28/09/2021 By RuneLite
WHAT: The Imagine 2020 Mural Festival is a Fund for the Arts project in partnership with Lean Into Louisville that brings local and national artists together
WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12
WHERE: In the grassy area on Hancock between Lampton and Jacob streets
If you live in the area or drive by on your way downtown, it's hard to miss the new, colorful paintings all over the Smoketown neighborhood. Thirteen new murals have come to life over the past two weeks, each paying homage to the vibrancy of the neighborhood's residents and history.
At 11 different locations just southeast of downtown, the murals are a part of the first-ever Imagine 2020 Mural Festival, a project coordinated by Fund for the Arts, the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 Steering Committee and Louisville Visual Art.
The murals are part of the "Lean Into Louisville" civil education and arts initiative that was born following the Unite the Right rally and clashes over the removal of Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
The program is Louisville's attempt to recognize a long history of inequality and discrimination, according to Louisville Metro Government. Organizers say Lean into Louisville's series of presentations, conversations, activities and art exhibits are centered on a goal to create a "movement that cultivates a more equitable city where everyone can thrive."
The mural festival attempts to do just that by peppering commissioned art throughout Smoketown. Home to more than 1,600 people, Smoketown is one of the first black-founded communities that still exists in Louisville. Despite decades of disinvestment and segregation created by the city's redlining, Smoketown is a thriving neighborhood to its loyal residents, churches, nonprofits and businesses.
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Local and international artists have been working day and night to finish the murals in the Imagine 2020 Mural Festival, which culminates Saturday in the grassy area on Hancock between Lampton and Jacob streets, directly across from the Smoketown Family Wellness Center, 760 S. Hancock St.
“Art and advocacy are a powerful combination,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts president and CEO. “We are excited to partner with talented artists and work with the city on this community-inclusive effort to bring more arts and culture to more people in more places. We believe celebrating our diversity leads to connections, inspiration and collective action.”
Here is a geographic guide on where to find the new murals in Smoketown:
542 Lampton St.
Joe’s Neighborhood Food Mart; Artist: Victor Sweatt
The red mural on the side of Joe's Neighborhood Food Mart at 542 Lampton St. includes sketched portraits of prominent figures in Smoketown's history including: Shirley Beard, owner of Shirley Mae’s Cafe; Albert Meyzeek, civil rights activist who fought for libraries for African Americans in Louisville; Fred Stoner, Muhammad Ali trainer; Joe Martin, police officer who introduced Muhammad Ali to boxing after his bike was stolen and the Rev. William Henry Sheppard, the namesake of Sheppard Park, the oldest African American community in Louisville.
786 S. Shelby St.
Kertis Creative; Artist: Liz Richter
According to Liz Richter, a muralist from Paducah who is also behind the enormous History of Hikes Point mural at 3938 Taylorsville Road, the new mural's abstract design is inspired by African American "crazy" quilts.
"White and black, rural and urban women in Kentucky have inherited a unique history of quilting that dates back to the early 1800s," said Richter. "The crazy quilt is compiled of colorful fabric scraps, and varying patterns, with asymmetry and improvisation. For the Smoketown neighborhood, it is a symbol of ingenuity, of creating something beautiful despite limited resources. It is a common heritage that I share with Smoketown, even though I am from a rural part of the state."
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900 S. Shelby St.
Smoketown Collective; Artist: Liz Richter
Studying the Smoketown Neighborhood Plan and Imagine 2020 goals inspired this design of a woman tenderly embracing a child, Richter said.
"There is both a national and local need for additional dialogue around supporting mothers’ physical and mental health and wellness, especially for African American families," Richtersaid of her mural that features a breastfeeding mother. "I would like to bring attention to the mothers or caregivers of children and the concerns they are facing."
949 S. Jackson St.
Loaves & Fishes; Artist: Brandon Marshall
This mural pays homage to Elmer Lucille Allen, the first African American chemist for Brown-Forman, who was raised in Smoketown. Allen is also an artist.
"Mrs. Allen and I talked about how she could see no distinction between her experiences as the first African-American chemist for Brown-Forman and her creative process for making art," artist Brandon Marshall told The Courier Journal. "I chose to tie the entire composition together by weaving streams of color through the photos. Inside the streams of color are patterns made from Mrs. Allen’s handmade fabrics she has created using Shibori, her favorite dye process."
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937-967 Logan St.
