Catlanta aka Rory Hawkins, is an Atlanta based artist primarily known for his colorful and fun paintings of cats. Born in New Orleans, LA in 1988, Rory moved to Atlanta with his family as an infant and has lived in the metro area ever since. Rory attended Georgia State University as a Berner Scholarship recipient where he received a B.A. in Studio Art in 2010. While at GSU, Rory studied abroad at the University of Georgia Cortona campus in Tuscany which focuses on Art and Art History programs. Since graduation, Rory has produced hundreds of paintings under the moniker ‘Catlanta’, a name that grew from a few cats Rory spray painted throughout the city of Atlanta in 2011. The cats, three-legged with dots for eyes and hearts on their chests, quickly became known as an Atlanta street art character as they appeared on public walls and overpasses around town. Inspired by nondestructive street art movements like Free Art Friday, Rory transitioned from painting cats on walls to creating small hand painted wooden cutouts of his iconic three-legged cat which he hides around town for anyone to find. Rory shares photo clues of the piece’s location and invites his followers to track down and keep any kitten that they can find. Since he began hiding art pieces in 2011, Rory has shared well over 1,000 pieces of art. These ‘art drops’ are meant to highlight the people, places, and events that make Atlanta and other cities unique while inspiring exploration and engagement with the community where the artwork is hidden.
In addition to painting and hiding cats, Rory is an accomplished mural artist with large outdoor works in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Costa Rica. He has worked with several local and national brands on a variety of projects from label designs to chalkboard art and has volunteered with organizations like One Love Generation and Paint Love to lead art workshops for Atlanta area students. He lives in East Atlanta, and enjoys evening walks around his neighborhood, Falcons football, and taking hot baths.