After experiencing the success of the Glenville mural “Our Lives Matter”, the City of Shaker Heights commissioned Sankofa Fine Art Plus to design a mural for their community.
The placement of the artwork would be on a 9 foot x 330 foot retaining wall in a underutilized park in Shaker’s Moreland neighborhood. Moreland is a largely African American community that for many reasons felt it was separated from the City of Shaker Heights as a whole. The front of the park was enjoyed as a playground for children, the back had an overgrown baseball diamond and was best known as an area where teens loitered and smoked on the dimly lit risers.
To recruit volunteers, Sankofa Fine Art Plus artists, Robin Robinson and Gary Williams, attended several Shaker Heights Neighborhood Connections meetings and community events. The two also used the meetings to determine what message would best address the community’s concerns.
After much discussion Moreland residents were polled to assess their response to different concepts. The final design was made up of colorful puzzle pieces to represent the connection between Moreland and the other neighborhoods in Shaker Heights, intermixed with inter-generational images of Moreland community members.
More than thirty volunteers from all over Shaker Heights helped to draw and paint the mural. The once underutilized park is now is now a regularly used space for hosting community events and social gatherings. The baseball diamond has been revitalized and is currently being appreciated by many Shaker heights little league teams. The mural has brought a renewed sense of community to the area and the residents.