Embedded in the city of Dunwoody is a timeless mantra: Everything Will Be OK. It's a message of hope, peace, and positivity. For 10 years, it physically lived on the side of a former seed house located at Spruill Gallery. Although Dunwoody's iconic Everything Will Be OK mural may no longer physically exist at Spruill Gallery, it now permanently dwells in the heart and hello of every local resident, business, and community gathering in Dunwoody. Here's the story of how a temporary work of art inspired and transformed an entire community.
The original Everything Will Be OK artwork was created by artist Jason Kofke in 2009. This beautiful piece was erected on the former seed house found on Spruill Gallery's property as part of an emerging artists showcase. The seed house is no stranger to featuring the fruitful labors of Spruill Gallery artists, but none have become such a community sensation like Kofke's piece. In seasons prior the artwork would change periodically, however when it was time for the Everything Will Be OK piece to come down, the community cried out for its return. Dunwoody residents flooded Kofke and the Spruill staff with stories of the encouragement the sign had offered them. There had been so much support for this mural that when it needed to be removed due to deterioration, Spruill created a replica with the help of Kofke that is a more permanent version.
Season after season and year after year, the times would change but the message stayed the same. It was a site of reflection and celebration, but most importantly - inspiration.
The message and mural was produced on magnets, postcards, t-shirts, journals, towels, luggage tags, stress balls and more. Yet still, the Everything Will Be OK message became relevant as ever during 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. What started as a relief effort for local artists through the sell and distribution of Everything Will Be OK yard signs, turned into a viral sensation. At a time when the world seemed at its darkest, four simple words instilled hope in people all over the world. Those four simple words also helped raise $40,000 for local artists at a time when they needed it most. The world was literally looking for a sign, and this was it.
In late summer of 2020, Spruill Gallery announced the return of an annual artist showcase in alignment with the City of Dunwoody's Public Arts Plan. AMPLIFY is Spruill's Annual Outdoor Art Installation offering an annual award given by Spruill that promotes local, Georgia, and national artists. Each year a call for submissions will be held and an artist will be selected to receive a cash prize and install their artwork for prominent display at the site of the former Everything Will Be OK mural. Read about this year's winning artist and art installation here.
In need of a reminder that Everything Will Be OK?
The mural as we know it may not exist at Spruill Gallery anymore, but there are plans for a permanent fixture to be installed at Brook Run Park. Stay tuned for updates, but in the meantime draw inspiration form the countless photos of the former mural. Make it your desktop background, the wallpaper on your phone, your profile picture on Facebook, stick it on your fridge - or wherever, you'd like to give it a new home.
Since 1975 Dunwoody’s Spruill Center for the Arts has actively worked to foster an understanding and appreciation of the visual arts in the Dunwoody community. In fact, Spruill is the largest community arts education center in the Southeast.
The Spruill Center for the Arts is not only a local hub for artistic pursuits, but also a center for community spirit and empowerment. Looking for things to do in Dunwoody? Classes and workshops are offered year round for all ages including children’s summer camps as well as girls’ night out themed painting and pottery. View the class schedule to get inspired today: www.spruillarts.org/registration.php.