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Local artists paint public murals, inspiring unity during period of unrest

A group of artists is painting murals on boarded buildings across North Texas. Many of the paintings are being left where properties were vandalized last week.

DALLAS — Some boarded up buildings are becoming canvases for local artists in North Texas.

Local artists are painting murals on some of those buildings. The murals, in some cases, are expressions of protest that are making people stop, think, reflect and engage in dialogue.

“Art can be used to communicate,” said Jocelyne Garcia.

Garcia and her friend Victoria Simmons are among a group of artists who have been using their talents to paint murals and invite community members to gather around them for reflection during the unrest being felt across the country since the tragic death of George Floyd.

“Art can be whatever you want it to be,” Garcia said.

Public art installations are popping up on buildings in areas like Downtown, the West End, Deep Ellum and West Dallas.

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”I wanted people to have an outlet, to be able to paint and do something that was safe and together. And have a place of safety and communion, and be able to talk to one another," Simmons said.

The artists are painting a variety of murals. Some of them remember the lives of some of those who have been killed by police, or acts of senseless violence. Some celebrate diversity or history. Others encourage communities to work together.

”People would write statements and words on it,” Garcia added.

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The art is inspiring a variety of reactions.

”I let people come and talk and say whatever they wanted to say. Whatever they felt. Whatever they needed to get out,” Simmons said.

Some of the artists say their biggest hope is for their murals to inspire people to come together.

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