‘I’m here to listen’: Group of local artists hope to spark conversation through mural project

Positively Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A group of Richmond artists is painting murals around the city to facilitate conversations about social change.

Hamilton Glass is the creator of Mending Walls, a new public art project that brings artists from different backgrounds together to collaborate on murals across Richmond.

Hamilton Glass, organizer of Mending Walls and artist (Photo: 8News Delaney Hall)

“What’s happening in the country is happening because we’re not empathizing, we’re not listening to one another,” Glass said. “This is kind of my way of providing a vehicle through art which everyone kind of gravitates towards to kind of start that conversation.”

Fueled by the unrest over the death of George Floyd, Glass gives artists like Charles Berger and Prentice Carroll, the opportunity to tell their story while hoping to inspire tough conversations.

Charles Berger (on left) and Prentice Carroll (right) are artists working on the mural on West Marshall Street. (Photo: 8News Delaney Hall)

“It’s going to be uncomfortable until you have it. It may be uncomfortable when you have it as well. But it’s the after – changes comes after, ” Carroll said.

The group — made up of 26 artists and volunteers — has already completed three of 16 murals scheduled to be painted through October. Businesses donate the walls and artists take one week to transform a blank canvas into a story.

“That is the whole message here: we need to talk. And listen.” Berger said. “Connection and empathy is something – the need for that will never go away.

The team of artists is currently working on their fourth mural on West Marshall Street in Scott’s Addition. They are also planning a series of community talks for September.

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