A mural of former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared in downtown Washington, D.C., over the weekend, just blocks from the White House and the recently-dubbed Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Artists Shawn Perkins and David Zambrano told CNN, “With the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there was no question who we would commemorate with this latest piece.” The mural adorns the boarded-up entrance of the Blackfinn Ameripub, an establishment a few blocks from the White House that served as a popular bar for Washington, D.C., residents until the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“Newest work [near Blackfinn Ameripub] near BLM Plaza, in efforts to uplift the community through the arts with @paintsinstitute as well as honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s always a seamless experience working with my bro [Zambrano]. We just bounce ideas off each other and go with the flow til it’s finished.”
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Newest work @blackfinndc near BLM Plaza, in efforts to uplift the community through the arts with @paintsinstitute as well as honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s always a seamless experience working with my bro @dezcustomz We just bounce ideas off each other and go with the flow til it’s finished. 🙏🏾
Theirs is not the first mural of Ginsburg to pop up in the nation’s capital. As local WJLA reported, mourners gathered over the weekend at a large depiction of Ginsburg at 15th and U Street, NW, to pay their respects to the late justice. “Many of them left the traditional flowers, or lit a candle, but several others penned messages on Post-it notes,” the outlet said.
Murals have been popping up around Black Lives Matter Plaza since buildings like St. John’s Church have been boarded up in order to prevent them from being vandalized by rioters.
St. John’s Episcopal Church of Lafayette Square, which has served as the “Church of the Presidents” since it was built in 1816, became a central symbol of the riots that roiled Washington, D.C., over the summer after protesters attempted to light part of the structure on fire. Since then, most of it has been boarded up and barricaded with fencing, concrete road blocks, and police presence.
Rev. Rob Fisher, the church’s rector, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that they worked together with a local arts group called the P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District to transform “something that is a bit of an eyesore” into “colorful images offering message (sic) of love, healing, togetherness and peace in Jesus’ name.”
“The artists really put their hearts and souls into the works they created. Many expressed to me what an honor it was to decorate the boards on such a historic place,” Fisher said. “One of our central themes is the Hebrew word shalom, which means more than the English translation ‘peace’ but ‘wholeness’ or ‘completeness.’”
“One thing I hope for with the murals is that while the nature of stained glass windows is to bring light and beauty into a room or worship space, we’re able to flip that script by sending light and beauty outward to our surrounding neighborhood,” Fisher continued.
“The visuals are like the bell we ring in our steeple — they remind us that God is present, that God loves us all, and that it is important, especially in difficult times, to look up! To remember that we are all part of something greater.”