Expanding the Artist Cohort, Collaborative Design Process + Mural on the Ave getting colorful!

Group photo of all 10 Cohort Artist + Project Facilitators!

The Mural On the Ave Artist Cohort has expanded with the intention of centering Native voices in our process and imagery, welcoming three additional artists into the design process; Missy Whiteman, James Autio and Simone Rendon. All three bring their creative skills, insights and valuable perspectives to the table.  Among these, Missy led the cohort in identifying and incorporating Lakota, Ojibwe, and Arapaho symbols, aesthetics, and imagery to be incorporated into the design. Part of this process involved connecting with tribal elders and artists to provide guidance and permission on these and all elements of our mural design.

Cohort design session.

Feedback Session + Finalizing Design

Our design process has involved intensive work by Cohort members to identify themes that emerged from the World cafe, Interviews, PPL listening session and many community conversations. With these themes at the center, we began to sketch and visually translate the many ideas into a design. The Cohort of 10 artists split up into design teams and collaborated on three initial design concepts.

We presented the three design concepts at the Community Feedback Session at Hope community on Thursday, July 18th. Many folks who came to the World Cafe returned and gave us their feedback that helped us reshape our design. People wanted to see more of the rich diversity of Philips represented as well as real-life call to action against the various forms of oppression that threatens the residents of the Phillips Neighborhood. 

The most recurring and strongest themes we encountered created the basis of our design choices.  

These were: 

  • indigenous care of the earth, protecting the sacred home that is Philips
  • Immigration (human trafficking, family separation, boarding schools
  • Plants that represent different cultures in philips and world
  • Agitation, call to real-life action: historical vignettes of organizing and call to action now
  • Diversity: representing the past and current residents of Philips
Line version of final design. This is what we projected onto the wall!

Projection + Painting

When our design was finalized, We used a projector at night to transfer the design to the mural wall.  Several Members of the Artist Cohort projected the design over four nights. We used two large lifts to reach the height of the building and a very powerful projector that Mia lent to us.


Final design with color.

Now that our design is on the wall we are making progress with painting! Our method for painting consists of sections and section leads. We start with painting the background colors and work our way to the foreground figure.

Community Painting Day, Saturday August 17th, 12pm- 4pm

We invite community members to join us in painting sections of the mural on a synthetic material called polytab, that will be laid on tables at the mural site, PPL’s Career Center Parking lot, 1021 E Franklin.

Once painted, these sections will be installed on the wall using industrial strength acrylic gel; this method is similar to hanging wallpaper. Painting on poly tab allows everyone to paint without the danger and physical challenge of painting directly on the wall. 

We will be painting sunflowers with many vignettes of Phillips community organizing in their centers. Sunflowers are beautiful and have the ability to pull toxins from polluted urban soil. The vignettes inside the sunflower depict moments of resistance in Philips, such as the Roof Depot fight and American Indian Movement. It is important to keep these histories alive, that is why we chose to include them and more into the design.

Save the date! Mural on the Ave Unveiling Celebration!

Saturday, September 7th, 2-5pm at Mural Site, 1021 E Franklin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s