The program to support artists through the pandemic shutdowns by selling yard signs of Dunwoody’s iconic “Everything Will Be OK” mural is expanding nationwide and already has sales from as far away as Michigan and Arizona, according to organizers.

The effort has raised $40,000 since its March 22 launch, according to Lorna Sherwinter, president of the public-art nonprofit CREATE Dunwoody. Her group is organizing the effort along with the Spruill Center for the Arts and Custom Signs Today.

Samples of the “Everything Will Be OK” yard signs from the CREATE Dunwoody website.

“Create Dunwoody is excited to grow this campaign nationwide and continue to care for the artists who so enrich our lives and our communities,” said Sherwinter in a press release. “In the first few hours since launching to an expanded area, we’ve received orders from Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan and Arizona. We hope this message brings comfort to communities throughout the country and helps remind people that everything will be OK.”

The signs are available for $25 plus shipping on the CREATE Dunwoody website here.

Proceeds from the sales are intended for artists or art teachers who have lost income from the pandemic. The first application process, also available on the CREATE Dunwoody site, is open through April 15 and offers individual grants up to $500 each. Artists will remain anonymous to the public but will be known to a review committee of the CREATE Dunwoody board, according to Spruill Gallery CEO Alan Mothner.

Sherwinter declined to say how many artists have applied at this early stage and said the group is still “determining the process by which to roll out this aid.”

The program launched within Dunwoody only so that volunteers could safely deliver signs to residences while maintaining social distancing.

The original mural at the Spruill Center’s gallery site at 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road consists of the phrase “Everything Will Be OK” in rustic black letters on a white background. Local artist Jason Kofke created it in 2009 for an “Emerging Artists” exhibit, where it was placed on the Smokehouse, an 1840 log structure dating to the Spruill Center’s history as a family farm. The mural was not designed to be permanent and its wood began deteriorating, so it was replaced by another artist’s work.

In 2011, according to the Spruill Center, a couple asked about the location of the mural because they wanted to have engagement photos taken with it because it “helped them through difficult moments of their relationship.” The mural was temporarily placed at the Smokehouse for the shoot, then was recreated there by popular demand.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.