One work: many artists. It takes a village for change to happen. Time for an update on the huge mural project in East Orange, NJ, USA we told you about last year. This initiative for change brought the community together to create a collaborative artwork based on the Black Lives Matter statement.

16 local artists were commissioned, led by artist Malcom Rolling, a lifelong East Orange resident. Each were given a letter to create, and Malcom choose a font by Tre Seals, titled ‘Marsha’, inspired by the sign outside the Stonewall Inn and named after Marsha P. Johnson, an African American transgender woman from NJ and prominent figure in the 1969 Stonewall uprising.

The Black Lives Matter mural was initiated as a bold supportive statement to spread a positive message of creativity, community and social awareness within the area. The 9,000 sqft mural was painted onto the floor in the parking lot in East Orange’s Manufacturers Village studiosBuilt in the 1880s, this is a repurposed Victorian industrial complex, now home to a community of artists and creatives. Project management and guidance came from the artists at Manufacturer’s Village, the Arts Council of East Orange, Pink Dragon Artist Syndicate and Liquitex, with additional support from community fundraising.

We were delighted to support the initiative with materials and guidance. Liquitex Professional Soft Body, Spray Paint and mediums were the most popular with the muralists. A documentary ‘It Takes A Village | Artivism In A Pandemic’, chronicled the entire journey - from ideation to reveal. Made by local filmmaker Kiymora Smith of The Gold Standard Productions, the film can be seen here and shows that public art is a unifying experience that strengthens our sense of humanity and connectedness to one another.

Congratulations to all the artists involved @simonebaileycampbell @dollasignlogos @kernyboydraws @newbie_noodle @solo_1804 @sunahnashart @kirkmaynardart @god_swearableart @esotericurbanism @artcat_on_q @grdesignsinc @slimsuliart_world @iamcjgallery @serralunaart and @m.rolling

Photo credit: Maria Baptiste (@photographermariab) and Armando Diaz (@outtherenj)