Black artist, local kids paint mural in downtown Lake Providence to promote unity

A local artist, and a few artistic kids in East Carroll Parish, hope to impart an important message through visual arts. 

Brandon Virgil and the East Carroll Parish 4-H Club have collaborated to paint a mural in Lake Providence that seeks to promote unity and a sense of community. 

The mural is located on the side of the Henry Wilson Insurance Agency building at 115 Scarborough St. in downtown Lake Providence.

The design of the mural incorporates the words “Together We Can” painted in yellow with fists painted in multiple colors on a black background. 

Virgil said he chose the layout of the mural from a list of several designs and decided to incorporate the youth organization. 

The newly painted mural is on display on the side of 115 Scarborough St. in Lake Providence.

“I kind of made where it could be appreciated by young kids as well as adults,” Virgil said. “I tried to make it for all ages to catch their attention. A message with hands coming together demonstrating unity in the community.” 

Virgil said plans for painting a mural in Lake Providence started following the completion of the Northeast Louisiana Human Services Authority-sponsored mural in Monroe in June.

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“I instantly thought it would be the perfect message for my hometown so that’s how I really started,” Virgil said. “I decided it would be a personal project with my kids from my previous arts contest, the 4-H kids of East Carroll, to stay connected to them and give them another opportunity.”

Charlene Virgil, Virgil’s wife, and artist Sara Beth Howard also contributed to painting the mural, which took four days to complete. The mural was partially funded by the community, Virgil said, through sponsorships and donations. 

Lake Providence artist Brandon Virgil incorporated members of the East Carroll 4-H Club to assist him with painting the "Together We Can" mural in downtown Lake Providence.

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The mural was unveiled to the community on Sunday where the kids and sponsors received “Together We Can” souvenirs, such as T-shirts.

Virgil said community murals are important because not only do they make neighborhoods look beautiful, but they also create dialogue.

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“You may not always get to connect word of mouth with individual people but people may pass it and see it, and still send that same positive message throughout the community when they see it,” Virgil said. “It adds more value to a space in a rural area like my hometown. It adds value to me, in more ways than one.” 

Follow Ian Robinson on Twitter @_irobinsonand on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3vln0w1.

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