SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - A former biochemist turned self-taught artist from Birmingham is coming back to Selma to create another mural that involves volunteers in the community.
Artist Trés Taylor’s latest mural, “Coming Together,” is part of his Revolution of Joy art project. It’s held in partnership with Can’d Aid, a national nonprofit.
“The goal of Revolution of Joy is to paint 20 murals inspired by Taylor’s whimsical folk art works on tar paper,” said Diana Ralston, executive director of Can’d Aid. “Can’d Aid is focused on people powered do-goodery, and this is part of our ongoing visual arts program.”
Taylor started the community-building public art project in 2018 and, with volunteers, a large-scale mural quickly comes to life.
Selma’s newest mural will first be sketched by Taylor onto the wall of a building at the corner of Water Avenue and Franklin Street on Friday.
The mural’s central figure is Queen Selma, who everyone is coming to see and to be blessed by. She carries the Sweet magnolia flower which symbolizes Dignity. According to organizer Cara Clark, “the mural is basically a statement of the villagers coming together with flowers for the queen who will release them into the healing waters of the Alabama River.”
“I’ve been making art for 20 years, and it has been a beautiful, incredible journey of meeting people and being able to support a family with something you love doing,” Taylor explained. “Now that I look at the beginning of my last quarter, I’m seriously thinking it’s time to give back. I’ve been so blessed with these beautiful 20 years.”
The goal of Taylor’s work is to create a route of murals across the state that wind through the Black Belt. His hope is that the pieces will draw tourists to the Black Belt, which could spawn economic development.
“I think the Black Belt is a treasure,” Taylor said. “There’s so much history, and it’s culturally rich. It needs to be appreciated by more people.”
This is his second trip to Selma. Last June he created a mural called “Uplifted,” which borrowed its inspiration from Madame Butterfly of Selma, whose community pollinating gardens make the city the Swallowtail Capital of Alabama.
In addition to the Selma murals, Taylor’s work can be seen in downtown Birmingham and Greensboro with more expected in the future.
“I see this mural project as having great potential for economic possibilities. Artists could come in and create a mural trail. It’s like planting a seed,” he said.
If you’d like to volunteer to help make Selma’s latest mural bloom, you can register HERE.
Anyone who can hold a paintbrush, from toddlers to seniors, is invited to take part from Aug. 14-16.
Joining the community in painting the mural will be members of 100 Black Men of America’s Selma Chapter, formed in 2016, along with local police, schools and other organizations.