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New mural paints John Lewis as a hero | News

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New mural paints John Lewis as a hero
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ATLANTA -- Muralist Sean Schwab used a 65-foot lift to paint a massive mural of Congressman John Lewis (D-Atlanta) in downtown Atlanta.

It will be dedicated on Friday morning, with Rep. Lewis adding the final touch.

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"This was a blank wall before," Schwab said. "So having my little skill set contribute to this, I think it's great."

Schwab came up with the idea after a chance meeting with Lewis about a year ago.

"He was here when we were a third of the way through," Schwab said. "He came by and was so appreciative, and I felt honored and humbled that he loved it."

The civil rights veteran is seeking his 14th term in Congress.

According to the John Lewis campaign, Atlanta Restaurant Partners and businessman Mack Wilbourn funded the project, but Schwab donated his time. He insists the mural is not about politics. 

"It's about his legacy and history and just being a pioneer," he added. 

The mural covers one side of the Renaissance Lofts on Auburn Avenue at Jesse Hill Jr. Drive.

Schwab used six colors and finished the work over the span of eight days in July. Photographer Nick Allin documented his work.

"It was 100-plus degrees everyday," he said. "I had a heat stroke one day. It was grueling."

But he describes the work as a labor of love and hopes to do more murals of other historic figures across Atlanta.

"There are tons of walls, and I think it would be a relevant and vital project that could inspire people," he said.

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