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Larger than life ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural completed in downtown SLC

Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 19:56:11-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A new ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural has been unveiled in the downtown area, featuring designs from a diverse group of eight local artists.

“It’s so beautiful, so beautiful! Right?” said Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah, as she walked down the row of murals. “It’s really emotional!”

In downtown Salt Lake City, a sea of color now decorates the main walk way on the East side of the City and County Building. But, it’s just one color that is amplified in three words – Black Lives Matter.

“For so many years, it was controversial to say those words… now these words are not only painted, they’re painted directly at city hall and it’s so powerful,” Scott continued as she held back tears.

For Scott, the letters in the mural brought about tears of joy, following years of oppression.

“People should never be offended when they hear someone else’s life matters,” said Scott. “This is historic, Utah.”

The 16-letter phrase was crafted by a group of eight local artists. After the artists submitted their designs, they were selected by a panel.

“I would never have thought that the city would have something like,” said Chris Owens as he stood in-front of his artwork, Breonna Taylor painted as the ‘B’ in the phrase. “I’m a black artist in Salt Lake City, I had to be a part of it.”

“So beautiful and so many cultures represented here, we have an Asian artist, we have a Black artist we have a Latinex artist,” Scott continued as she walked down the row.

Each artist received two letters to bring their vision to life. Taking a closer look, each letter is unique. Some feature historical moments, others displaying current events and some promoting all-inclusivity amid diversity.

“Oh my God! Look at this dark skin, beautiful black woman right here,” Scott shouted as she walked passed the ‘V.’

“Oh, the ‘B’ is Breonna [Taylor]!” another woman shouted as she ran up to the mural and started to cry.

“It means a lot, it means a ton, especially in Utah,” Owens said. “We are heard, and there’s power behind what we stand for and what we’re trying to create.”

Now, the mural stands as a permanent reminder, that you matter, and Black Lives Matter too.

“It’s open, open to the idea of change and open to going against things that oppress that,” said Owens. “This will be a symbol and beacon for the city to tell everyone that Salt Lake City is standing united and there is a movement here.”

The mural’s completion comes one day after Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced seven policy reforms that would be made to the Salt Lake City Police Department.