Artists provide hope with murals during coronavirus pandemic

Published: May. 24, 2020 at 12:32 PM CDT
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A trio of artists are brightening the Madison-area by turning blank wall spaces into a work of art.

“We just biked around town,” said Brian Kehoe. “A friend actually mentioned Park Street and how there were a lot of beige, non-descript walls that it might be a good spot to add some color.”

It started in April with a mural on Monona Drive, with the words “this too shall pass.”

“It just makes me look forward to what we can all do together after all this has calmed down a little more,” says Wheeyeon, who lives in the area. “Some hope is needed, especially since a lot of people are struggling now.”

That mural led to one being done on Park Street, as a way to give people something to hold on to.

“We decided to stay with this particular theme, both aesthetically, and with positive messages out on the street,” says Kehoe. “Because everybody's in it, so we figured this is kind of, our public service.”

For Kehoe, Emily Balsley, and Ray Mawst, paying gigs are in short supply now, but this project isn’t about feeding their bank accounts, it’s about feeding their souls.

“We're doing this on our own dime,” says Mawst. “We're funding it ourselves, just with the hopes that we can keep the art alive.”

“Just knowing that this could help one person, two people, bring a smile to their face, that little sense of hope, for me, that's huge,” says Balsley. “That's my goal in my art.”

Recently, the trio added a third mural on Monroe Street which says, “I wish you love and happiness.”

They are currently looking for new locations for their next mural. Besides the color and style, the other factor they look for is something they can start and finish in one day.

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