The Johns Creek Tunnel
About the Project
The Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau (JCCVB) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil their most recent Tourism Product Development project in Johns Creek, Georgia. The event will take place Saturday, April 21st, 2018 at 10am and officially open “The Johns Creek Tunnel”: a 130’ mural designed by internationally esteemed artist, Hanif Kureshi, from New Delhi, India. This mural is Kureshi’s first work completed in the US.
This project is a result of collaboration between the JCCVB, City of Johns Creek, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Urban Catalyst Lab (UCL), artists Kureshi and William Massey; and countless volunteers from the Johns Creek Arts community. The Johns Creek Tunnel is a pedestrian underpass beneath Medlock Bridge Rd./SR 141, just south of McGinnis Ferry Rd. The east entrance of the tunnel is located near street address 11695 Medlock Bridge Rd.
“When new Tourism Product Development funds became available in July of 2016, improvements to the underpass was one of the recommendations JCCVB made to City Council for use of theses funds,” says Shelby Marzen, JCCVB Executive Director. “This tunnel is located walking distance to both hotels in Johns Creek and connects business and leisure visitors to nearby restaurants and shops. Local hoteliers were in agreement that the tunnel played a role in improving the visitor experience for overnight guests,” says Marzen.
With the goal of engaging local artists while also connecting Johns Creek to public art movements on a regional and global level, JCCVB contracted with Urban Catalyst Lab (UCL) to facilitate a community intervention art project that would celebrate the diverse and unified community of Johns Creek. “Public art has the power to transform average public space into a cultural destination. This public art project connects Johns Creek to public art movements happening not just in Atlanta, but around the world,” says Lynda Smith, JCCVB Chairwoman.
Inspired from the ethnically diverse demographics of the City, UCL invited Kureshi to collaborate with Atlanta based artist, William Massey, to engage the community in a mural project that would set Johns Creek apart. Johns Creek community members were engaged in all stages of production, from design input to installation. The JCCVB also partnered with the Johns Creek Arts Center to host community input sessions and engage local artists with this project.
“We are excited to collaborate with JCCVB in launching the first local to global community art intervention in Johns Creek” adds Ruxanda Renita, co-founder of Urban Catalyst Lab. “William and Hanif share the concept of creating inclusive spaces that amplifies and strengthens community’s identity. This project is an example of art building global community with respect to the local one,” sates Renita.
The design was inspired from community discussion of the area’s rich history, as well as the diversity that is celebrated today. “This project is celebrating unity. It tells a story of how a diverse community, such as Johns Creek, came into being, where it’s at now, and where it has the potential to go,” says Massey.
Overlapping geometric shapes symbolize the geography of Johns Creek’s community areas, while Kureshi’s signature letterforms will represent the many languages spoken by the diverse ethnicity of Johns Creek residents, both past and present. Stand at a central point outside the east entrance, and the design takes the shape of both a heart and peace sign, illustrating the sense of unity described from the community.
About URBAN CATALYST LAB + THE ARTISts: