• Carol Swartout Klein

"Seeds" Proverb painting by Andrea McMurray

Andrea's artwork is based on a powerful expression that was originally attributed to the Greek poet, Dinos Christianopoulus, and which was also later taken up by Mexican protestors as a call to rise up in the midst of persecution.

The seeds, whether on a personal level, or as a society, represent resilience and an opportunity for new beginnings. Although not a trained artist, Andrea first got involved to help neighbors board up broken storefront windows and to paint ones already covered in the Tower Grove neighborhood of south St Louis city.

"There wasn't really a name for this effort yet, just lots of neighbors and families coming out... to talk, hug, thank each other and just be together after a tense night of protests on South Grand. The paintings grew organically from the first moment and were mostly collaborations between people who had not met yet."

Within days, the movement, by then called Paint for Peace, had spread to Ferguson, where Andrea painted her seeds proverb mural and signed it "with love from Cherokee Street."

"I don't really consider myself an artist, but I strongly believe in the power of art! We know our efforts did not end racism, but we did bring people together and make something beautiful."

I featured more about this beautiful mural in a piece I wrote in the Huffington Post called "Seeds of Hope are Sprouting in Ferguson." Read it here.

This painting is featured in our new coloring book, Painting for Peace: A Coloring Book for All Ages. 100% of profits from the sales of this book and my first book, Painting for Peace in Ferguson are donated to support Ferguson and surrounding communities.

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