THE INDEPENDENT VOICE OF THE VISUAL ARTS
Started in Washington D.C., the Black Lives Matter street mural phenomenon took hold all over the country. The artists’ community effort put forth in creating many of these street murals resulted in a number of outstanding results. Below are some of the more noteworthy efforts and, when available, the names of the artists who created them.
The original BLM street mural in Washington D.C., commissioned by Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The Black Lives Matter street mural in Brooklyn, NYC. Yellow paint on black pavement is the most common variation and was done all over the country.
Charlotte, North Carolina’s mural created by: Dammit Wesley, Dakotah Aiyanna, Matthew Clayburn, Abel Jackson, Garrison Gist, ARKO + OWL, Kyle Mosher, Franklin Kernes, Kiana Mui, Marcus Kiser, Georgie Nakima, Zach McLean, Frankie Zombie, CHD:WCK!, John Hairston, and Dari Calamari.
Community activists painted the Black Lives Matter street mural on Linwood Avenue in Baltimore’s Patterson Park neighborhood. Photo by Jerry Jackson.
The Black Lives Matter street mural in Seattle, Washington, in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, organized by Takiyah Ward, Joey Nix, and Japhy White.
The Black Lives Matter street mural in front of Cincinnati’s city hall was created by 17 teams of African-American artists, each team handling one letter of the design.
Palo Alto’s Black Lives Matter street mural was painted by Adam Amram and Stuart Robertson, Masuma Ahmed, Urna Bajracharya, Nico Berry, Shiraaz Bhabha, Briena Brown, Cece Carpio, Sarah Joy Espinoza-Evans, Ruth Feseha, Janet Foster, Elizabeth Daphne Foggie, Richard Hoffman, Ann McMillian, Sasha and Ben Vu, Demetris Washington, high school students of The Harker School Art Club of San Jose. Photo courtesy Benny Villarreal.
The Black Lives Matter street mural in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood was painted by a group of 18 artists. The lettering was done by Heart and Bone, and each letter was painted by a different artist. Photo by Carson Cloud.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Al Sharpton, and First Lady Chirlane McCray helped paint the Black Lives Matter street mural in front of Trump Tower, one of eight Black Lives Matter street murals in New York City. Photo credit: AP:Associated Press.
As these murals popped up all over the country, a number of them have been vandalized—the Trump Tower one, three times.
Street murals were not the only artistic expresssion of the BLM movement. In the wake of the killing of Geroge Floyd, murals started to appear in most major cities commorating the incident and expressing the views of the movement. Below are just a few, starting with the George Floyd Mural in Minneapolis that became a shrine for the movement. Following the violence that ensued in Chicago, among other cities, Chicago artists used the plywood window coverings as canvases to express their feelings. Six examples of their work are included in this photo essay. Our Nashville correspondent, Kelli Wood, also sent us picture of murals in her area that related to the politics of the BLM movement, most of which were done prior to the current political events.
Upper Left: The George Floyd Mural where he died at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South in Minneapolis.
Upper Right: The artists who painted the mural—Niko Alexander, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Xena Goldman, Pablo Helm Hernandez. Photo courtesy of Cadex Herrera
Middle Right: Cere Carpio, We Got Us; Location—downtown Oakland, CA.
Lower Right: Carpio and friends in front of We Got Us. Photos from Elle magazine.
Lower Left: Láolú Senbanjo, I can’t breathe, watercolor and charcoal painting. Photo credit: Láolú Senbanjo.
Upper Left: Artist–Joan_de_art & crew, Black Lives Matter; location–Broadway, north of Bryn Mawr. Photo by Michel Ségard
Upper Middle: Artist–Maguire Illustrations, Alexis Lauren, Devin Doran, Jess B, Apple, Tuck Zobernathy, Stacey Elizabeth, BLM; location–1360 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Upper Right: Artist–Mary Fedorowski @overbite studio, Color Is Not a Crime; location–1909 W. Division St.
Center: Artist–Squeak Starzula and Mario Mena, End Racial Injustice; location–South Loop Petco. Photo by Barrett Keithley via the Chicago Reader
Lower Left: Artist–Christina Vanko, No pride for some of us without Liberation for All of us; location–1645 W. North Ave.
Lower Right: Artist–Anthony Medrano, United We Stand or Divided We Fall; location– 1436 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Upper Right: Elisheba Israel Mrozik Maari Usio, 808 19th Avenue North, ,Nashville, TN.
MIddle Left: Detail of Elisheba Israel Mrozik’s Unmask ‘Em, 2019.
Middle Right: Nuveen Barwari, Marlos E’van, and Courtney Adair Johnson, with Opportunity NOW, Where We Were. Where We Are. Where We Are Going, 2019.
Bottom Left: Omari Booker, The Writing’s on the Walls, 2019.
Bottom Right: Lexander Bryant, Opportunity Co$t, 2019 (This is a series of posters, not a mural per se.)
All photos on this page by Kelli Wood.
Photo essay compiled by Michel Ségard.
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