We are excited to announce that we have officially begun installing the Eyes of the Sun mural at Martin Luther King Center. Our team is working diligently to achieve our goals in a timely manner despite rainy days. Support from locals in the Truman community has been extremely motivational. We are stopped by all daily by people of all ages complimenting the progress our team has made. We want to thank our youth community for taking the time to help us clean up our work areas!
We have also gained two new visual artist volunteers. Dorian and Ricky have been a great asset in helping Justin execute the more technical portions of the mural. We have also, recently released a new social media advertisement to recruit additional volunteers.
Another great update! We have reconnected with one of the original authors of the Eyes of the Sun poem. He was one of the incarcerated youth that not only contributed to the poem, but made the commitment strive for greatness. He wants everyone to know that he is thankful for our communities faith in him and that he will not let us down. He will continue to stay positive and focus on his education.
If you haven’t been to Meche’s Donuts on Willow St. in the last few months, STOP what you are doing and GO there NOW! 😀 We are almost done adding the final details. The Eyes of the Sun (EOS) mural at Meche’s is 7 walls total. We have received an additional amount of support from Ferrell and Calhoun Paint Co. With assistance staff member Mr. Jeff Edwards, Ferrell and Calhoun was able to supply with amazing quality paint and more than enough paint to complete EOS-Meche’s.
The EOS team, including volunteers, began preparing the brick at Martin Luther King Center in August. We ran into a few set backs that delayed our use of a scissor lift to finish scaling the front wall on MLK Center. We decided to use the break in installation while arrange a new lift, as an opportunity to gain more input from local community members on lessons to teach on the wall. Youth in Truman community have expressed their excitement and desire to participate. We have also added the pool brick to our project to ensure all graffiti is removed from building. We are working with local members in the community to locate the families of the names listed RIP on the wall to create a special dedication. We are very thankful for the support we receive from our community these past few months. You guys are our motivation. Thank you for believing in our youth community. Thank you for being a part of creating art for our community and our culture. We’ll be updating you soon on the progress we made on Martin Luther King Center. Until then, stay tuned.
We are excited to announce…… IT’S TIME TO START PAINTING!!!! April 11th-14th Justin will be partnering with Susan David Director of Freetown Studios and volunteers from our community to install Eyes of the Sun mural at Meche’s Donuts on Willow street. We will hosts 2 additional design workshops with New Hope youth at JC James Recreation Center to finalize the King Center mural. We can’t wait to gather their final thoughts!. Painting will begin at Martin Luther King Recreation Center in May- TBA on Eyes of the Sun Project Facebook page.
Justin and Alex have met diligently over the last few weeks reviewing our community submissions. In our workshops, we studied the Eyes of the Sun poem to create images that help visualize the authors intention and conversations about how best to teach and impact future generations. The common voice amongst community and incarcerated youth participants spoke of need for motivation, reminders of our endurance, our likenesses, differences, and our love for family and our culture. Justin said he is ready to paint and offer our volunteers a guided experience in creating art!
Our team and community volunteers will prepare (pressure wash, etc) each location for mural installation. We are excited to be a part of revitalizing our community. Collaborating with Blaine Peltier – Meche’s Donut King, Royal Hill – LCG Parks & Recreation Director and Kevin Guidry- MLK Rec Director has been a wonderful experience. We would like to say thank you for building with the Eyes of the Sun team. We are grateful for your mentorship and support.
Let’s get to painting!!!
Blessings, Alex ‘PoeticSoul’ Johnson
(Eyes of the Sun Team)
The closer we get to the first round of the Eyes of the Sun mural workshops, the more excited the Eyes of the Sun team gets. The build up to meeting with our community to help celebrate Lafayette Parish Juvenile Detention Incarcerated Youth’s accomplishment is driving our team crazy!
We have been meeting 1-2xs monthly planning our workshops and preparing our marketing materials. We have connected with Blaine Peltier – Meche’s Donut King and Royal Hill – LCG Parks & Recreation Director to solidify dates for mural workshops. We decided that Saturdays 1pm-3pm would be the most efficient times for our community members to attend Eyes of the Sun Workshops.
Our Facebook page, Eyes of the Mural Project, has been updated with workshop dates and times. We will be purchasing workshop supplies after Thanksgiving. Our first workshop is scheduled for December 2nd at Meches on Willow St. Alex will also workshop with youth currently incarcerated in Lafayette Parish Juvenile Detention Home to incorporate their vision of the Eyes of the Sun Mural.
We are excited to create with our community and prove to our youth, that when we focus on our education and being positive, we can and will be successful.
Alex ‘Poetic Soul’ Johnson
(Eyes of the Sun Team)