There’s a new addition to the Barberitos on South Lumpkin Street, otherwise known as Five Points—a groovy, ‘70s-inspired mural commissioned by University of Georgia graduate Taylor Shaw.
This over 14-foot-tall mural features little details related to Athens culture with a glimpse of the word “Barberitos” stretching across from within.
Shaw, originally from Destin, Florida, has artwork featured throughout Athens, from his “Hey Baby” mural displayed on the side of Chuck’s Fish and the “Greetings From Athens” postcard artwork in the alley beside Classic City Cycling. All of these sites were sure to catch the eye of Downing Barber, CEO of Barberitos.
Barber saw Shaw’s artwork featured around the city and decided to commission him for a piece on his Barberitos located in Five Points.
“I saw his work, and we like to try to keep things with people from Georgia, but I really liked it so I just had to call him and commission him for [a mural],” Barber said. “There’s a lot of talented people who could do this, but I think it was by coincidence that I found him and he was able to do it.”
Once Shaw received the call, he planned a trip from Valdosta, Georgia, where he currently teaches Sculpture 2D at Valdosta State University, to Athens to bring his idea to life.
“It was actually sorta challenging,” Shaw said. “I drove up there on a Thursday night, and when I got there the projector wasn’t working properly so I had to hand paint everything. It was all done at night after teaching and driving and having equipment malfunction, so it was a bit of a challenge there.”
The scale of this mural stretches 14 feet tall, the biggest Shaw has ever done. He chose the ‘70s theme to match the location’s “‘70s, funk” graphics inside the restaurant and wanted to mesh it all together in one form of art. This style was a departure from Shaw’s normal postcard aesthetic, which he said was a type of “evolution” for him.
The mural’s style and design as a whole are significant to Barber as it represents Five Points and gives viewers the opportunity to see several layers in the artwork after truly analyzing it, he said.
“It has a personality that represents part of your community,” Barber said. “It’s great to be able to pass a cool mural that represents Athens, and they add a lot of color and flavor to the city. I wanted to be able to add to that at my location instead of just having a big wall.”
Barber gave Shaw the freedom to create whatever he felt was characteristic of not only Athens but Barberitos and Five Points. By using the preexisting colors that already took up the wall and the small features Barber wanted to be incorporated, Shaw came up with “5 Points” with buildings and landmarks drawn inside the letters.
“These murals are like a business card to me,” Shaw said. “Someone wants a mural on their building that is recognizable in Athens, and suddenly they see mine and decide to call me.”