One Columbia for Arts and History and Indie Grits announced the completion of a new mural titled “Grow Together” along Monticello Road in North Columbia in conjunction with the 12th Annual Indie Grits Festival.
Designed by artist Charmaine Minniefield, the vibrant colors and flowing movement provide a distinct backdrop to the community and the elements reference African fabric and flora related to the adjacent Hyatt Park Community Garden. Ms. Minniefield installed the mural along with artists Sean Irving and Keenan High School student Zoe Jackson.
Annually, Indie Grits Labs and One Columbia come together to create a unique mural within the theme of Indie Grits. This year, many activities are taking place in the Eau Claire and North Columbia area around Hyatt Park. Through a partnership with property owners Jocelyn and Lyman Munson and support from the Knight Foundation through the Central Carolina Community Foundation, as well as materials provided through a donation by Sherwin Williams women’s group and Store #2076, the mural will stand as a vivid reminder of the roots and growth of the Hyatt Park and Eau Claire communities.
As Jocelyn and Lyman Munson, the owners of the building, explain: “We hope Charmaine’s mural will inspire neighborhood children and adults with the reason and purpose for growing pollinating flowers. Hyatt Park offers opportunities for artists to live in our community and create vibrant expressions of what we see is our community’s bright future.”
“It has been such a pleasure working with Hyatt Park civic leaders, neighbors and friends to determine the design of this monumental mural, and then within the community to create the wall itself. The resulting 40′ x 100′ foot image celebrates the commitment within Hyatt Park to create a diverse and inclusive community, evident in the neighborhood network, which maintains the adjacent community garden.” states Ms. Minniefield. “As an African-American artist living and working in the South, I am excited to allow my work to serves as a symbol of pride and commitment to diverse and inclusive histories and cultures living and thriving within a community. The wall features a vibrant pattern common to West African fabric, a signature element in my work. The pattern chosen for the Hyatt Park wall depicts a growing vine rich in color and hopefulness. The mural literally appears to grow out of the Hyatt Park community garden below. It also features a giant Echinacea flower, which actually blooms in the garden. The flower symbolizes healing as it extends into the air as if it too is a product of the collective investment made by the neighbors in the area. I am really honored to know that my work will forever highlight the beauty which is Hyatt Park.”
Charmaine Minniefield draws from indigenous traditions as seen throughout Africa and the Diaspora and her personal connection to women who have played a major role in her life. Her work explores African and African American ritual from a feminist perspective by pulling the past to the present, conversing between spirit space and the physical. Her community-based initiative, The New Freedom Project seeks to preserve black narratives by creating public art in communities affected by gentrification and erasure. Ms. Minniefield has also served the Atlanta area as an arts administrator for nearly 20 years, holding positions with such arts organizations as the National Black Arts Festival, the High Museum of Art and the Fulton County Department of Art and Culture, producing projects with such organizations as Alternate ROOTS, Points of Light and Flux Projects. She currently serves as faculty for the Department of Art and Visual Cultural at Spelman College.