With the help of Pledge World by blu, Nikia Phoenix unveiled a new mural at Peters Street Station that serves as a public celebration of women of color! What started as a building that needed a little love is now a work of art that’s beautifying the landscape and pulsing positive vibes through the streets of Atlanta. Check out insight from the Nikia on what inspired this mural and some of her favorite black women owned places to explore in Atlanta.
Artist Celebrates Black Girl Magic Through Mural and Shares Her Favorite Black Women Owned Spots in ATL
This mural is a love letter to brown girls everywhere. Every day I say affirmations and the messaging is a simple, yet powerful affirmation that I believe every brown girl needs to hear.
The inspiration behind the imagery is very much associated with afro-futurism and black empowerment. We wanted to portray this idea of pride and owning your heritage. It’s about painting an image that unites our past to our future. I believe that we descend from kings and queens, and I want us to see ourselves in this light.
The mural features not just a powerful statement but also a powerful image. The woman is my friend Mary Akpa and the line work is based on an image from a Black Girl Beautiful photography series by Nikk Rich called Monarch featuring crowns by sculpture artist Kristine Mays. Needless to say, this mural is a team effort and a testament to the power of collaboration.
There’s also something incredibly spiritual about the piece. I remember exactly when the image of Mary was captured. She was in her element and really feeling the grace in her own energy.
The crown created a halo around her face, and instantly she glowed. As she closed her eyes and leaned into her own light, it’s like Heaven itself recognized her beauty.
When Pledge World by blu, an organization helping adults fulfill their dreams, approached me with an opportunity to create whatever I wanted I knew exactly what to do: create a mural for brown girls everywhere with love from myself and my organization Black Girl Beautiful.”
Though I’d dreamed about what this mural would be for a couple of years, it took weeks of talks and creative heart-to-hearts for our mural artist Faatimah Stevens and I to work out the design. Her eye and her imagination united perfectly with my vision. The colors are a vibrant mosaic that brightens up the side of Peters Street Station in the Castleberry Hill area of ATL. I like hues that remind me of a tropical vacation or that remind me of Miami.
3 Favorite Black Women Owned spots in ATL
Just Add Honey Tea Company – great assortment of blends along with a super cute traditional tea service.
Souk Bohemian – yes they’re “shop” is online but they are based out of ATL. I love their designs and the overall aesthetic. Can’t find anything like the Souk anywhere else.
Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa – one step inside and you’ll totally understand why this place isheavenly.