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Work begins on James Brown mural in downtown Augusta

Cole Phail, of Appling, is the artists working on the James Brown mural in downtown Augusta.
Cole Phail, of Appling, is the artists working on the James Brown mural in downtown Augusta.(WRDW)
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 11:12 AM EDT
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Thursday, June 11, 2020

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Work has begun on a mural to pay tribute to and R&B legend James Brown in the city where he spent much of his life.

In March, Cole Phail, of Appling, won the public’s vote in the mural competition with his design titled “The Spirit of Funk.”

Work began Monday at 879 Broad St. in downtown Augusta. Phail will be documenting his progress on the mural, which is expected to take two months to complete. The Greater Augusta Arts Council and Visit Augusta will be sharing the mural’s progress with social media posts.

“My hope is that the viewer will get the full impact of the life of James Brown with a casual viewing,” he said, “but will be enticed to spend more time studying the details layered throughout.”

For the design, Phail used a variety of art styles including realism, graphic, impressionistic, and packed his imagery with the lyrics of Brown’s greatest hits.

The new public art has been made possible through a grant from the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau, with a matching fund component from the city of Augusta. In addition, Caterpillar dealer Yancey Brothers has provided a scissor lift to be used in the work. The mural project is administered by Greater Augusta Arts Council.

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