Buy one of these murals for yourself or to donate to a local organization (make sure you check with them first), and keep the good work going! All proceeds from this auction will be split evenly between The Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County’s COPE Program and the Asheville Area Arts Council’s Arts Build Community Grant. Auction ends February 28.
Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, on May 25, 2020, protests broke out across the nation. Floyd was killed after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. In response, hundreds of protestors gathered in downtown Asheville from May 29- June 6, 2020, with cries for justice and change.
During this time, Lowe’s Home Improvement generously donated plywood for downtown business owners to cover their storefronts while Asheville had its own reckoning. Business owners and artists seized this opportunity to lend their support for needed changes by painting murals on the plywood covering downtown businesses. Local muralists Gus Cutty, Kathryn Crawford, and Dustin Spagnola were the driving force behind this initiative.
When it came time for the murals to come down, local artists Evar Hecht and Ben Nelson had the foresight to collect and temporarily store these works, gathering over 150 pieces of plywood. The Asheville Area Arts Council, with the help of Dogwood Health Trust, then stepped in to move the murals to a secure, climate-controlled storage facility and worked with Aisha Adams of Equity Over Everything to determine next steps.
After several COVID setbacks, the arts council is proud to have partnered with the Martin Luther King Jr Association of Asheville and Buncombe County to present this virtual exhibition, auction and speaker series. It is our hope that the proceeds from the auction will support continued change and healing in our community.
Thank you to Dogwood Health Trust for generously providing the funding to make this project possible, and to the artists and business owners for donating their time and energy to capture this moment in our history.
A video about the exhibition is featured as part of the 41st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.