Interview with Muralist John Christian

Are you excited for more art through the LINC trail system in Newnan Georgia? If so, you are in luck! John Christian, a muralist who started the Georgia Mural Trail through his company Go Georgia Arts, is creating more beautiful pieces of art along the LINC. These murals will capture the history of Newnan for a new generation.

Interview with Muralist John Christian

We had a great conversation with John Christian about his murals for the LINC and his career as a whole. John told us about his 35 year career as a professional artist. His focus within the last eight years has been on murals. He created an initiative to create 50 murals in 50 cities throughout Georgia. John just recently finished his 53rd mural. He explained that it took a little longer than five years, but the progress throughout the project has been great.

John Christian gave insight into what inspires him to create art, in particular, murals. Even before murals were his main focus, John would paint murals to earn extra money. “In a 30 year span John has built and created 15 art centers, studios, and/or live theater locations in eleven cities in six counties in Georgia.” During his time building and maintaining theaters, John created murals to help cover the losses of the theaters. 

While working in theaters, painting sets and backdrops, and creating murals on the side, John decided he wanted to create more of a legacy, which lead to the Georgia Mural Trail which continues with his forthcoming murals in Newnan, Georgia. 

History is an amazing source of inspiration for John Christian. During our conversation, he told us about a past project refinishing a sign that was discovered when an old building was being torn down. This sign had not been seen since 1908. John has a deep love for history and art. His pride comes through as he tells this story and says, “you’re always revitalizing history.”

Being able to tell the history of each town is of great importance to John. He explained that his murals will always tell a story, highlighting the important historical moments of each town. 

John Christian discussed his process of finding these important pieces of history for each town, and deciding which elements should be present within the final mural. John discussed the importance of coming up with a mission statement for each mural, deciding what each mural should accomplish both visually and emotionally. His process involves creating a list of potential themes and elements to include in the mural and narrows this down until he finds the most important details that make it into the final design in order to perfectly capture the unique history of each city. 

Throughout our conversation, we asked about his previous experience creating a mural for the LINC. He talked about the previous murals by saying, “the first mural was more […] selfie shots. […]it says Love the linc and [has] a lot of flowers, a lot of brightness on one side. And then the other side basically was […] old antebellum columns to indicate […] downtown […] historic Newnan.” 

He went on to explain the theme of the new mural. It will represent Newnan’s history, especially the industries which built Newnan. He showed visuals of his designs for the murals and how this project will focus on the history of Newnan, especially the medical industry. He said, “this top one […] more shows the medical aspect of Newnan and it goes from the first African-American person to get their doctorate degree in quite a county, which is pretty amazing.”

He explained that the second mural focuses on more modern Newnan history and how various industries helped build Newnan into the city it is today. 

LINC Sculpture Update

We have an important announcement about the wonderful sculpture Chris Rothermel is creating for the LINC. We are nearing 50 percent completion on this beautiful addition to the LINC trail system.

This sculpture is slightly delayed from our initial installation estimate, but we are moving along and expect to unveil this beautiful creation in mid-August. Keep following us for more updates on Chris Rothermel’s sculpture and other additions to the LINC trail system in Newnan, Georgia.

We look forward to showing this marvelous sculpture to our wonderful LINC community in Newnan. The LINC is a great way to bring the Newnan community together and we take pride in bringing great pieces of art to our system and community. Stay tuned for more updates on all the great art coming to the LINC this summer!

LINC Trail Update

We have an announcement on the upcoming section of the LINC trail which will run from Greison Trail to Ashley Park. 

We are making progress on this new, exciting section of our LINC trail system, connecting Newnan, Georgia and instilling a wonderful sense of community in our city! 

Our expected completion of the Greison Trail to Ashley Park section of our trail system is mid-July. We are working hard to build these beautiful trails throughout Newnan and we look forward to seeing our community come together on the trails this summer! 

Stay tuned for more trail updates, as we continue to expand our trail system throughout Newnan, so our community can bike, hike, and explore our city together!

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Best of Coweta

Best of Coweta

The LINC is honored to learn it has won a space in Best of Coweta being awarded ‘Best Outdoor Recreation of 2022’ by Newnan Coweta Magazine

Many thanks to our loyal friends and supporters for making the LINC as wonderful as it can be and supporting our mission to connect Newnan through the beauty of nature!

 

Our Ready…Set…Linc! Event was a success!

Familes and friends alike enjoyed The fourth annual Ready…Set…LINC event at the Newnan Centre on April 22nd. It was an afternoon filled with beautiful weather, food trucks, local vendors, fun for the kids, and great music by the Kris Youmans Band.

Newnan Mayor Keith Brady was on hand to kick off another fun run along the LINC trail.

