Suwanee’s Town Center is an area that positively exudes life. Be it the relentless cars whizzing along Lawrenceville-Suwanee, the busy people bustling in and out of the local shops, the happy kids frolicking through Town Center Park or the monstrous Norfolk and Southern freights thundering down the iron for parts unknown, a real vibrance to it all tells you that this is truly a special place. Buford artist Kim Pitts would often take notice of this vibrance while passing through on his travels, which is one of the reasons why he chose to donate “Suwanee Rocks,” Suwanee’s newest art installation, to the town.
“Suwanee Rocks” is a five-by-10-foot installation featuring gorgeous acrylic-on-Dibond snapshots of rock legends from Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix, to Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin. It is set behind one of Town Center auditorium’s stage wings, a location Pitts scouted while eating at the nearby Brown Bag Deli. Pitts says his inspiration for the mural comes down to his brother Tommy, who at 64 years old, still rocks out with his own band every weekend!
“Tommy was one of my biggest inspirations in becoming an artist,” said Pitts. “He would always showcase whatever I was doing to our family and friends who would come to visit when we were boys. We would often listen to music together, especially Billy Joel, Elton John and Paul McCartney with the Beatles.”
If you look close enough, you may notice a little bird nestled within the artwork; it’s his signature, representing a favorite wind-up toy from when he was a child.
Suwanee added the $5,000 piece to their open-air art collection on October 23 of last year, and Pitts says the community reaction to his rock n’ roll tribute has been an overwhelmingly amazing one. Compliments for his work have come from all over, with some even sending him photos of themselves posing in front of the mural, which he feels has only strengthened his connection with the town. It is Suwanee’s vibrance and commitment to the arts that he really appreciates, saying that the amphitheater and family atmosphere made his mural a great addition.
“I’m very thankful that I made the decision for the mural to find its home in Suwanee. I think the connection has been made stronger by the way everyone there has treated me. Everyone connecting with the project has been great!”
Pitts is a Georgia native, so he loves the idea of working local. He previously did murals for Grayson and Peachtree Ridge High Schools, and has sketches in the works for more murals he’d like to paint around Gwinnett County.
“I was born here,” concluded Pitts, “so Georgia is always on my mind.”