The murals that are quietly appearing around downtown Brunswick showcase the resilient spirit of the community, whose strength and hope is inlaid in every brushstroke. The murals illustrate the community’s story.
Community voices have to tell that story.
With that in mind, the organizers of the Brunswick Mural Project set up its first informational booth Friday evening at the First Friday celebration in downtown Brunswick.
The Brunswick Mural project is in its beginning stages still and has set an ambitious goal of completing six murals in Brunswick in six months. The project’s leaders are also working to spread the word about the murals, which have already begun to emerge on building walls downtown.
“We want to tell people what we’re planning and let people know what we’re getting ready to do and build excitement,” said Susan Ryles, executive director of Glynn Visual Arts and leader of the mural project. “We just want to build excitement for this project.”
Two murals have been completed so far. One can be found against the side wall of the Study on Union on Union Street, and the other stands high against a law office on Richmond Street.
At the informational booth at First Friday, photos of the completed murals stood beside the artwork of three local artist who will create the next three murals.
Those artists include Ed Hose, Angie Jensen and Roderrick Davis.
The mural project is part of a much larger plan called the Community of Hope initiative, which is working now to create a community resource center that will be located in the historic Risley buildings in downtown Brunswick.
The community resource center will be adjacent to one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city and will offer multilayered support for local families.
The Community of Hope’s broad goals are being tackled by several subcommittees, including an arts subcommittee that has been tasked with creating arts programming that will be integrated throughout the various resources at the center.
“We’ve been talking to people about the next steps, which would be arts programming,” Ryles said. “So I’m looking around to see where we might find grant money for that, to create programming and sustain the programming with instructors and materials.”
In the meantime, work continues to move forward on the mural project. The arts subcommittee is working to inform not only individual community members but also local stakeholders that can and will be involved, including the city of Brunswick, the Downtown Development Authority, the local historic preservation board and more.
“It’s important to get as many people on board as possible in the community, and (First Friday) is in Brunswick, so it’s a good place to catch a lot of people at the same time,” said Lulu Williamson, who serves on the historic preservation board and volunteered at the information booth during First Friday.
The mural project aims to bring the community together through artwork that reflects various definitions of hope.
After the first six murals have been created by local artists, a second phase of the project will begin and will focus more on wider community involvement in the creations of murals.
“We want to engage the community,” Ryles said. “This is about the community, really, so we hope that the community wants to be involved, in some cases in the design, in some cases in the actual creation of the murals.”
Those interested in helping create a mural, suggesting a location for a mural or donating to support the project can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Glynn Visual Arts at 912-638-8770.