Students at a Bloomington arts school are giving back to the community through their powerful and creative artistic abilities.
The Breaking Chains and Advancing Increase School of Arts (BCAI) recently painted two murals for businesses in Bloomington. One of the stores, Bremer Jewelry, was vandalized during the recent looting.
Store manager David Haynes was thrilled with the finished product.
“I wanted to do something that would kind of partner with the community, and it was really an honor to be able to partner with them,” said Haynes.
The murals were designed to inspire people to come together and understand the importance of the racial equity movement. Students and staff worked together to paint the piece, and it served as the perfect outlet for them to express their feelings amid the movement, while also giving back to the community.
“It was more like,'Let's make something beautiful that feels great for us to create in this time,'” said BCAI Visual Arts Creative Director Haven Ryburn. “As a program with youths of color, we are very passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Despite having his store vandalized, Haynes feels that he has seen more of the best of humanity rather than the worst.
“At the end of the day, we experienced a small amount of vandalism and in the grand scheme of things, there are a lot bigger issues facing our community and our world.” he said. “Seeing those guys come out and really want to take ownership of the project and partner with us was an amazing experience. It really restores my faith in humanity.”
BCAI’s second mural was at the Body of Bloomington yoga studio.
BCAI strives to promote unity and inclusivity for students regardless of income or background. Despite the coronavirus, the program has been able to adapt and continue its classes and currently houses a competitive dance team, a martial arts program, and a visual arts program.
“I’ve been with BCAI for about a year, and one of the things that I have learned is that there is absolutely no hurdle that the team won't be able to accomplish and step over,” said Ryburn. “They are always so creative with their opportunities and possibilities.”
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