It all started one Tuesday evening at our Rising Tide Society meeting when Devon Gray and I were talking about beautiful murals we had seen in other cities. One of us asked why we couldn’t have something like that in Selma and the other one said, “Let’s make one ourselves!”
Selma is known for its Civil War and Civil Rights history and it should absolutely be celebrated; however, we also need things that are just colorful and fun. Devon and I decided on a simple striped mural because it would be the perfect background for photos and it wouldn’t be too overzealous for us to accomplish.
Around that same time, ArtsRevive was hosting a contest to choose a mural design for the barricade in front of their building. Devon encouraged me to submit a design and it was chosen! After a couple of months of planning with ArtsRevive, I sketched the design onto the barricade. A month later, we invited the community to come help paint it. I arrived early to mark each section with the proper color so that others could paint without worrying whether they were using the correct color. There were about 50 people that participated and we got the entire barricade painted in less than 3 hours!
Our original plan for the striped mural was to do the entire project in November. After consulting with a professional painter, we learned that we could not paint with a lot of humidity or if the temperature was 50 degrees or below. We watched the weather all through December and January, but the sunny days never seemed to match our schedules.
February finally gave us some good painting weather! Devon and I primed the wall together in a couple of hours and made plans to start the stripes the next week. We couldn’t quite get our schedules to match, so we split up the stripes and would come back as our schedules allowed. I took the first three stripes. Since it was the beginning of tax season, Weston couldn’t help me paint. Normally, I would try to do something like this by myself, but I was about 9 weeks pregnant at the time and did not need to be climbing the ladder. Thankfully, one of my brothers was in town on the day I planned to paint my stripes and he helped me. Devon enlisted help from our friend Sam Jones to finish the last three stripes. After a few hours of hard work, our dreams of having an Instagram mural in Selma came true!
Since Devon and I spent so much time on this project, I wanted to get some photos of us in front of the mural to share on my blog. We asked Sam to meet us one Friday to take our photos and she did an amazing job! As we were leaving, I ran into George McDonald – an old friend from Alabama News Network that I used to work with during my days as Tourism Director for Selma and Dallas County. I told him about the project and he asked if he could do a story on us! Check it out here!
We have seen multiple people take photos in front of our mural and we love seeing them enjoy our hard work. Devon and I had so much fun with both of these projects and we are anxious to do more murals in downtown Selma! If you have any suggestions for locations or mural ideas, or if you own a building downtown and would like for us to paint a mural, please let us know!