LINC Project Updates

Our mural at the Greison Trail tunnel is set to be started in the first week of June and will take several weeks to complete.

Upcoming Events

We are working on some new event planning and will announce as soon as we have information to give.

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Murals Coming to LINC

LINC has more important news to share with all of our supporters. Do you want to see Newnan, Georgia become a more connected community with extensive trails and paths for runners, bicyclists, and much more? Keep up with LINC and all our exciting announcements.

Murals Coming to LINC

We are always working to find new ways to update the LINC 26-mile trail system in Newnan. We will soon be the home of two gorgeous murals representing the beauty of Georgia and especially our town of Newnan, Georgia.

John Christian will begin work on the first of these two murals on April 15th. John Christian is a wonderfully talented artist who “believes we all can create, but sometimes you need a little help or push in the right direction.”

He has worked as an artistic director, teacher, artist, and with his murals throughout small towns in Georgia, he wants to bring the history of these towns to life. His bio on the Georgia Mural Trail website states, “John is a avid historian and loves to take part in preserving a little part of history with each mural.”

His murals will bring the history and culture of Newnan to life with murals along our trail system in Newnan. 

John Christian from the Go Georgia Arts studio located in Hapeville, GA created the Georgia Mural Trail. The Georgia Mural Trail began as a commitment to paint fifty murals in fifty cities throughout Georgia in five years. 

This organization and mural trail is working to bring more attention to the arts throughout Georgia and encourage more people to create their own works of art. 

Upcoming Events

Don’t forget about Ready, Set ..Linc!

On April 22nd, please remember to join us at Newnan Center for Ready…Set…LINC! 

This event will include tons of food, vendors, and fun outdoor activities for the whole family including a fun run, rock climbing, and much more! 

Do you love live music? The Kris Youmans Band will be performing at the event making this one you should not miss! 

Come join us at this excellent event sponsored by City of Newnan, Piedmont Healthcare, South State Bank. Coweta Fayette EMC, and Promenade at Newnan Crossing. 

Do you love food?! Ready…Set…LINC will have food trucks to fit every appetite! These include Senoia Smokehouse, Smallcakes Newnan, The Mad Greek, J. Holts BBQ, Georgia Tacos, Kassie’s Sweets, Frios Gourmet Pops, Beyond Mountain Coffee, and Amy’s Pork Skins! 

In addition to a vast selection of food trucks, we will also have tons of amazing vendors! These include Atlanta Trek Newnan, Cruise Planners, Spherical, Camp Gladiator, UGA Extension Coweta Country, Newnan-Coweta Humane Society, Coweta FERST Foundation, Coweta Public Library, Grantville Library, Good Dog Happy Owner, Pathways Center, Newnan Coweta Chamber, and Coweta CASA. 

Please join us  at Newnan Centre–1215 Lower Fayetteville Road, Newnan, Georgia–for this exciting event in support of Newnan and LINC! There will be activities, food, and fun for everyone! 

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Sculpture Gift to the LINC

The multipurpose 26-mile trail system LINC in Newnan has been gifted a wonderful new sculpture by artist Chris Rothermel. Scott and Tami Chahalis have gifted us this inspiring piece of art.

About the Sculptor

Chris Rothermel is a sculptor who received his BFA from University of Georgia and his MFA from University of Oregon. Chris currently speaks as a visiting professor in various symposiums and guest lectures. His UGA bio states, “Rothermel’s work demands participation with strong lines contrasted with rare materials.”

The sculpture is entitled “Concurrent Metamorphosis #1” and will be displayed along our beautiful network of paved paths. This will be our first public art sculpture along the LINC and we are so excited to share this with you all!

LINC Project Updates

Are you excited to learn more updates to LINC’s trail system?

We are working hard to create an expansion to our trail system that will connect Ashley Park to Greison Trail.

 

The image below shows the specifications of this update to the LINC system and how it will work to further connect areas of Newnan, Georgia to increase socializing and community throughout our city.

Upcoming Event

Don’t forget about Ready, Set ..Linc!

Are you ready for our huge event on April 22nd?! Ready, Set, LINC will be an unforgettable event creating a wonderful chance for community connection within Newnan, Georgia.

 

Visit us for this memorable event at Newnan Centre–1215 Lower Fayetteville Road, Newnan, Georgia.

 

Join us to celebrate the LINC at Newnan Centre! Ready…Set…LINC will have something for everyone including live music, food trucks, bike demos, rock climbing as well as a vendor expo and a fun run!

 

If you remember our 2020 event, you will definitely love and recognize our music this year! We hired the Kris Youmans Band to entertain us again for this year’s event.

Ready…Set…LINC will be fun for the whole family. Remember to join us in April 22nd.

If you are interested in signing up to be a vendor at the event, please contact us with your information. The space is limited, so contact us as soon as possible to reserve your vendor spot!

