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 while 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.
Interview with Artist Shelbi Harris Roseboro
How easy was it to sign up to the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) website?
My process was different. I was called by Alison Barret from GCAC. Here is my understanding of what happened. CAPA (The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts) (located in the Ohio Theatre, 55 E State St.) and GCAC (182 E. Long St.) both had their windows busted out. I bet GCAC and CAPA had a conversation on a Friday that they wanted to have artists paint on the boards that were put on the windows. By Monday, they contacted a few artists that they knew that could come out on Monday. It might have been on a first come first serve basis. Then, about twelve of us were selected on the Monday following the riots.
Please click on the following link to see the article: Property Damage Turned to Art: Greater Columbus Arts Council.
I also got a call from Suzan Bradford of the Lincoln Theatre. Lincoln Theatre is part of CAPA. CAPA asked several organizations to gather artists to do murals on the Ohio Theatre. Suzan asked three of the Incubation Artists graduates to participate. I graduated from Incubation 2017, Duarte Brown graduated last year and Franchesca Miller is in the program now. On Tuesday, the three of us put together the three panel piece you see on the Ohio Theatre.
Please click on the following link to see the article: Property Damage Turned to Art: Ohio Theatre.
That same Tuesday, I got a call from Dress for Success (Fifth and High). Dress for Success had to board up their windows because they are in the Short North District. They were among the first businesses to have artists come paint. I completed that on the next day (Wednesday).
I took a break on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I did the Huntington Center panel on Sunday.
Please click on the following link to see the first article: Huntington Center Art Part 1.
Please click on the following link to see the first article: Huntington Center Art Part 2.
This week, I did the Fifth Third Building. The Fifth Third Building is next to the Ohio Theatre. There is a board that says we walk in our ancestors footsteps. There is another board that says Peace that faces High Street.
Sidebar: I didn’t take pics of the mural at the Fifth Third Building. I’ll leave that for you to go explore.
Wow! You are busy!
I think that murals are my way of self-expression and protest. I have a new born; so, I’m not on the front lines. This is my way of having a voice in the fight. My message: is our goal is peace and equality. We are going to ride this protest out, but let’s not forget the message of love. I wanted peace, unity, and love and not leave anybody out. I have a lot to say. I have found a way to put my messages into my work. I am working on a private collection of work that I have been working on for a while. It has made my collection more extensive because I have more to say. I have decided to save all that for my collection.
Why participate other than getting paid?
All these opportunities were not paid opportunities. I was paid for all the #artunitescbus initiatives. We earned $250 for everything we did. So, that was $250 for the big mural on the Ohio Theatre, $250 for the mural at GCAC, and $250 for the mural at the Huntington Center. Everything I did outside of that, I did out of the kindness of my heart.
Is that usual? That you don’t get paid by the size of the mural?
In this situation, because there was such a quick turn around, everyone agreed that $250 was a good amount to give artist a stipend and a voice. I think most artists agreed to do it because it was an opportunity to have a voice more than an opportunity to be paid. For example, I don’t budge on a mural for less than $500.
Was Dress for Success a separate project?
I wouldn’t say the Dress for Success project had anything to do with GCAC and the CAPA project. GCAC tried to set a tone for the Short North and created a roster of artists that businesses could use to select artists. I had already arranged to paint Dress for Success window before that roster came out. I agreed to do that mural before I knew they were paying for artists to paint murals. Dress for Success did reimburse me for my supplies.