Adult Swim Recruited Local Artists for Mural Project Meant To Spark Meaningful Conversations in Communities

Photo courtesy of Morrah Burton-Edwards

Artists and muralists Nik Richard, Morrah Burton-Edwards, and Jade Meyers recently completed their murals for the Adult Swim Mural Project. Through a partnership with Atlanta-based non-profit, Living Walls, artists are trained in mural-making and creating works of art that start meaningful conversations with the community at large. The artists and vision were brought together through Adult Swim collaborator, Dawn Richard.

The theme for all three murals is “Community is Essential.” Although the murals are all separate pieces, they connect through the inclusion of magnolias and butterflies.

Photo courtesy of Nik Richard

Nik Richard is a visual artist, illustrator, and muralist born and raised in New Orleans. His mural, located on a wall at the YAYA Arts Center, 3322 Lasalle St., honors what community has meant to New Orleans, specifically over the past year. Richard’s mural focuses on culture, healthcare, and social justice with the image of a traditionally adorned New Orleans woman, a face to the left depicting a healthcare worker, and a face to the right looking onward towards social justice.

“My mother was my muse for the piece,” Richard said of his mother, Gina Smith. “She participates in multiple Mardi Gras Krewes and represents what a culture bearer looks like to me.”

Photo courtesy of Nik Richard

The piece also features a magnolia as an homage to the Magnolia Projects, which once sat across the street.

Richard chose to create his mural at the YAYA Arts Center, in part to what the center means to him. He’s a former member, and people there loved the idea of a former student creating a mural. The team at the arts center helped get the ball rolling with the necessary permits and tools needed to complete the project.

Morrah Burton-Edwards is an 18-year-old painter born and raised in New Orleans. Her mural, located at Merchant House, 1150 Magazine St., honors the perseverance and represents the people of New Orleans as one resilient family. 

Photo courtesy of Morrah Burton-Edwards

Her mural was created with the help of fellow artist Cierra Johnson and shows how each part of a community is essential to others throughout the ages. According to Burton-Edwards’ description, the piece depicts an older woman, representing the anchor of the community that provides support. The figures in the middle represent the two upcoming generations that guide the future. The Fleur De Lis at the bottom contains a seed that represents the future generations and how they will bloom.

“The piece represents three generations, in the community, and how they entwine together,” Burton-Edwards explained. “They all come together as a whole.”

Burton-Edwards’ plans for the future include college. Awarded the Balenciaga and The Black Alumni of Pratt Full Scholarship – a full-ride scholarship to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York – she will be attending one of the best art colleges in The United States.

Photo courtesy of Jade Meyers

Jade Meyers, professionally known as The Artist Jade, has been an artist since she was 7. Born and raised in New Orleans, she studied art in high school and received a Fine Arts degree from Southern University. When Dawn Richard contacted her to be a part of the Adult Swim mural project, she saw it as the opportunity of a lifetime.

Located at New Orleans Art Bar, 2128 St. Claude Ave., the concept for Meyers mural is rooted in community and what it means to us.

Photo courtesy of Jade Meyers

“My piece is about the journey of life,” she said. “You are transformed in all that you discover and experience.”

Meyers’ mural depicts a young boy, holding The Book of Life, with his arm outstretched towards butterflies.

“I had taken a photo of a young Black boy, years ago,” she explained, “The confidence he had was the inspiration. The piece is about navigating through life and demanding respect in your work. I’ve always felt a connection to butterflies, and they represent transformation. The Book of Life is individual to everyone; it guides us on our journey.”

Meyers, assisted on her mural by Living Walls collaborator, Ash McNamara, completed the project in 15 days, despite the rainy weather conditions.

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