A growing body of research has positively identified murals with social, cultural and economic benefits as well as positive mental health. Murals have the added benefit of intersectionality which means, they promote these characteristics simultaneously in a synergistic way.
Murals offer accessibility to art and creative expression without the cost and class based barriers associated with museums and galleries. Public art initiatives such as ‘Liberty Murals” have been identified as an equity advancement strategy for economic development of at risk communities.
Due to their visual aesthetics murals promote a sense of identity, belonging, attachment, welcoming and openness. They also create a tangible sense of place, destination resulting in increased foot traffic while adding colour, vibrancy and character to the urban environment.
The African Heritage Foundation (AHF) intends to use its headquarters (Liberty House) to facilitate the painting of at least twenty murals. The AHF is at present leasing a house that was unoccupied for the greater part of ten years to facilitate use for its headquarters and several of its community empowerment initiatives. The house has numerous wall spaces that can facilitate mural painting.
It is intended that artists of various ages be invited to paint a mural on a wall space allocated by the AHF at Liberty House. The public will have free access to “Liberty Murals”, however a donation box will be present at the entrance of Liberty House to facilitate donations from persons visiting Liberty House to view the murals and who wish to support the initiative. Donations will be shared equally every two months between the AHF and mural artists. Pictures of the murals will also be taken to be used to create prints and greeting cards. Profits from the sale of those items will be shared equally between the AHF and artist.
“Liberty Murals” is intended to attract the attention of many visitors and residents alike.
1. To create a model of a space using art that can be used to advance community empowerment initiatives.
2. To give more exposure to Barbadian artist locally, regionally and internationally.
3. To facilitate early exposure of young artist.
4. To create revenue for participating artists.
5. To create revenue for the AHF that will assist with its other Afro social engineering initiatives.
6. To help build a greater awareness of African culture and history through art.
Short Term: 1-2 years
1. To efficiently promote, and market “Liberty Murals” on local, regional and international scales.
2. To have “Liberty House” included in Barbados Tourist Authority’s marketing of places tourist should visit.
3. To use the attraction of “Liberty murals” to influence a community market.
4. To meet with government and the private sector on making this a national project.
Long Term: 3-5 years
1. To manage similar spaces across the island.
2. To influence similar initiatives in the region.
3. To have an exchange mural project done with an African country.
Below: Oya is one of the most powerful African Goddesses (Orishas). A Warrior-Queen, She is the sister-wife of the God Shango, to whom She gave the power to create storms. Much of Oya’s power is rooted in the natural world; She is the Goddess of thunder, lightning, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms and hurricanes.
Invitation to artist:
The AHF is inviting artist of all ages who would like to take part in this initiative to please contact the project coordinator at the information provided below.
Tel: 260 – 4795
Mailing address: “Liberty House”, Emerald, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael.
Donations of Acrylic paint, white flat emulsion paint, brushes, plants, photographic services or funding to assist with the ongoing development of this initiative are welcome. Persons living overseas who would like to make a contribution to this initiative can do so using the donation button on the website.
Artist involved with the initiative thus far are,
Name of artist: Brother Ben Henderson.
Mural Title: Oya.
Name of artist: Simba Simba.
Mural Title: Look For Me In The Whirlwind
Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God´s grace, I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life. Marcus Garvey.
Four students (friends) from the St. Michael School who will be soon starting their mural. They are at present planning the mural and each contribution to the piece.
Afrikan Heritage Foundation