Kenosha community have been participating this week in painting a community mural that organizers say “will shine like a beacon with their light, reminding us of our common good.”
The art was inspired by two community design workshops, which offered people a chance to acknowledge the challenges they want to see get better, ways those could be improved, and a brighter future as a result.
“Art can sometimes be a gateway into a hope when we can’t find another avenues,” said Jonathan Barker, the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church. “I’m just so grateful for this very hopeful expression of art being put on our church and being put here in our community.”
Tia Richardson, a community muralist from Milwaukee, is leading the collaborative effort. She will be adding finishing touches over the next few weeks to give it a professional look.
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“The reception so far from people who have come to participate has been really positive and enthusiastic,” Richardson said. “And that’s really moving to see the community come out and be a part of this and create this together.”
“One of the other things that’s really moving for me as an artist and hearing people talk about how they feel doing this,” she said. “Some people have said it feels therapy (and) some people have said that they feel relaxed.”
The work began Thursday and continues Saturday from 2 to 6 pm There will be food available. Organizers note that no experience with art is necessary. All ages are welcome as long as kids come supervised by an adult.
“It’s great to have such a beautiful thing going on the front of our church, and we’re so proud and excited Tia Richardson is doing this,” Barker said. “Her work is beautiful.”
The wall is getting covered very quickly, the organizers said, who added: “We hope everyone can come out and take part. This community mural will be a lasting symbol reminding us of our common good and this is literally an opportunity to leave your mark.”
The hope of the mural is to bring people together, and the more people that paint even one brush stroke on the mural, the better sense of community the art will have.
“Not only is the image exciting and beautiful, but having the community come out here (has been great too), and we’ve had at this point hundreds of different people make a mark, paint one brick,” Barker said. “It’s just so cool that this will be here for like the next 75 years and so many people have contributed to it.”
The mural is scheduled to be completed by the end of September.
If you are unable to participate Saturday, or want to bring a group from a neighborhood organization, community center, business, school or other organization, groups can schedule a different day to paint before Sept. 3.
Those who like to paint with acrylic and a brush, and want to volunteer as an artist assistant to help with those details, are welcome to contact Richardson. The mural is located on the front wall of Grace Lutheran Church, 2006 p. 60th St.. There will be no painting being done if there is rain.
For more information or to schedule a day, call 414-793-6825 or [email protected] to schedule
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