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Decatur’s Grove Street mural commemorates John Lewis

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Decatur’s Grove Street mural commemorates John Lewis

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A full view of the finished mural. Photo via Margot Ecke


Decatur, GA — Printmaker and graphic designer Margot Ecke saw the graffiti-covered retaining wall on Grove Street not as a crumbling eyesore, but as a possibility for a community project — so she designed a mural to commemorate the words and actions of the late John Lewis.

The quote “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble” is painted in large black letters across a bright pink background, which is dotted with abstract shapes of vibrant colors.

The artist during the painting of the mural. Photo via Margot Ecke

“The community is so full of children, and the quote itself is a call to be involved in the community,” said Ecke.

After the mural design was approved by the City of Decatur, volunteers spent the month of September clearing the area of foliage and debris, priming the wall for painting, and finally painting the mural. Children were accompanied by their parents, and were welcome to help paint the mural. The finished painting was revealed at a ribbon-cutting on September 27.

The retaining wall before the mural was painted. Photo via Margot Ecke

To raise funds for the mural, Ecke launched a crowdfunding campaign and also sold letterpress-printed posters of the full quote on Etsy. Previously, she has done other fundraisers at her brick-and-mortar letterpress shop in Athens, such as during the 2017 Women’s March when she sold protest sign designs and raised $2,500 for an Athens women’s shelter.

Ecke’s letterpress business, Smokey Road Press, specializes in “letterpress, bookbinding, design, and curation.” Ecke is also a foundation studies professor at SCAD. This is Ecke’s first mural in the Decatur area.

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