Artists create murals to beautify and unite downtown's inner city

Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 8.55.09 AM.png

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The inner city near downtown Jackson is getting a much needed transformation through art.

Artists are bringing color and inspiration to an often ignored area that’s frequented by the homeless.

They came from as far away as Chicago to create positive images during Mural Fest.

Cooperation Jackson is sponsoring this pictorial transformation to send a message of hope and unity.

“When people pass by here I want them to take pride and hope in their community being a better place,” said artist and painter Justin Ransburg.

The Jackson native was one of several talented painters transforming the wall on the side of a building at the corner of Capitol and Monument streets.

The bright colors and images are designed to unite to the community through the works called “Afro Futurism”.

His first piece is named “The Coming Of Spring”, dedicated to renewal.

“I’m hoping that they’ll gain some strength to work together, because a lot of the problems that we have, it’s just a matter of communicating better with each other and working together,” added Ransburg.

Mural Fest, sponsored by Cooperation Jackson, commissioned artists to help change the face of the inner city neighborhood filled with blight.

Other murals are being created on the side of the Community Production Cooperative on West Capitol Street.

Artist Joannie Atkins is a Florida native who moved to the midtown area.

Her first piece is entitled “Afro Tank Girl.” She will create three images of the past, present and future.

“I live in this neighborhood,” said Atkins. “So I came back to Jackson for a reason. I wanted to make a difference and help be a part of the change that people talk about .”

The images are historical African-American figures to the Native Indians, the original Americans, spiritual imagery, Black empowerment, strength and unity.

The murals should be completed by the end of April.