North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center May Have Aesthetic Changes In Its Future


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The North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center could have a makeover. The Dunwoody Public Facilities Authority, made up of city council members, will allow the Spruill Center for the Arts to make cosmetic improvements to its center at 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, which may include painting murals and installing sculptures.

“We are trying to improve the facility,” said Alan Mothner, CEO of the Spruill Center, at a meeting of the Public Facilities Authority on February 8. “Transform this dilapidated school building into a real community center. And it’s really important for us to make it a community center. But it should also be pretty obvious that this is an arts center and not an old municipal building. “

Volunteers paint a mural on a courtyard alley at the Spruill Center for the Arts in February. (To file)

As the owner of the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, the Public Facilities Authority must approve any changes to the building. Any changes would still be subject to individual approval by the Dunwoody Art Commission and City Council prior to commencement of work.

Mothner said these alterations could occur sporadically throughout the year.

“The idea of ​​presenting them with a single brushstroke was to avoid multiple presentations for each of these improvements to the Facilities Authority, so we don’t have to come back to you every month,” said Mothner. “And it will also streamline the process and schedule for completing many of these projects, from concept to implementation.

The proposed changes include painting murals in different parts of the property, such as on the front facade of the building and a retaining wall that separates the center from a neighboring AT&T building.

“The facade of the building is beige stucco. And nothing says “arts center” like beige stucco, “Mothner joked. “So we would like to paint. “

Mothner said there were ideas for placing sculptures in the grassy area in front of the building, as well as partnering with the Atlanta Knitting Guild and placing wire bombs, a type of street art made up of knitted or crocheted yarn, in the trees.

Mothner also discussed plans to make the central plaza – where the painting was recently completed on Dunwoody’s MLK Jr. Day of Service – more of a community gathering area. He said there are post-pandemic plans to hold “monthly get-togethers” in the plaza in conjunction with other groups in town, such as Dunwoody Library or the Stage Door Players, a local theater company. The two organizations share the building with the Spruill Arts Center.

A representative from the library declined to comment.

“We would love to put lights and picnic tables there, and really do [the plaza] the heart of the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center community, ”said Mothner.

City Council member Stacey Harris asked how permanent the changes to the building would be and whether there are plans to have temporary payments.

“The great thing about paint is that it can always be repainted,” Mothner said in response. “So none of these are meant to be necessarily permanent. I would love to have rotating exhibits, murals, exhibits all over the building. This is the intention.

Mothner said the Spruill Center board has approved a wall entry before, but did not share the design because it was not approved by the Dunwoody Art Commission.

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