Great news, y’all, Bicycle Tours of Atlanta will soon be launching a brand new tour… and it’s all about street art.  To help us kick off the tour, on June 11, we’ll roll into the fifth annual Forward Warrior event in Cabbagetown. Forward Warrior is an amazing live painting performance event that brings together artists and communities to create large scale murals.

Forward Warrior began in 2011 by Atlanta-born Peter Ferrari, and about 12 other artistic friends. For the first two years, artists would rather at Melvin Gallery in the Old Fourth Ward along the Beltline for a performance art party. PeterFerrari_Headshot

Friends invited friends to come out for the experience and word of this event spread through social media.

“It was more about entertainment and giving people an opportunity to connect personally with the artists they saw on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and actually seeing them do what they do and then giving them an opportunity to buy art at an affordable price,” Ferrari said. 

By 2013, Forward Warrior was invited by the Castleberry Hill community to paint in their neighborhood.

Peter and other mural artists painted three walls during this daylong event. Check out their mesmerizing video on how an urban masterpiece of this nature is created. 

In 2014, the Cabbagetown community invited Forward Warrior to paint murals along a 250 yard retaining wall at the word of the neighborhood and the CSX property line. For years, theFowardWarrior Cabbagetown community dealt with the graffiti tagging by painting the wall gray every few weeks.

Since it was well known that murals would typically be respected by graffiti writers and not tagged, the residence hoped that by installing murals on these walls, the graffiti writers would move to another area. The experiment worked. 

As Forward Warrior grows, Peter is exploring ways to continue to give the participants full artistic freedom while at the same time seeking sponsorship and donor opportunities to provide even modes compensation for their contributions.

A crowdsourcing initiative is being planned, but Peter also said, “there’s a big part that I appreciate as an artist in just giving people an opportunity to paint what they want, and get out their truth, their message and their aesthetic to the public.” ForwardWarrior (8)

When asked about the name, Ferrari said, “Years ago, a friend of mine and I would just say it to each other when were were getting down about things or going through hell. We were like ‘Forward Warrior, just keep going.'” And Peter has kept going.

When he is not planning for Forward Warrior, he is busy in the mentoring program at WonderRoot, painting commission projects and most recently was on an Edgar Wright movie set painting a custom mural for a scene. 

Bike Tours of Atlanta is really excited for this event and for all the beautiful murals that color Atlanta because of it. Our Street Art Tour kick off event with Forward Warrior is on June 11. Get your tickets early, it’s going to be a ride to remember.