Community mural reflects on Columbia's past

9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago Saturday, July 08 2017 Jul 8, 2017 Saturday, July 08, 2017 4:32:00 AM CDT July 08, 2017 in News
By: Jasmyn Willis, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Columbia residents got a chance to leave their mark on Saturday by participating in community painting day. It was part of a project that nonprofit organization Resident Arts is working on.

The mural under the Stewart Road and Providence Road underpass is the second of eight murals that will be painted along the MKT trail. Director of Resident Arts Madeleine LeMieux said anyone could come out and help paint.

"People can come and fill in large spots of color and any age,” LeMieux said. “No skill necessary. Last year my two-year-old painted some of the design so really anyone can participate.”

LeMieux said each wall undergoes an extensive process.

“We started the design process in March,” LeMieux said. “We are at a point right now where we’ve got most of the design up on the wall. 

The designs are collaborated between Resident Arts, their partners and the community. This years partners are Daniel Boone Regional library, One Mic poetry group and Mizzou’s Department of Black Studies.

The latest mural acknowledges racial history in Columbia.

“We wanted to pay respect to the location and it’s history and what happened here in regards to community and environment stewardship,” LeMieux said. "So last year there was a mural put up about the James T. Scott lynching in 1923, and we knew we wanted to tie our theme back to that history.”

The Stewart Road wall is based off a quote from James Baldwin.

"Not everything that can be faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” LeMieux said.

LeMieux said that residents must learn from past mistakes in order to grow as a community.

“This idea that we must face our not always so positive history, and embrace it, learn from it and change our future with that knowledge," LeMieux said. "This idea of transference through history played a major role in the design process. Also, acknowledging some of the not so great history of Columbia.”

Another purpose of the wall is to deter graffiti and build community pride. There will be a public unveiling of the wall August 1.

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