Location: Martini Modern Italian, 445 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio, 43215 at the corner of Vines and High St.
People have been protesting for days in downtown Columbus, Ohio after white police officer (Derek Gauvin), knelt on George Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed with his hands behind his back lying face down on the street for almost 9 minutes. As a result, he died.
Some protestors damaged storefronts and looted during the citywide curfew. As a result, many businesses boarded up with plywood.
While walking to the Downtown Columbus Protest, I noticed artists working at Martini Modern Italian.
Did you just bring your art supplies and start painting or did someone hire you?
They contacted my partner, Peter Franz. This is his old place of employment. Then, he brought me on. We had a different mural up, but it got tagged, so we are back making it better. We have a board where the community can come out and use our oil pastels to do their own thing. Along Vine St., we have other artists doing stuff, too.
I’m just happy to be out here helping the community.
Interview with Peter Franz,
Why this project?
I was asked by some of my coworkers from Martini Modern Italian. I worked for them for years. Then, I was laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have been working another job. Martini’s has been shut down. After the widespread access of videos showing horrific police brutality, the employees of Martini’s asked me to come down and leave a positive message for the community not only express grief, but also to provide comfort and solace. People are angry and afraid. That was happening earlier in the year with Covid-19. Now that everything is boarded up, it is sad to see all these blank canvases. People want to see beauty on the street right now. I am proud that I know these great people. I am thankful that they asked me to come and do this. It means the world to me.
Sidebar: I stopped by the next day to take pictures of the finished project. Peter was still working…