Community art and murals are essential parts of Cleveland’s arts culture — it’s part of what makes the city special. Art can tells stories of our past, hopes, communities and people. Over the last months, that’s exactly what’s been happening in the Buckeye Neighborhood.
In an effort to reflect the community that’s grown in the Buckeye neighborhood and create a more beautiful area for all to enjoy, the Make Your Mark mural was commissioned and launched as a youth-engagement initiative. What started as street organizing on E. 130th street in the Buckeye neighborhood grew into a community-driven and produced mural created and made possible by funders that believed in the project’s formation, youth participants and Cleveland-based artists, Lauren Pearce and Brandon Graves.
In the early stages of the project, eight young artists from Harvey Rice School and Holy Grove Missionary Baptist Church collaborated with Josiah Britt, founder of CollectivExpress, and muralists Pearce and Graves, to explore what the “meaning of community” within the Buckeye neighborhood. Through various engagements and creative sessions, the youth participants created a mural concept incorporating elements of Buckeye’s landmarks, community and story, even including the “Freedom Bus.”
Pearce and Graves then worked together to weave their distinctive styles and the youth’s ideas into one shared, dynamic concept that spans across 2,725 square feet on the Shaker Square Towers. After many hours of painting over the last two months, Pearce and Graves, along with the help of the youth participants, completed the mural.
The project encapsulates a communal spirit driven by Buckeye in the form of public arts. Those involved — the youth, muralists and community — created a true reflection of the Buckeye neighborhood that will be cherished for years to come.
Stop by the Buckeye neighborhood to see the Make Your Mark mural.