Ever wondered what happened to all the striking + powerful street art that transformed downtown during the protests of 2020? We have, and we were elated to discover they’re now part of the brand new 2020 AVL Protest Murals exhibition.
The virtual exhibit, which also includes an online auction + speaker series, is a collaborative effort between the Asheville Area Arts Council, Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County, and nonprofit Equity Over Everything.
About that speaker series? It kicks off Feb. 9 with Equity Over Everything’s Aisha Adams’ reflections on 2020’s local protest art and continues Feb. 16 with Executive Director of Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective’s Stephanie Hickling Beckman discussing what it’s like to be a BIPOC public artist in Asheville. On Feb. 23, hear from Sekou Coleman, Executive Director of Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community, speak about engaging the BIPOC community in local public art initiatives.
There’s also an online auction featuring 27 of the original works, which you can purchase for yourself or to donate to a local organization (be sure you check with them first). All proceeds from the auction will be split between the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville, Buncombe County’s Community Outreach Providing Empowerment (COPE) Program, and the Asheville Arts Council’s Arts Build Community Grant. Organizers say they hope that the auction’s proceeds “will support continued change and healing in our community.”
And in the event that there are any pieces that don’t sell, they’ll be donated to BeLoved Asheville to help build shelters for folks in our community experiencing homelessness.