We Are APS: Emma Menzies

Emma Menzies’ hard work has certainly paid off.

From late May throughout the month of July this past summer, the Grady High School junior and AP art student spent endless hours each day completing her biggest project so far: painting a 7-foot-tall fence that stretches along the Atlanta Beltline’s future Northeast Trail.

Complete with colorful scenes of everyday life and home decor in Atlanta, the seven fence panels Emma painted depict everything from a whimsical kitchen and living room filled with rows of books, to a vibrant display of flowers.

A resident of Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood, Emma said she couldn’t be more proud of her work.

“This is one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve had so far,” said 16-year-old Emma, who plans to study architectural design in college. “It has been a really big honor. I never thought I’d be among those artists featured on the Beltline, but now I am. It’s amazing.”

Learn more about Emma and her art installation in the question and answer below.

How did your art work come to be featured on the Atlanta Beltline?
One night my parents went out with friends from around the neighborhood. They ended up spending the majority of the night with Thomas Markovic, who is a family friend. He told them that he had recently put up a fence between his house and the Beltline and how boring and bland it was. He had planned to contact the Grady art teacher for students who he would recommend that he contact. However, my mom told him that I am a part of the Grady art community and gave him my phone number. And from there it began. 

Is this the first time your art work has been displayed in public?
This is not the first time my art has been displayed in public. I have done a much smaller scale mural in the Grady courtyard, of four buildings that I saw in Valencia, Spain that inspired me ever since I saw them about a year before. 

Did you ever envision that your artwork would be featured on the Atlanta Beltline?
I never thought I would be lucky enough to be one of the featured artists on the Beltline. I thought something that large scale would be way beyond my reach. However, I have proven myself wrong, and I’m very happy that I have.

Why is this project such a major accomplishment for you? 
This project has become a major accomplishment for me, mainly because of the time it took to create it. The mural took me about two months of diligent work, and I couldn’t be prouder with the outcome. Not only am I proud of it, but the fact that I am getting recognized for my work feels amazing. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am so grateful for this entire experience; it has opened my eyes to the never- ending opportunities that I have in store.

We Are APS highlights APS visionaries (parents, students, teachers, principals, support staff, community members, partners, etc.), who exemplify our vision of a high-performing school district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system. To recommend an APS visionary for a We Are APS feature, contact your communications liaison or email apscommunicationsoffice@gmail.com.

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