Atlanta has the nickname “City in a Forest” in reference to the dense urban foliage throughout the city. This mural reflects that name in its depiction of native Georgia plants seen on and around the Atlanta BeltLine. Like all of Andrew Catanese’s work, the mural will reflect the South in content as well as setting. The work acts as an exploration of place through flora and of the self through the figures hidden therein. The open narrative provides a structured viewing with room for interpretation and personal connection for the viewer, and focuses on the South and the many, complex relationships its people have.

Andrew Catanese attended the Sam Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis where he obtained a BFA in Studio Art. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He has shown his work throughout the state as well as participating in shows in Missouri, Virginia, and Italy. Andrew’s work stems from growing up in the South as a secular queer man and the isolation that often accompanies those who do not conform to southern stereotypes. The dense, tapestry-like images are populated with the native plants and heavy foliage of the South to reflect the natural beauty of our locale. Each painting draws heavily from literature, biblical narratives, and classical myth. Andrew paintings act as refutations of tribalism and violence; professing an intense desire for more empathy. The paintings work to capture the complexities (both woe and wonder) of the South.

S. Shayne Hargis, team lead:
S. Shayne Hargis is a writer and illustrator born and raised in Atlanta. She has received regional recognition for her academic writing, poetry, and humorist micro-fiction. She has a rich history of collaboration with Catanese: the two share a comic series which has been shown in Atlanta galleries and often work together on narratives for other pieces.