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Mural was more than just painting

2011-06-18T00:00:00Z 2011-06-20T10:50:11Z Mural was more than just painting The Billings Gazette
June 18, 2011 12:00 am

Two women painted "Love Should Not Hurt" on the simple box mural at Saturday's March Against Drugs and Violence. They worked diligently, with a lot of concentration. I could tell the project meant more to them than simply painting, and when done, they stood back, embraced and wore gigantic smiles. We made small talk. They told me they lived in a program home, and then they walked away, after one last look at the painting.

However, it was not a last look. They came back together and separately, each more than once. They brought others to see the painting they had created. The painting seemed to define their day, and I wonder if it didn't define their journey too. I was moved when these women took the stage and told their stories: pain, addiction, growth. You know the story; there was an event filled with that story.

After they spoke, the women came back and stood, looking at their painting and knowing the message, painted on simple cardboard, was their defining message. A woman, who appeared to be mom, came over and hugged one of the painters. With tears flowing she said, "I am so proud of you and I am so happy to have you back."

It was just supposed to be a simple box mural, but it wasn't, it was a whole journey.

I want to acknowledge everyone, especially Kristi Drake with Roots of Promise, who worked on this powerful event. I'd not attended before, but I won't miss it again.

(Note: photos of the box mural are on Facebook — Canvas Creek team building.)

Karen Grosz



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