A new mural that includes the faces of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee now stands at the corner of 11th and Main streets in Louisville.
The mural was officially unveiled Sunday. Taylor and McAtee appear alongside other Black people killed by law enforcement, including George Floyd, Elijah McClain and Sandra Bland, as well as Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot to death while jogging. Two white men are charged with his murder.
Braylyn Resko Stewart is one of the three artists who painted the mural, along with Whitney Holbourn and Andrew Norris. Stewart said the artists worked for weeks to design and eventually paint the scene, which covers the entire side of the building housing Trifecta Event Productions and is visible from the expressway.
Stewart said they wanted the work to be large so that visitors or passersby will be “engulfed” by the faces of victims of police and racist violence.
“By being engulfed by the size and scope of the mural, maybe it will humble yourself a little bit, and take yourself back and realize that these are big beautiful faces on the wall. They are not faces of anger or fear or anything negative,” Stewart said. “We want this to be pure love, we want you to smile back as soon as you see it.”
The No Justice No Peace Louisville Choir celebrated the occasion with an original song meant to encourage people fighting for racial justice.
Choir member Natalie Witherspoon said the song was a complement to the new piece of street art. The faces on the mural made Witherspoon think of other works of public art such as the painting of Breonna Taylor on a basketball court in Annapolis, Maryland. She hopes the new mural here will inspire more people “to do justice and do justice work everywhere with whatever tools you have to use.”
The combination of music and visual art make Witherspoon think of the collective effort people across the country are making to ensure a new voice of protest gets heard.
“Wherever people have space with whatever medium that they have that they are using it to send a collective message is grand and it is one that everybody can see,” Witherspoon said.