Local artists turn signs of destruction into empowering messages of hope

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — After a violent weekend left many storefronts destroyed, some businesses are now turning blank plywood into works of art with messages of hope.

“Just not loving the way the wood looks up here by itself so I want to make it look a little … send a message of hope,” AR Workshop Sacramento owner Narine Birindjian explained.

The past few months have been a struggle for many small businesses.

First they were forced to shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic and now they’re having to board up their windows to prevent break-ins.

But some businesses, like AR Workshop in midtown, are choosing to use this moment as an opportunity to show their support.

“Especially on the tails of COVID and our shutdown for 2 and a half months, you know, this, of course, is not easy but it’s the right thing to do and we’re in support of our community and doing what’s right,” Birindjian said. 

Other local businesses are lending their plywood to black artists and other people of color.

De Vere’s Irish Pub is now covered in a collage of faces representing the social justice movement and more murals are popping up by the minute.

Several artists got permission from Rodney’s Cigar and Liquor Store to turn the massive plywood wall along 10th Street into a commentary on what’s happening around the country.

The artists are using their creativity to turn the symbols of destruction and chaos into something beautiful and empowering.

“Going to put ‘love not hate’ here and some other messages for justice and peace,” Birindjian said.

Many of the artists did not want to talk on camera but encouraged people to come see the murals in person saying their art will speak for itself.

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