SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - Finishing touches are being made to a newly painted mural titled “Coming Together” in downtown Selma.
Well over 50 community members, including local police, joined forces to help paint the nearly 100-foot mural over the weekend. The project is expected to be completed by Sunday.
The mural is a part of Birmingham self-taught artist Trés Taylor’s Revolution of Joy art project, in partnership with the national nonprofit organization, Can’d Aid.
“It just shows you that with just a little bit, everybody doing just a little bit, what enormous things we can accomplish,” Taylor said. “I hope that the art will remind us that when we work together we can perform miracles.”
Taylor has been working alongside community members and local organizations like the 100 Black Men of America’s Selma Chapter to create the masterpiece.
Taylor said he aims to create a route of murals across the state of Alabama through the Black Belt region in hopes of attracting visitors, along with the economic development and tourism dollars they bring.
“I think the Black Belt is a treasure,” Taylor said in a statement. “There’s so much history, and it’s culturally rich. It needs to be appreciated by more people. 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. I have a vision for other artists to create murals on buildings involving people from the town and outside the towns.”
“The idea is to bring people to the Black Belt to do the route of murals, but also in that act it would create economic development and tourism,” said the artist’s wife and manager, Helene Taylor. “We’re inviting people to linger a little bit longer in Selma.”
Volunteers said they hope when people drive by the mural it not only brings them joy, but reminds them that Selma is a city on the rise.
“I think they’re going to think about Selma and how far it’s come,” said volunteer Marley Knox.
“I just hope that they just see that Selma’s moving forward and that we’re trying to expand beyond just what people already know us for,” said Selma business owner Rex Jones.
There will be a closing ceremony for the project on Sunday at 6 p.m. Members of the community will gather for songs and prayer at the healing wall, then walk to the Edmund Pettus Bridge carrying magnolia blooms to release into the Alabama river.