KENNESAW — A mural of hometown athlete Justin Fields, installed on the wall of Pisano’s Pizzeria without city permission, looks like it’s here to stay.
City Council is expected to approve the mural Monday, though Pisano’s failure to jump through the requisite hoops before installing the it means the restaurant still faces a fine when the issue goes before a court Tuesday.
Fields was drafted 11th overall by the Chicago Bears in April, and the mural, originally painted in shades of gray, was touched up in blue and orange, the Bears’ colors. Before going pro, Fields played for Ohio State University and Harrison High School.
The mural came together as part of a partnership between the restaurant, NFL, Nike and Bose.
At a council work session Tuesday, city staff explained Pisano’s had contacted them asking what steps it would have to take with the city to install the mural without running afoul of any ordinances. When it learned the process would drag well past the NFL draft, it went ahead anyway.
The mural has since been reviewed by the Kennesaw Art and Culture Commission and the Kennesaw Historic Preservation Commission, both of which, along with the city’s planning and zoning department, recommend that council approve the mural at its meeting Monday.
Should council approve the mural, Pisano’s will likely face a reduced fine of $270 rather than $1,000 when the issue goes before the court Tuesday, city staff told council members.
Although the mural was painted on property just outside the city’s historic district, Councilwoman Tracey Viars said she was surprised at the lack of controversy surrounding its installation. City staff said at the work session they had not received any complaints about the mural.
“We’ve had a history of arguments about murals,” Viars said. “I think it adds culture to a city. I love what Marietta has. I love what Woodstock has. I love what Acworth has in that category. And we’ve done some art installations, but the people that are very protective of the historical properties don’t want murals.”
She hopped on Facebook recently “to kind of get the temperature of what the community thinks,” she said. “There was both sides, but mostly people were celebrating it.”