Artist Mila Lynn Presents The Official Mural Unveiling of “Uncaged”
As Part of The 49507 Project by The DiaTribe
Saturday, August 27th from Noon to 2:00pm
1956 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Renowned Michigan Artist Mila Lynn of Mind of Mila will be unveiling her newest mural entitled “Uncaged” this Saturday, August 27th from Noon to 2:00pm on the Eastside of Grand Rapids. The mural is 1,050sqft in total, and was finished in late July after taking 30 days to complete. The festivities on Saturday will include the unveiling of the mural as well as a Community BBQ to celebrate the day. Come meet and mingle with Mila, learn more about The DiaTribe, dance to some music, grab some BBQ, and take pictures with the artwork!
“Uncaged” is one of 8 murals being added to the South Side of Grand Rapids as part of “The 49507 Project”, with each containing imagery that is inspired by community listening sessions that were held to ensure that the art added to the area is representative of what folks who live in the area want to see. “The piece is meant to reflect the diversity of Eastern Grand Rapids and remind us all where unity exists, so does love and healing,” says Lynn.
Artist Statement about “Uncaged”:
The idea is that the little girls are freeing these hummingbirds that bring back degrees, medals, etc. to the community. Hummingbirds are used because they are a sign of joy, healing, and positivity. If the healing and positivity our people deserve was poured into our communities, or “allowed to roam freely”, resources, success, etc. would be easier to attain, in my opinion. Children are the ones releasing the birds because it’s innocent and playful, something that I feel like, as minorities, we experience for a far shorter period than our white counterparts. The little girls are meant to show diversity and unity. Cuban, Mexican, African American, & Biracial backgrounds influenced their illustration. The women are representational of athletes, scholars, & health care workers and reflect various age groups, because it was important to me that everyone feel like they could connect to this piece. In addition, it was mentioned on a few occasions that neighbors would like to see our people in different professions. It is clearly Women-centric due to the fact that Mary is the owner of the building & I’m putting the art on the building. I chose to keep the original black base the building already had, and incorporate colors on top of it. The purple pattern is the West African Adinkra symbol for strength. The goal is to have it where it is just noticeable, as if it’s “woven” in the building or better yet, the community. Again from the sessions it seems like people feel this neighborhood’s resilience is often overlooked. I use a lot of purple in my work because it is a higher vibrational color.
About the Artist:
Mila Lynn is a professional award-winning visual artist. Most popularly known for her paintings and collage work. She has created two full collections, The Repurpose Project (2019), and Black is King (2021). In addition, over the last two years she has participated in the Inktober Challenge by annually creating a piece every day for the month of October. All 31 pieces were sold by the time the show took place a week after both years. This project now features a book that Torrey Gray, her collaborating partner on Inktober, and herself wrote and published with Barnes & Noble. Mila is also passionate about maintaining a presence of the Arts in schools, the community, and overall world. She believes the arts are not only a creative outlet, but directly tied to a positive economic climate. Last summer, as a Workshop Instructor, Mila led a series of workshops that allowed youth grades k-12 to come paint the cities picnic tables. This was a part of MSU’s “Just Futures” Grant from the Mellon Foundation. The grants initiative is to facilitate creativity during the time of Covid-19, with special attention to communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Mila has sold art in various places in the US including Miami, Tampa, Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and also while abroad in the UK. Recently, Mila has started working more regularly on larger canvases. She revamped Jet Fitness in Okemos with two murals, and painted a mural in St. Pete of a vibezy beach on a new Airbnb property while vacationing.
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