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

How trails are connecting cities.

While the Atlanta Beltline and Silver Comet Trail are the most high-profile multi-use trails in Georgia, dedicated pathways for walking, jogging and biking now crisscross the state. Communities are pursuing linear parks to encourage exercise, promote alternative transportation and connect residents to their favorite spots in their cities.

The popularity of the rails-to-trails movement is a reminder that the success of these projects is more about the journey than the destination. Author and landscape architect Randall Arendt called greenways “an essential component of truly civilized, healthful community design,” in the Congress for New Urbanism’s Public Square journal.

“However, even when a site is level and virtually featureless, a touch of imagination and a strong interest in providing green connections are all that are needed to produce a community layout that rises well above the distinctive new urban pattern of blocks and neighborhoods,” Arendt said.

The city of Newnan’s LINC multi-use trail is designed to connect historic downtown west of Interstate 85 to the new growth east of I-85. The first 1.4 miles of LINC opened in 2019, with a pedestrian bridge following in January 2021. The second phase will bring the constructed mileage up to 5 miles.

The glowing blue “NEWNAN” on the pedestrian bridge spanning I-85 highlights the union formed by LINC—which is not an acronym but a nod to the links created by the trail.

“Not only has it renewed an interest in wellness overall for members of our community—visitors and residents alike—it’s actually created a connection opportunity,” said Newnan Assistant City Manager Hasco Craver.

That said, LINC is a trail for casual exercise rather than transportation. Picture moms with strollers, retired couples, and leisure cyclists who seek uninterrupted trails. With that audience in mind, the city decided not to allow motorized vehicles, Craver said.

Kim Learnard, director of Friends of LINC in Newnan, lives in Peachtree City, which made a name for itself by creating over 100 miles of golf-cart-friendly multi-use paths. She said the use of a trail system is designed to meet the unique needs of each community. In Newnan, “It’s better without the golf carts,” she said. “They have a much stronger, much more robust bicycle community.” Running groups, friend groups and even yoga studios use LINC for gathering and socializing. Friends of LINC holds events and promotes the trail to increase awareness in the community. The group also raises funds to enhance the trail with amenities and public art.

“Having that advocacy arm is beneficial,” Craver said of Friends of LINC. “Anyone that is ever considering a path system like this, I would encourage a friends’ group,” he said, adding that the group’s mission should be tailored to each community’s particular needs.

A total of 26 miles is planned for LINC. Though only 1.4 miles has been constructed, Learnard said it is already impacting economic development.

“Real estate people are very interested to know where the trail is and where it is headed in the future, because it really does increase property values,” Learnard said.

In addition to the economic, health, environmental and community benefits of multi-use trails, there is the potential to connect cities and even different regions of the state. The Chattahoochee RiverLands Greenway Study released in 2020 proposes 125 miles of uninterrupted multimodal trails from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park, encompassing a network of greenways, blueways and destinations.

Led by the Atlanta Regional Commission, The Trust for Public Land, Cobb County and the city of Atlanta, many Georgia cities are part of a stakeholder group created in 2018. The Sugar Hill trailhead near Ga. 20 would be the northernmost entrance to the RiverLands and would connect to the Sugar Hill Greenway, according to the most recent design.

The National Park Service released a draft trails master plan for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area that omits sections of the Chattahoochee RiverLands.

This story originally appeared in the May/June 2021 edition of Georgia’s Cities magazine.

Ready, Set, LINC!

Friday, May 7, 2021 at 4 PM- 8 PM
Located at the Newnan Centre, 1515 Lower Fayetteville Rd in Newnan.

Free and open to the public, this block party style event will feature DJ music, food trucks, T-shirts, Touch-A-Truck, vendor exhibits, bicycle demonstrations, a rock climbing wall, and much more. Come one, come all!

LINC Bridge Ribbon Connecting

January 19, 2021 – Mayor Keith Brady joined Friends of LINC’s Parks Avery for a ribbon connecting event in celebration of the new LINC bridge. Conceptually connecting east and west hemispheres of the City, the bridge spans more than 180 feet over Interstate 85. We can now walk, run, or bike from Summergrove all the way to Ashley Park. Congratulations to all!

The LINC bridge construction is completed!

The LINC bridge construction is completed! Approach trails on both ends are now paved and fenced. Contractors are actively working to paint the LINC green crosswalks to signify that you are, literally, on the right path! The new distance, from the terminus of Phase 1 at Summerlin Road, to the end of this new section at Ashley Park Drive, is approximately 0.6 miles. The path takes you around the Promenade Apartments, over the Interstate, around Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and parallel with McIntosh Parkway all the way to Ashley Park Drive. Watch for news of the official opening of the trail and a ribbon cutting, later this month!