The Artifact Collective | Moving Forward: A Day at Forward Warrior
Art, Culture, Atlanta, Artists, Independent Artists, Underground Artists, Art Collectors, Art in Atlanta, Digital Publication, Art Publication, Atlanta Art Publication
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Moving Forward: A Day at Forward Warrior

Words by Sean Fahie

I’m at a dinner on Carroll street, contemplating why I spent all this got damn money on tickets to LA and now I’m nickel and diming drinking water in preparation for my interview with Peter Ferrari, creator and Art Director of Forward Warrior. I wouldn’t be lying to you if I said that Ferrari and I have been friends for quite some time now and I’ve been able to sit from the sidelines and watch his artistry grow, and Forward Warrior is a prime example of that growth as well as an excellent way to see some of Atlanta’s greatest artist paint live in my favorite neighborhood of Cabbagetown.



Photo By Trevor Kane


At 35, Peter Ferrari has been freelancing as a muralist and artist in the Atlanta area for 6 years and started Forward Warrior 4 years ago, as Peter stated, “Forward Warrior started as a need to paint with my friends, and bring attention to the people he has been painting with.” The very first Forward Warrior was held at Melvin Gallery (RIP), which was located on the Beltline where the Ladybird restaurant now calls home. Back when the creative scene of Atlanta was more akin to the wild, wild west, Melvin Gallery was a space that hosted such artists as Peter Ferrari and Sam Parker and was a home to young creatives trying to get a start in Atlanta’s arts scene. The first Forward Warrior was a mixture of both mural paintings and live music performances and has since grown from artists painting on wooden panels to the large walls of Cabbagetown, 18-wheeler freights in Castleberry Hills, and a community event in College Park. This year will host thirty-seven artists from all walks of life and artistic backgrounds coming together to show their styles through large-scale mural paintings. Some of the artist showing this year will be Brandon Sadler, Michi Meko, Will Mitchell, Nick Benson, Lauren Pallotta, Fabian Williams, Molly Rose, and FREAKO.



Photo By Trevor Kane

Peter’s hope for Forward Warrior is to help uplift the local Atlanta art scene. He has only used Atlanta artists and gives them the freedom to try out new ways to explore their style and thoughts on a grand scale, of course all in a tasteful manner. “I try to plan a month to 6 weeks out”, says Peter. Gathering all the artist, the paints, the walls, and keeping everything in check is one tall order for one individual, but Peter has found that the community has been more than open and willing to pitch in and help where the gaps needed to be filled. Shit, I even came in to help build scaffolding on the first day. (Mind you I stayed up until 5am drinking, and showed up hung over as all hell, but I got some helping done, I think. Well, I definitely got a pretty clean t-shirt from all of it).



Photo By Trevor Kane

Speaking of the first day, the shit was hot. And I’m not talking about all the good- looking people who showed up. It’s not called Hotlanta for nothing. The got damn sun was a blazing, and unconcerned about our feelings or health, but the artists still pushed through and came out early in the morning and got started on their work. But being the half decent journalist I never claimed to be, I pushed through the heat as well to get you some of the best interviews possible. Keep in mind, as I mentioned, I was also hungover. But you know I had to do it for all the fans out there. Your boy is on top of it. I got the chance to talk with FREAKO and several other artists and asked how things were going.


SEAN: “How you feeling about Forward Warrior this year?”

FREAKO: “Forward Warrior is fucking awesome this year. I got a good shady spot. Last year was my rookie year. And I didn’t know any better and I got a hot ass spot, and I was drinking. So I’m not going to start drinking this year until 2’oclock. So it’s going really good for me right now.

SEAN: “Bet that, well that’s my only question. I’m going to go interview other people.

FREAKO: “(Laugh’s out loud). Ok, Sean.” After a quick walk up the hill I run into Brandon Sadler who had this to say.

SEAN: “How do you feel about Forward Warrior this year?”

B.SADLER: “It’s Great.”

SEAN: “I guess I’m going to quote it’s great, oh shit, I didn’t record any of that.”

B.SADLER: “Yea, You suck dude. You’re the worst journalist ever (chuckles)

SEAN: “I’m also going to quote that. Also I’m not using any of this.” And painting next to Sadler was Michi Meko who spoke very highly of this year’s Forward Warrior.

SEAN: “What do you think of this year’s Forward Warrior?”

MICHI: “I think it’s a lot more relaxed. I think everyone came out. They know what they are doing, we are all professionals. I think it’s going to be a good thing; at least I’m going to have fun.

SEAN: “Are you painting for both days?”

MICHI: “Nah I’m rocking for today. Chilling tomorrow. I gotta go fishing.”

SEAN: “Yessir, I ain’t mad at it. Well thank you for your time.


Photo By Trevor Kane

Overall, this year’s Forward Warrior was a display of some of the gems Atlanta has right here in it’s own backyard. Hard working creatives conceiving ideas, implementing plans, and executing them with the resources they have. Forward Warrior itself can be a testament to what Atlanta can grow to be when you stick to your guns and work towards your goals. It’s just one event of many that are similar, but it gives rise to how important the arts can be to not just the city of Atlanta but every city that gives it’s residents a chance to shine and show love.