When HIV first emerged in the 1980’s, the prognosis was often grim. But times have changed. Today, having an HIV-positive status no longer has to carry the negative outcome and stigma that it once did. And that’s the message of the Transformation Tunnel mural on Atlanta’s Westside Beltline.

Primary artists John Burnette, Lisette Correa, Maite Nazario, Ash Walsh and Ajmal Millar were selected by Living Walls to create the mural, making sure to involve the local community for input. Critical to the success of the project were the volunteers who helped paint it, sometimes from a crane suspended above the tunnel.

Despite searing heat from consecutive 90-degree days, the work was finished on time, capturing the beauty, the vision and the message of the artists.