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Paint Out Hate project moves forward
The library-sponsored project re-opens submissions with a new March 30 deadline
How should a city respond to an act of hate? That’s the question the Sebastopol Library staff found themselves pondering last year when they found a pile of ashes where their student-created Black Lives Matter banner used to be.
“We were shocked by the burning of a Black Lives Matter flag and our banner, so we got together with the library director, the city manager/city attorney, the assistant city manager and city public information officer and discussed some ways to react,” Sebastopol Branch Manager Mathew Rose said. “We brainstormed an idea of ‘How do we support Sebastopol values of loving kindness and equality?’ and the idea of publicly displaying them on our sidewalks is our response.”
And so began one of Sebastopol’s most ambitious public art projects, “Paint Out Hate,” which envisions a several-blocks-long string of sidewalk murals, stretching down High Street from the Senior Center, past the library to the Sebastopol Center for the Arts and up around the corner to Ives Pool.
Submission period reopened
The original submission deadline for the project was January 23 of this year. Submissions came pouring in. But as Rose said, “Fifteen-hundred feet of sidewalk is a lot of sidewalk, so we are going to open submissions up again, with a new due date of March 30.”
“A lot of people are enthusiastic about the idea of communicating our values in this way,” Rose said.
This isn’t a contest, Rose emphasized.
“Basically, everyone who submits [a drawing] will get to do their artwork. There’s no judge. Part of my profession is to work against censorship. Every submission that is entered, that artist will have an opportunity to paint their idea.”
This call for artwork is open to people of all ages.
The paint parties scheduled for May and June
“Part two of the project is to have a paint party where anyone who has submitted a sketch—and included their contact information—will be invited to a community paint party and will have a square of their own to paint their idea onto the sidewalk,” Rose said.
These won’t be small works of art – every sidewalk square is 8 feet by 4 feet. The city will supply the paint and brushes.
There will be two community paint days, one in May and one in June. The June paint party is scheduled for June 24. No date has been announced yet for the May paint party.
Download the Paint Out Hate application and drawing form here.
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