Breonna Taylor mural brings comfort to artists, community

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — At the corner of Eastern Avenue and Oakdale Street sits a symbol of social injustice and a reminder that Breonna Taylor will always be celebrated in her Grand Rapids hometown.

In March, Taylor was shot and killed by police in Louisville. Since then, her case has received national attention.

Passersby said the mural is a sight to behold in the southeast part of the city.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Tatiana Grey, driver. “Our community is actually coming out here, making a statement.”

The art was also impressive enough to stop lawn care workers.

“She’s not forgotten,” said Greg Fifer, worker.

Esan Sommersell is one of the men who is bringing the mural to life.

“I knew it was my calling to do it,” said artist Sommersell.

Sommersell said Taylor’s family asked him to re-create an image of her, an undertaking he said is an honor.

“I want them to feel good that they can see themselves through her image,” said Sommersell.

It’s taking a village to craft the work of art.

“I helped design this mural,” said Jasmine Bruce, an artist.

Included in the project is “Breeway,” a nickname loved ones gave Taylor and a name that brings them comfort.

“Art is used as a healing mechanism,” said Bruce.

There’s still more work to be done on this mural and more in this community.

“If you see something, say something,” said Fifer.

As the city continues to change, artists know Breeway will be watching.

“Maybe she’s up there somewhere just looking down like ‘damn, that’s me,’” said Sommersell.