Logan Street Basin (3 different murals)
Artist: Ashley Cathey
"Because of my experience in Smoketown, I feel the need to create a mural that reflects the love, struggle, and history that started the neighborhood, and the greatness that continues to grow from it," said artist Ashley Cathey. "I want my mural to show Smoketown’s residents new and old, not as thorns in the side of Louisville's thriving economy, but as roses emerging from concrete that had been poured over them while in bloom."
Artist: Steam Exchange (Shaun Jones, Caitlin Kannapell and Rachel Mauser)
"Our design will be the result of a collaborative process between the Steam Exchange, Smoketown youth and their families," the group said. "Steam Exchange works toward greater equity in our community by amplifying voice, showcasing creativity and leadership, and co-creating collaborative, public art with youth of color and low-income youth. These diverse young artists have a wealth of untold stories to contribute to the conversations of Lean Into Louisville."
Artists: Andrei Krautsou and Yuliya Puhac
Art name: Yu-Baba (six graphic profile images of people who represent different ethnicity)
"The premise of the mural design we created was to represent the city of Louisville and its residents in a 'variety diversity,'" the artists explained. "Each individual is unique as well as our every character. We don't know their background, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or other ideologies. But we can imagine and fantasize about it. Maybe somebody passing by our mural will recognize himself."
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334 E. Broadway
Metro United Way; Artist: Annie Hamel
"Coming from a French-speaking community in Canada, historically uneducated and dominated by Anglophones, I am convinced that the emancipation of individuals, the wealth of a community and social justice require access for all, to knowledge and education," said artist Annie Hamel. "Reading the 'Smoketown Neighborhood Plan,' I was particularly sensitive to Albert Ernest Meyzeek's efforts to have students access the Polytechnic Society library and to create a new 'colorful' library specially designed for young black students."
813 Finzer St.
Petro Towery; Artist: The Art Cartel, Wilfred Sieg III
"This mural was created to explore different cultures of the world and ultimately find out what connects us as humans. The colors, patterns, and movement draw the viewer in and suggest an epic journey. There is a sense of familiarity through the rhythmic angles, creating an ancient pattern that tells stories of the past, yet gives you a futuristic feel with digital quality," according to The Art Cartel.
725 S. Floyd St.
WAVE-3; Artist: OSRS (Often Seen Rarely Spoken)
"Our mural design mixes the uplifting and empowering message 'Shine like the sun,' interpreted from a quote from local monk and activist, Thomas Merton, with geometric shapes and patterns, as well as a character paying homage to the neighborhoods traditionally African American residents," according to OSRS. "We selected reds, oranges, and yellows to depict a bright and sunny color palette, accompanied by blues and teals on the 'Shine' text to add contrast, adding some color and life to this small corridor of Smoketown."
745 S. Preston St.
YouthBuild; Artist: The Art of Kacy LLC, Kacy Jackson
Mural inspired by this quote from boxing legend and Louisville native Muhammad Ali: “Don’t count the days, make the days count."
"When 'leaning into Louisville,' there’s a great amount of individuals that need positive reinforcement and this message is intended to uplift, motivate, and inspire," said Kacy Jackson. "The multicolored background represents the cultural diversity within Louisville and the Smoketown neighborhood. The iconic Louisville native — Muhammad Ali — spent a great amount of time within Smoketown, and to compliment the quote, I chose an interactive image of Ali."
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702 Logan St.
Aeon Properties; Artist: Tramel Fain
"I want the image to be bright, fun and to bring some type of inspiration. The bright blue sky behind images of the past with the brickyards and houses that are in the neighborhood. The centerpiece is three children wearing their graduation caps, celebrating with one another," said artist Tramel Harold Fain. "Each one of the children has their future on it saying, future doctor, a judicial gavel and school teacher. I have even incorporated some of the building that I'm working on. I have put a rose and vine pattern that is at the front door and got a design from the top of the doorway. I believe these images tie in well with the theme and neighborhood, the history and hopefully bringing a bright inspirational image to the district."
620-30 E. Broadway
Exclusive Wear; Artist: Braylyn Stewart
"Overall, the wall will consist of familiar patterns and colors made famous by jockey silks and abstract forms combined with contrasting color combinations as well as some familiar organic images like a wing or eyes," artist Braylyn Stewart said. "This piece will be a destination for many years to come."
Reach culture and diversity reporter Savannah Eadens at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @savannaheadens.
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Imagine 2020 Mural Festival
WHAT: The Imagine 2020 Mural Festival is a Fund for the Arts project in partnership with Lean Into Louisville that brings local and national artists together to create public artwork.
noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12
In the grassy area on Hancock between Lampton and Jacob streets, directly across from Smoketown Family Wellness Center at 760 S. Hancock St.