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‘Solidarity Mural’ going up in Downtown Dubuque

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 5:31 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - A timely message of ‘solidarity,’ a large mural, is in the works of going-up on Main Street in Downtown Dubuque.

Born out of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Dubuque artist Shelby Fry said she had the idea to use her talents to share a message of acceptance.

It’s now being painted on the facade of the Five Flags Center in Downtown Dubuque - a 28 foot by 105-foot mural representing all walks of life, spelling out ‘solidarity.’

“Once the City Manager heard about it and it was on his desk, he was like yes, we need this up,” Fry said.

Fry said with City approval and the help of the Voices Production, a group that helps curate downtown murals, the project took off.

Fry said it’s a compilation of all skin tones, abilities, sexualities and orientations.

“I want people to know when they come visiting, you can feel safe – you can enjoy the different cultures around here, you can move here, if your person of color or in the gay community, you can feel safe,” she said.

Fry isn’t the only one with a paintbrush in hand. The mural is a community project. Sign-up sheets are full of people wanting to help bring the message to their community. Gene Tully with Voices Productions said that’s what makes this mural different.

“…a lot of people out on the lift with us painting, non-painters, non-artists, just get up there and paint and it was so cool there was a lady up there in a wheelchair with an extension arm in a 66-foot lift,” Tully said.

CeCe Acosta and Kathy Henson live in Downtown Dubuque. They are excited to see the mural every day.

“It’s nice that disabled people are included in this diversity because some people will look at people at the wheelchair and think we are not smart up here (points to her head), because we are in this (a wheelchair), but that doesn’t say who we are as a person,” Acosta said.

Driven by community support, Tully said a message of solidarity for all to see is a step in the right direction.

“We have to break down the prejudice and all of the fears we have for each other and come together and say yes, we can solve these problems. I know maybe painting a wall isn’t going to do that, but maybe taking someone up on a lift and saying let’s work together on this and maybe that will do it,” Tully said.

The team hopes to finish the mural by July 4th.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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