Art Rudick says he always had an interest in art but never had the talent to be an actual artist. He did design and build furniture for a few years, but after one woodworking accident too many Rudick said his wife insisted he give up the hobby while he still had all his fingers. On a trip to New York to see his niece, the Coca Cola retiree and Old Fourth Ward resident became fascinated with the street art he saw while on a walking tour of Brooklyn. He opened an Instagram account and posted the photos he took of the Brooklyn murals.
Energized with a new-found passion for street art, Rudick began searching the internet for information and locations of his hometown murals. He says the sites he found were not specific enough or outdated so he began following local artists on Instagram and driving around the neighborhoods and checking Google Street View.
Rudick decided his retirement hobby would be building a website that made it easy for people to tour Atlanta’s street art. The site is called Atlanta Street Art Map and it went live last December with maps and archives of over 300 murals from around the city. The maps are interactive, divided into different neighborhoods and feature Rudick’s photos of the art, directions, the artist’s name and a link to their bio and web presence.
Rudick regularly updates the maps when new work goes up and removes and archives murals that are gone.
Taking his self-guided tours are a fun family friendly way to get out and see Atlanta’s neighborhoods said Rudick and he offers this advice. “Follow the map, it will show you where all the hidden gems are but keep your eyes open because the street art scene by its very nature changes all the time and there are always new murals appearing. Look for new stuff that isn’t on the map yet. That’s half the fun of looking for street art.” And he says if you do see something not on the map contact him through the website and let him know so he can add it.
You can find Art Rudick’s self-guided street art tours at www.streetartmap.org. You can also follow him on Instagram @art_r_7106.