(CNN)Artists and volunteers descended on a basketball court in a historically Black neighborhood of Annapolis, Maryland, to paint a 7,000-square-foot mural of Breonna Taylor over the Fourth of July weekend.
Artists and volunteers painted a 7,000-square-foot mural of Breonna Taylor Over the Fourth of July weekend
The project was led by Annapolis-based Future History Now, a non-profit art collective that creates murals with youth facing adversity in underserved communities, according to their website.
The idea came about after co-founder Jeff "Jahru" Huntington and two of the group's teaching artists, Deonte Ward and Comacell Brown, painted a mural of George Floyd that included the names of other Black Americans killed at the hands of police, Future History Now's co-founder Julia Gibb told CNN.
Taylor's death has become another flashpoint in national demonstrations over police brutality. She was killed in March by three Louisville, Kentucky, Metropolitan Police Department officers during the execution of a no-knock warrant.
Though one of the officers involved was fired in June, no criminal charges have been filed yet against the officers. The FBI is also investigating Taylor's death. Her family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
"We wanted to choose a subject that threw attention to the fact that there is violence toward African American women, and we didn't want [Taylor] to be forgotten about. At the time, it seemed like the George Floyd incident was getting a lot more attention," Gibb said.
"We think she and George Floyd symbolize a turning point in our culture and we wanted to, as this small town, be involved in this national conversation, and have children's voices and feelings be involved in the national conversation."
Though the mural was not specifically intended to be painted during the Fourth of July weekend, the timing made Gibb and the artists reflect that not everybody experiences the same freedoms in America, Gibb said.
Ten teaching artists, approximately 40 volunteers and 15 to 30 youths painted the mural at Chambers Park this weekend, Huntington said.
In all, the mural took 24 hours to complete, he said, adding it took about six hours each day to paint and another total of 12 hours to outline the grid and underdrawing.
The mural is in partnership with the Banneker-Douglass Museum and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, said Huntington and museum spokesperson Robert James.
It's intended to be visible from space through satellite imagery, the collective said on its website.
Working alongside local authorities, organizers limited the number of onlookers and adhered to social distancing and mask protocols, Gibb said.
While the mural is intended to honor the life of Taylor, the group says it doesn't want it to distract from concrete change the country needs.
"This effort is not intended to be a performative distraction from real policy changes, but rather a form of using peaceful and artistic means to express distress, giving a voice to those who need to be heard and to have their humanity recognized," Future History Now said on its website.
The project was intended to help the youth as much as the broader Annapolis community, Huntington said.
"With our projects in general, we try to uplift the youth in our communities, and through our art projects, which all have an educational component, we try to teach them about their histories," he said. "And by participating in it, they can look back in their lives when they're older and know that they were part of this civil rights movement [since] the olden days in 2020."