with ribbon cutter Richard Matherly

Featured Article

Turrets to Treasures

Vision, community partnerships and student art made this project special.

The Rotary of North Fulton has an ethos of "fellowship through service" as evident with the recently completed beautification project along the Big Creek Alpharetta Greenway. One of the founding members, Richard Matherly, has lived along the greenway for over 15 years and had envisioned the raised sewer turrets as canvases for murals to enhance guests' experience along the trail. Along with Richard, Rotary president Lisa Gelber, Amie Blanton, Chris Miller and Thomas Nolfa formed a committee to bring this vision to fruition. Many fellow Rotarians participated in the installations to bring this special service project to our community.

Conceptually presented first to Fulton County Public Works, and with their blessings, Rotarians worked with Arts Alpharetta and through the approval process with the Alpharetta Cultural Arts Committee. An artist call was held at local high schools, giving the students a chance to submit their designs to honor clean water. Eight were chosen for this first phase. Annalysa Kimball, a professional muralist, mentored and advised the high school students. She hosted a design workshop detailing what it takes to make a mural, and she worked with students individually throughout the installation. 

"I’m honored to have been part of such an important project in our community. Not only to share my love for creativity and the arts, but also to enhance the beauty of the greenway," says student artist Isabel. "This project has allowed me the opportunity to develop my artistic skill and express my passion in a unique way, especially with the amount of help we’ve been given from the [North Fulton] Rotary and Mrs. Kimball. I’m thrilled with the progress and momentum the project has had and am excited to see what the future of high school public art installations will hold!"

"I am so grateful that I was presented with this opportunity. I was able to broaden my artistic skillset by experimenting with a new medium in a new environment. My favorite part of the experience was interacting with passersby on the Greenway," says Abby, one of the student artists. "Hearing exclamations of gratitude and seeing smiles made my day every time. I'm so glad I was able to do my part for this beautiful community!"

To show the positive impact that the initiative has already had on our community, the city recently awarded each artist with a Certificate of Recognition signed by the mayor and presented at the December Cultural Arts Committee meeting. Due to the raving comments already received, the Rotary of North Fulton envisions this project will continue for years until all of the applicable areas of the trail are beautified by murals.  

"I feel proud and pleased to be offered this opportunity to help send an important message and permanently make a mark in our community! This mural helped me find a new way to connect my joy of art to the real world and allowed me to gain new experiences in many different ways," says student artist Kamal. "Additionally, it was nice to connect with a community of artists and be surrounded by individuals like me. I am very thankful for the talented artists and resources supporting me throughout the process and I know this will be an event I will forever cherish!"

"This mural painting experience was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to expand my art skills and portfolio. Working with Annie and the [North Fulton] Rotary Club was super fun. I look forward to this project's expansion so that we can share more joy on the Greenway."

Pia, artist

  • Amie Blanton, Lisa Belber, artists; AnnaLysa Kimball, Thomas Nolfa with ribbon cutter Richard Matherly
  •  Cultural Arts Committee members joining the artists and Rotarians
  •  Our artists after receiving Certificates of Recognition from the mayor