The creator of the “Everything Will Be OK” artwork is selling his own pandemic-relief fundraiser yard signs online while talks continue in his dispute with two Dunwoody nonprofits about their similar local project.

Artist Jason Scott Kofke said recent talks with the Spruill Center for the Arts and CREATE Dunwoody about usage rights for his artwork “went quite well.” In the meantime, he had launched the website to sell his own yard signs, with a slightly different version of the design, as well as T-shirts and stickers.

The version of the “Everything Will Be OK” yard sign sold on the website by artist Jason Scott Kofke.

The Dunwoody groups in March launched a campaign to raise funds for artists and art teachers who are losing income due to the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign sold yard-sign versions of an “Everything Will Be OK” mural at the Spruill Center’s gallery, which is a recreation of a 2009 installation by Kofke. The mural is seen as an unofficial icon of the city. The campaign raised $40,000 and expanded to nationwide mail-order sales, according to organizers.

But Kofke says the Dunwoody mural is just part of an ongoing art project involving the phrase, including pandemic fundraisers he is involved with in other cities. He objected, and the Dunwoody yard signs are now listed as “sold out.”

Kofke and officials from the Dunwoody nonprofit spoke on April 7, according to the artist.

“The update is that the meeting went quite well and we all seem to be interested in the same resolution and ideas going forward,” Kofke said. “Right now we’re working out written agreements so things are clear going forward.”
Spruill Center CEO Alan Mothner said that there was no update on the situation “other than we are still in discussions with Jason for an amicable resolution to this misunderstanding.”

Kofke said he launched his own website last week to support his fundraiser work in other cities and “to offer a source for signs until we get things worked out with Spruill.”

The website offers the signs for $24, T-shirts for $28, and stickers for $5 or $15. It says that profits from the artwork will “go to creative professionals directly affected by COVID-19.”

The fiscal agent for Kofke’s sign sales is The Creatives Project, a nonprofit based at Atlanta’s Goat Farm Arts Center.

Neda Agbhari, executive director of The Creatives Project, said Kofke is a fellow of the nonprofit’s artist-in-studio program. The nonprofit will collect and distribute the funds on his behalf.

How recipients will be chosen remains unclear. Asked whether The Creatives Project will have a role in that, Abghari said, “Unfortunately as Jason and Spruill work towards a resolution, I’m unable to share those details at this time.”

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