Location: 1855 E. Main St., Columbus, OH 43205
Sidebar: If you are not careful, you will miss the mural. You must turn off main street to see it.
Interview with Artist Shelbi Harris-Roseboro”
Tell me about the name of the project: Lucille McIntyre “Peace Wall.”
Lucille McIntyre is the heart of the South end entrance. The street was named after her. The Near East Area Commission (NEAC) were getting a lot of complaints about the graffiti and tagging on that wall. They asked Omni Materials, Inc. (the company that owns the wall) if they could have the wall. That wall is the entrance to the East South end. Omni Materials, Inc. decided they would pay for the mural. They contacted me.
Tell me about the process.
I measured the wall off and figured out a way that everyone in the community could have their own space. They knew that the kids and the community members were the ones tagging the wall. It was about encouraging them to find their space on the wall versus me coming in and doing a mural.
Antoinette Savage went door to door informing everyone in the neighborhood that we would be out there painting two weekends in a row. All the names on the wall are different families from the neighborhood, the churches, the drive thru on the corner, etc. All the businesses along Main Street were asked to participate. They contributed in different ways. So, I wrote their name on the wall. For example, they donated hot dogs because we had a cookout.
It was a true collaborative mural. Most of the community collaborative murals I see have an image ahead of time and the community comes and paints by numbers. This is unique because it basically was stay in your block, and your block becomes a part of the bigger picture.
How many people participated in completing this project?
I had a sign-up sheet used for people to check out paint brushes. One hundred thirty-two people signed to check out paint brushes. I could not catch everyone to sign up, so we had a minimum of one hundred and thirty-two people.
What were some of the challenges?
It originally was supposed to be a two-day weekend. After three or four hours on the first Saturday, it started raining. It rained all evening. We had to redo everything we did. We cancelled for that Sunday. We completed it the next weekend.
I noticed a few themes like unity, love, God first, etc. Did you steer the theme of the mural?
I did. I tried to capture as many pictures as I could during the process. Here is the link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shel10/sets/72157686800001955/
Did the colors that were selective have a significance? Placement of the colors?
I was inspired by Queen Brooks (https://614whats2love.com/2020/02/25/artist-queen-brooks/). We had a conversation about how I could execute this mural. We like primary and secondary colors. I remember telling people that only red and yellow could be used in specific blocks. In the other blocks, I limited the choices to two colors. I wanted to allow people creative freedom, but when a person steps back from the mural I wanted them to be able to see something.
I took pictures from different angles. Tell me about the area that has the black squiggle lines and pink section.
Are you talking about the area behind the pole?
Richard Duarte Brown is a master teaching artist at Central Community House. I would say he is the most well-known black artist in Columbus. He is considered the mentor of the community. He stopped by and asked me which block he could have. I told him he could do whatever he wanted, and he did not have to stay in the blocks. He drew a man within the mural behind the pole. It is a beautiful touch because of who he is and his relevance to the community. There is a story that Richard Duarte tells that the image is watching over the neighborhood and the mural.
Ok. I think I was talking about the area towards the front or the north of that section.
Do you see a sun? The black squiggly lines are the sun beams. Some people had to split blocks because there were so many people. How their blocks are split is the line that goes thru it.
Sidebar: I was referring to the sun and did not know it. Dah.
I was impressed that I did not see anything “crazy” on the mural since people were given freedom to paint what they wanted.
Exactly. We only had to cover up one thing.
Sidebar: She told me what was covered but ….
How much did you get paid?
Nothing. The supplies were covered by Omni Materials, Inc. It was ok because I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a community collaboration.
Sidebar: Ummmn. Yikes. I thought she was compensated.
I believe because the mural was put there that neighborhood is stronger. I think with all the changes and gentrification that people needed a voice and an outlet.
My take: There appears to be a sense of community pride. Nobody has added graffiti to the mural. The area of the mural that I was most drawn to was I love heart, be strong, God first, Peace, Unity, Start Living, Look up, etc. There are a lot of positive messages on this mural. It was encouraging to view.