Artists reflect on BLM mural a year after the murder of George Floyd

Almost a year later, muralists reflect on their art and contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ashley Mackey Image
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Artists reflect on Black Lives Matter mural a year later
Almost a year later, muralists reflect on their art and contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After the murder of George Floyd, communities around the country mourned the loss. In Los Angeles emotions were expressed through protests, marches and art, with multiple murals popping up across the city, including a 148-foot-long mural in Hollywood.

"We were trying to bring a message to everybody," said Jamie Masada. "You know, that hatred we don't need in this world."

Masada is the owner and founder of Laugh Factory and he teamed up with the organization Arts Bridging the Gap to hire five Black artists to paint the 148-foot-long mural on his property.

"The goal of the mural for us was to do something that would memorialize this moment," said Georgia Van Cuylenburg, founding director of Arts Bridging the Gap. "So that we don't forget, because change only happens over time."

Nearly a year ago they painted the mural with the goal of honoring the lives lost to social injustice and also to spark conversation, and they believe they did just that, but they also believe they still have a long way to go.

"As soon as we write a name then another name is going to have to be written tomorrow," said Noah Humes, the artist responsible for painting George Floyd in the mural. "And we're just really trying to fight for that to no longer be the case."

"I hope that a year later, you know that the statement Black Lives Matter, I hope that it means more to people than just an organization or something political," said PeQue Brown, the artist responsible for painting Breonna Taylor in the mural. "I hope that people really understand that Black lives actually matter."

Now nearly a year later, everyone involved in the project reflects back on the impact art can have on a movement.

"It's important to have pieces of art like this in the world so that we don't stop changing," said Van Cuylenburg. "That we continue to have these conversations and continue to think and continue to reflect and not repeat history."

"The hope is that a year later that we're smarter, wiser," said Brown. "And we're more compassionate, more loving, as a people, as a nation."

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