Students finish up Maxey Street mural

Published 2:17 pm Friday, February 14, 2020

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R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy art students put the finishing touches on their mural at 136 Maxey St. on Friday afternoon.

The students worked with ArtsRevive, Cougar Oil and The Links, Inc. to give new life to a worn down former body shop owned by Cougar Oil.

ArtsRevive Executive Director Becky Youngblood said that building will be a serve a shared creative space where neighborhood children will be able to freely participate in the arts.

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According to R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy Visual Arts Teacher Mariama DeRamus, R.B. Hudson students collaborated with one another over several class days to come up with the design for the mural.

Daniel Johnson, a seventh-grader who worked on the mural said it fun to get paint on his face and bring the mural to life.

“We knew it would be big, but we didn’t know it would be this big,” said Johnson as he looked at the mural. “When we get older, we can come back and show our kids that this is what we did.”

Johnson said that the mural “A little piece of heart” for the city.

The mural depicts the Statue of Liberty sitting atop the Edmund Pettus Bridge surrounded by a flock of floating hearts representing the people of Selma. The Washington Monument and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are also represented, along with an airplane that features the building’s fan as a propeller.

ArtsRevive Program Director Carey Fountain said it was a surreal experience to watch the student bring their vision to life.

“Seeing the lightbulbs go off in the kid’s heads has been amazing,” he said. “I think they’ve been really motivated and inspired from this whole experience, and I know it has motivated and inspired me.”

Carey thanked Birmingham muralists Andy Jordan and Dewon Moton for helping out the students with the mural.

“It’s really great to have these talented artists helping us out,” sad Fountain. “They’re some of the best muralists in Alabama.”

“It means everything to be able to help these kids out,” said Jordan. “I want to come back and see them put up more [murals]. Art education is so crucial.”

“Without [art education] there wouldn’t be anything,” said Moton. “Everything comes from someone visualizing it first.”