Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Atlanta Children’s Memorial Taskforce will unveil selected artworks from the Atlanta Children’s Memorial Portraits gallery during an opening reception at the Atlanta City Hall on Thursday, Jan. 16, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

In addition, the winning portrait artist, Dwayne Mitchell, will be introduced. Mitchell’s portraits memorializing victims of the Atlanta Child Murders will be displayed in the Atrium of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport from May 28 through July 22.

The entire exhibition, which received more than 100 submissions from local visual artists, will be displayed in the Mayor’s Gallery at City Hall from Jan. 16 through Feb. 6.

The Atlanta Child Murders were a series of killings committed between 1979 and 1981. At least 29 people, all African American and mostly children and adolescents, were targeted.

The first victims were two boys, one 14 and the other 13, both of whom disappeared within four days of each other. The series of bodies and lives lost after the initial murders horrified Atlanta residents and haunted law enforcement officials working to protect the community.

Last March, the Mayor and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announced the City and APD — in partnership with Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office — will examine existing evidence related to the Atlanta Child Murders cases, which first unfolded nearly 40 years ago.

In May 2019, Bottoms issued an administrative order to establish the “Mayor’s Advisory Committee: Atlanta Children’s Memorial Taskforce.” The Task Force—comprised of mayoral appointees from the community—was charged with determining an appropriate acknowledgment of the lives cut short during the Atlanta Child Murders.

The Atlanta Children’s Memorial Portraits was one of two projects determined by the Task Force to acknowledge the memory of the lives lost. The second project, the Atlanta Children’s Memorial Eternal Flame, is currently under review and will be installed on the grounds of City Hall.

Portrait of Clifford Jones by Dwayne Mitchell (City of Atlanta)

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