As we moved into painting, we created systems that allowed us to work in teams, leading different elements of the mural, and communicating intensively as a group. This made it possible to move forward quickly and fairly smoothly while we explored ways to continue making collective decisions and building momentum in the painting stage of the process. We played music, sent paint, brushes up and down our pulley system, spent long days in the heat, waited out the rain, talked with our neighbors and our mural took form. The month of August was a hard push toward the finish line, and we made it.
We finished painting. We varnished. Scaffold came down. After months of engagement, designing, revising, connecting, and painting, we completed the Mural on the Ave at the end of August, 2019. Our celebration was held on September 7th. It was attended by hundreds of community members, with food and beverages from local vendors (Marhaba Grill, Pow Wow Grounds), performances by youth artists connected to Hope’s Teen Tech Center, drumming, and a beautiful opening circle facilitated by Ernie Whiteman.
The unveiling embodied the spirit of our process, centering the communities who made the project possible. We were honored to share the work, stories, and moment of culmination with so many amazing people. Gratitude was the color of the day, and has continued to ripple since.