Atlanta has always been known for its fun night life and glamorous shopping destinations, but tucked away behind a small neighborhood off of Clairmont Road is a destination that would please any adventure seeker. The graffiti ruins are a collection of building remains left over from an abandoned factory that have been deemed a legal graffiti zone for street artists to show their skill.
It takes a bit of hiking and adventure to get to the actual ruins, but nothing that is too strenuous or time consuming. A bike trail leads spectators close to their destination, but eventually you will have to venture off the path to find the real hidden treasure. After crossing a rustic wooden bridge that overlooks the railroad tracks, a wooden ramp leads down to another section of the nature trail; this is where the adventure comes in.
A very short hike off the trail right after exiting the wooden ramp will lead you down into the street art sanctuary. The vivid contrast between the brightly colored spray painted murals and the neutral, earthy tones of the nature surrounding you is enough to take your breath away.
The graffiti ruins are the perfect combination of the street culture that the city provides and the calm serenity that everyone loves about nature. Several crumbled cement and brick walls remain standing, hiding behind clumps of brush and vines. In the middle of the cement canvases is a small lake that is being fed by a gently flowing stream.
What is even more astounding by the ruins, are the unseen artists who create the daring master pieces. The graffiti reaches up to astounding heights and large images have been spray painted in areas that seem impossible to reach.
For these anonymous street artists, nothing is off limits. Even trash cans along the trail serve as a canvas for their personal form of expression, displaying brightly colored signatures, animals, and even characters. One of the free standing walls displayed an interesting take on a children’s video game character, Link from the Legend of Zelda.
In the midst of nature, the ruins seem to have a voice of their own and some of what they’re saying can be found hidden in the massive collection of graffiti. One artist spray painted “not all who wander are lost” across one of the cement slabs, while another painted “live to dance, love the music” across one of the black tin trash cans.
The graffiti ruins are an interesting destination for anyone in search of a quick adventure, and returning to the ruins always provides a new collection of street art displayed in the middle of the woods.
By mixing serenity and a freedom of expression, the graffiti ruins are the perfect slice of the city hidden in the middle of nature; serving as a God given canvas to young artists who want nothing more than to express themselves.
Thanks to Taylor Gordon is a Student at Georgia State University and is studying Journalism with a concentrationin telecommunications and minoring in film. She has experience in writing business, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, and political articles and can now add new found love of travel and art articles.
Special thanks to Photographer Natalie Breonah Brown
University of Georgia ’15
University Union- Marketing Chair
Women in Business