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Anti-racism mural draws attention following the death of George Floyd

Updated: Jun. 1, 2020 at 7:02 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - “I saw it on social media channels yesterday, and I was like, I have to come see it for myself,” Marla Bernstein said.

Those who either saw the mural online or were just passing by, stopped to take a picture.

"I just happened to be walking from work to my vehicle, and I immediately saw the mural and it caught my attention," Elisabet Rodriguez said.

Ashlee Arceneaux Jones, known as "smallchalk," says she came up with the idea because she wanted to send a bold message.

"I've always done my part to speak out against social injustices. This one is a very urgent matter. So this began as an image that I posted on Instagram, but from there, I really wanted to turn it into a larger scale message," Arceneaux Jones said.

Arceneaux Jones said she felt compelled to share her message against racism now, more than ever.

"Anyone with a platform right now needs to speak out, and this is a small act, but I felt like it was something I can do.I'm always moved to create in times of unrest," Arceneaux Jones said.

She collaborated with a screen printing studio owner, who saw her design on social media.

"She had posted something about making it a physical object, so I reached out immediately and offered to donate my time and my press to help make it a reality," Four Finger Press Owner Zak Parsons said.

He said they planned the mural, and spent five hours working on it Saturday.

"As we were talking, she asked if i'd be down to do a wheat paste mural, and pretty much overnight we both stayed up working and making it happen," Parsons said.

The owner of Barrel Proof says he's proud to bear the message.

"Ashlee's a beautiful artist and she just does such a beautiful job expressing how we all feel, and we're just proud that she chose Barrel Proof to be the canvas," Robert LeBlanc said.

"We've gotten really amazing response, and so it's been very inspiring, and it's a nice way to connect with the community and feel like you are trying to do something however small it may be in the big picture of things," Augusta Sagnelli said.

Arcenaux Jones hopes her mural will inspire others in the community.

“I put this out there to encourage other people, no matter what color skin they have that they are part of the solution. We will only do this together,” Arceneaux Jones said.

The collaborators say they’ve gotten a lot of interest in the piece, and will work on selling smaller prints and donate proceeds towards various organizations like the NAACP, ACLU, Minnesota Freedom Fund and Southern Poverty Law Center.

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