Junior paints mural on BeltLine


Courtesy of Emma Menzies

The mural, found at the northeast end of the BeltLine, portrays different rooms based on Menzies’s own home.

Junior Emma Menzies has wanted to be a part of Atlanta’s vibrant art scene for as long as she can remember. So when her parents offered her the task of painting a mural on the BeltLine, she jumped at the opportunity.

The mural is located in front of Flagler Avenue on the northeast end of the BeltLine trail. Each panel of the mural has a different look into a room based on Menzies’s own house.

“There are seven panels, and each of them looks into a different room,” Menzies said. “I got the idea when I was walking down the BeltLine and I saw an apartment complex and you could see through all the windows and rooms, so I just wanted to paint it.”

Menzies’s artistic style is primarily based on the architecture around her. She has found plenty of inspiration for her art from the unique architecture in Atlanta.

“I always find myself leaning more towards painting architecture, and what I see around me is usually buildings, so I draw a lot of inspiration from that,” Menzies said.

Throughout her life, Menzies’s family has continuously supported her and her artwork.

“I support Emma in her artwork by inspiring her to create. I help when she needs an extra painter, we visit art museums and read literature about different art styles and techniques,” Emma’s mother, Britt Menzies said. “We spend a lot of time at art stores in town admiring all of the incredible mediums to create. I am an artist myself so it’s easy to share your own passion with your children.”

This particular opportunity was brought to Menzies by her parents. When the owner of the fence complained about it being too bland, Menzies’s parents volunteered her for the job.

“I volunteered Emma for the mural on the BeltLine when I was talking to a friend, Thomas Markovic, who was looking for someone to paint his new fence that faces the upcoming Northeast Trail,” Britt Menzies said. “He wanted an AP art student from Grady to create a mural, and since Emma is an AP art student and has completed a mural in the courtyard at Grady, I knew she would be perfect for the job.”

Menzies has also received more exposure from her work on the BeltLine. Many people, including an apartment complex on Memorial Drive, have contacted her about future paying jobs involving painting more murals.

“I didn’t get paid for this job, but because of it, I’m getting paid for another job,” Menzies said.

Menzies has also painted another mural located in the lower courtyard at Grady. Much like her paintings on the BeltLine, this mural portrays more architecture.

“The mural in the courtyard is some buildings that Emma saw in Spain when she was visiting her brother,” junior Emma Uppelshoten said. “She fell in love with Valencia and was inspired, so she wanted to bring that to Grady. The buildings she painted are the actual ones she saw there.”

In order to finish these projects, Menzies has received help from her peers and friends. To thank them, she hid their initials in her project.

“Hidden in some of the buildings, she hid her friends’ initials, specifically the people who helped paint it,” Uppelschoten said. “Emma is someone who always cherishes her friends and is good at connecting with people.”