OCA’s Conservation and Maintenance Team Restores Complementary Murals

Gary Flesher’s “Evolution” (circa 1993) after undergoing restoration.

Recently, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) restored two allied murals beneath the Beltline overpass at Ponce City Market. A vulnerable location for graffiti, the OCA keeps an eye out to preserve the integrity of these stunning mosaic works.

As complementary works, “Our City” by Mahdi Fakhreddin and “Evolution” by Gary Flesher uses similar themes to speak about the ever-evolving nature of cultural identity, and the concept of achieving feelings of freedom as a lone statistic within a complex urban environment.

Walls surrounding Flesher’s “Evolution” and Mahdi Fakhreddin “Our City” before graffiti removal.

Countering vandalism is one way the office evolves alongside the inhabitants of our city. In March 2020, the Conservation and Maintenance team started removing graffiti near the dual artworks by pressure washing the surrounding surfaces, removing debris, and preparing for the next round of treatment.

The following week, the team performed extensive graffiti removal from the walls surrounding each mural, and even on the signage. With restoration completed, these beautiful mosaic murals return to center stage while the walls receded to the background once again.