Updated: May 20
This weekend “Memorialize the Movement” brings the community together to heal, reflect, and learn from the display of more than 200 protest murals.
Memorialize the Movement, founded by community organizer Lessa Kelly, is hosting its 2nd annual Justice for George exhibit to commemorate the life of George Floyd and amplify the plywood murals created in response to the 2020 uprising.
200 protest murals will be showcased at the public outdoor event, as well as other artwork by local BIPOC artists and arts organizations.
The event, which takes place Saturday, May 21st, at Phelps Park near George Floyd Square, will offer live painting and performances, youth painting workshops, healing and mental health stations, and BIPOC-centered resources.
Lessa Kelly said the birth of Memorialize the Movement came from her personal connection to the murals she saw following the murder of George Floyd. Kelly said she was inspired to find them a home. After trial and error and housing the murals in garages, the first exhibit was born–where Memorialize the Movement showcased its first round of protest murals created by local community members.
Memorialize the Movement intern Semhar recalled struggling to find a home for her mural of Philando Castille until she connected with Kelly. She said she is now invested in the mission of creating a home for murals by artists like her, who have a message to convey and a story to keep relevant but lack space.
Kelly said that, because there is no process in place to preserve this work, there are many murals at risk of disintegration due to weather, mold and other natural forces. She said, as a result, community voices and experiences are lost to history. Kelly hopes that, through these exhibits, she can help sustain community conversations around social movements.