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featured POTO GALLERY

Community members bring a pop of color to Business Loop

  • 1 min to read
Jane O'Toole and Elaine O'Toole paint a mural

Jane O’Toole, right, and her daughter Etain O’Toole paint a mural Sunday in Columbia. Etain is a graduate of Wildy Self’s art classes for children. “She’s my artist. She made a video on TikTok last night that already has 1,000 views,” Jane said.

Jane O’Toole and Elaine O’Toole paint a mural

The Community Pop-up Park on Business Loop was bustling with activity and dripping with color Sunday as community members and local artists gathered to create a collaborative mural. Wildy Self, owner of Wildys World art studio, facilitated the event. She passed out cups of paint and stepped in periodically to add her own flair to the mural. Self, who had to close her studio, now creates her work through pop-up events. She will take the mural home to add finishing touches before it goes on display.

Wildy Self doles out paint

Wildy Self doles out paint to a mural painter Sunday in Columbia. The mural is one of many commissioned by Cre8, a Columbia based organization which focuses on encouraging the arts, to help beautify the Business Loop.

Wildy Self gestures while explaining the mural's concept

Wildy Self gestures while explaining the collabrative mural’s concept to a group of volunteers Sunday in Columbia. The mural, named “1,000 Points of Light” is meant to symbolize “community building, positive energy, and building a better world, a kinder world,” according to Self. “Here on the Loop, we’re trying to build community,” she said.

The mural, one of many coming to the Business Loop this year, was commissioned by CRE8 Columbia, an organization with the goal of encouraging art in Columbia. These murals will be located off the Business Loop at local businesses as part of an ongoing beautification effort.

Alex Brownfield helps paint the collaborative mural

Alex Brownfield, 6, helps paint a collaborative mural Sunday in Columbia. After community members and local artists left their marks on the mural, Wildy Self, who owned Wildys World art studio, will took the mural home to add finishing touches before it goes on display at the Community Pop-up Park on Business Loop. Self had to close her studio and now creates art at pop-up events. This mural is one of many coming to Business Loop this year.

Acrylic paints and other supplies crowd a table

Acrylic paints and other supplies crowd a table inside of the Community Pop-up Park on Sunday in Columbia. Community members made socially distant lines before choosing a paint color and taking turns painting the murals. Several people went through the line more than once.

Yousef Darkhalil, a mural collaborator and local business owner, said he was excited to see the project come to fruition and he had rescheduled meetings that morning to make it to the event. Darkhalil has owned businesses on the Business Loop for 10 years and has noticed a change in the reputation of the Business Loop over time. “I don’t see that stigma around Business Loop anymore. That’s why I’m so excited,” Darkhalil said.

A group of artists finish up a mural

A group of artists finishes up a mural Sunday in Columbia. Two smaller murals, which were free spaces for any kind of art, were also available at the park to paint.

Yousef Darkhalil looks at the mural

Yousef Darkhalil looks at the mural before taking his turn to paint Sunday in Columbia. Darkhalil, who has owned businesses there for 10 years, said he came to support the Business Loop. “Business Loop is my family,” he said.

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