Month-long community art project, Love Beyond Borders, is celebrating the completion of their massive, sweeping mural at Washington Middle School today. Commissioned by the Arts Council for Long Beach in tandem with state Sen. Lena Gonzalez (who helped secure the location of the mural at the school) the art piece was brought to life by concept artist Bryan Amburgey and muralists Kenny and Anna McBride, of McBride Arts. Together they created the vivid masterpiece to celebrate diversity and acknowledge the strength, bravery and perseverance of those who have sought and still seek a better life.
“My inspiration and challenge was to take a complex and present topic and try to envision a means toward a solution or even conversation through the lens of a child,” Kenny McBride said. “The colors are bright, and the people do not reflect hardship, rather a reflection of their own ideals of future opportunity yet to be had.”
Behold the childlike, colorful imagery—all 30,000 square feet of it—for yourself at Washington Middle School from 5 to 7 p.m. The celebratory event will be held in the cafeteria, but the mural itself is viewable by the public, on the east side of Washington Middle School, at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and 15th Street.
Another great thing: Of the 700 hours it took to prime, paint and protect the mural the McBride’s say they couldn’t have done it without help from the community. Over two hundred hours and 100 pairs of helping hands from students, parents, neighbors and other community members assisted in the endeavor and without them, McBride says “we could not have done such a thorough and mindful job.” (Yay, teamwork!)
Give us a moment’s pause: Taking a topic of national contention and transforming it into a creative, positive and optimistic art piece. Right on.
Celebrating Love Beyond Borders takes place Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Washington Middle School; 1450 Cedar Ave. The event is free to the public.