Upland residents who happened to drive north on Main Street Sunday morning probably noticed a new addition to an old building.
Local artist Tashema Davis, who has created multiple murals across Grant County, painted a new mural on the south side of the building at 63 N. Main Street in Upland, which is entirely visible to north-bound traffic.
All of Davis’ work, including the Upland mural, can be viewed on Facebook at Expressive Expressions by T. Nicole. In addition to her work as a painter, Davis is an art teacher at Marion High School, and she also owns the newly-opened Echo Gallery, which is located at 209 S. Washington Street in Marion.
The person that commissioned the Upland painting is Troy Tiberi, who currently operates Tiberi Counseling in the building. In explaining what the building is currently being used for, Troy Tiberi told us, “I’m a Mental Health Counselor with a private practice. I see clients primarily for anxiety, depression, various experiences of trauma, and relational concerns.”
We also asked Tiberi why he decided to have this image painted on his counseling center, and he replied, “I wanted to find a tangible way to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and I had the idea to use the side of my building as a canvas for artistic expression. Tashema designed the image, and I loved her desire to represent the beauty, value, and goodness of black and brown people.”
We asked Tashema Davis a series of questions about the new mural, as well, because we wanted to share her words with our audience, to help give people some background and context for when they see the new painting.
Here are our questions and Davis’ answers:
What message are you hoping it [the mural] sends?
I am hoping that the mural sparks a conversation, rather it’s internal or external. I don’t want to tell the viewer what to think. I want the mural to be admired for its beauty and then used to start a conversation about the meaning. Art has a way of speaking to the masses and saying something different to each individual. When you look at the mural how do you feel? What do you think and why? Those are the questions I would ask the viewer.
How did you come up with the idea for this specific piece?
My work is primarily about brown beauty and joy. As a black woman I paint who I am and what I desire to see. During this year our eyes and ears have been flooded with so much chaos, limiting beliefs and misconceptions. I refuse to paint or create any form of misery. I desire to use my passion and talents as a inspiration for hope, unity, and peace.
I’d also be interested in hearing why you paint these murals in general and what your overall mission/goal is in creating your art.
I am a born artist and creative. I don’t know what else I’d be doing other than being this. As a young girl, I was exposed to a great deal of art in the form of graffiti. I admired the artistry and it being all over the city but not the content. As I matured, I’ve always wanted to have my artwork and positive message posted where an entire city could appreciate it. Now that I have these opportunities, my passion and goals are to add beauty with a positive message where anyone can see it. I believe my talent can help bridge gaps, create unity, and promote peace.
You can view the new mural at 63 N. Main Street in Upland, on the south side of the Tiberi Counseling building. (People who have lived in Upland for a while will know this location as the old skate park and skate shop.)
While we suggest people visit and view the mural in person, in order to truly appreciate its beauty, we know that not everyone can make the trip to Upland, so here is a photo of the mural, taken early Sunday morning, just after it was finished on Saturday:
Also, here is Davis’ post on the Expressive Expressions Facebook page that includes a photo of the mural once finished:
We would love to hear from the community about how they feel and what they think about this new mural! Please, feel free to express your thoughts on the Channel 27 News and Entertainment Facebook page. We always love hearing from our audience.