LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Some people living on the north end of Lafayette said they feel sort of famous.
The faces of 19 residents of the neighborhood can be seen on the side of the new Northend Community Center in a vibrant mural.
The artist, Rahmaan Statik Barnes said his past wasn't as pretty as the pictures he now paints. When he heard a community wanted his help on a project related to bringing people together, he had to jump on it.
Barnes loves to make dark places colorful, and he's been doing it for a while.
"Since 1997 so average of maybe 20 or 30 a year," said Barnes.
He estimates he's painted nearly 600 murals, nationwide. Barnes didn't always get paid for his work though.
"I started off doing vandalism, graffiti and then it became a job," said Barnes.
A job he says he could only get after he realized all he could lose when he was arrested for vandalism in Chicago.
"That changed my life man having my daughter, as a matter of fact I feel guilty about missing father's day that's why I'm leaving here early today," Barnes shared.
Barnes was born, raised and still lives on the south side of Chicago. Director of Development at Faith Ministries Arvid Olson said that's where he found him.
"Would you be willing to come down to Lafayette and the more we explained about the mural, the more we talked about the concept, the more excited he got," Olson explained.
Barnes fell in love with the Mural's message. On it are the words "Better Together," and vibrant images of 19 people ages 3 to 90 who live on the north end of town.
"My daughter went mom I think you're behind the car, just look and I went 'is that me?!" asked Florence Hubbard.
Hubbard said she doesn't know why they picked her.
"I've been wondering myself, why me."
After speaking with her, the reason became pretty clear.
"To me color has never meant anything," said Hubbard.
She embodies diversity, and to others in the neighborhood she's known as someone who loves to help children.
That's why her face is next to 13 year old Demetrius Scott's.
"It will be there forever," said Scott.
He's pretty excited about that.
Barnes on the other hand, hopes kids like Scott will grow up to see the bigger picture.
"I want people to see this and feel inspired and feel better about themselves," said Barnes.
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