Woman Brings Black History to Life in New Bristol Mural

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About three weeks ago, self-taught mural artist Micaela Levesque was given a list of historic people by CT's Arts and Culture Commission to represent in a larger than life display.

"Besides MLK, Maya Angelou came up, because she's like a mega artist to me," Levesque, a local artist said.

And then she came across Barbara Hudson, a Bristol native.

"She was actually really special because in 1980, she brought a curation of all African American art to the White House and it was the first time President Jimmy Carter, any president had recognized African American art at the White House,” she added. 

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The mural on Riverside Avenue in Bristol is part of a larger project by Connecticut's only state-wide public art nonprofit, Rise Up. Their goal is to complete 39 murals across the state, one for each year of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.

This is number 15.

"We talked to all the business owners here on the street that watched Micaela from start to finish and the evolution of it was fantastic," said Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Joshua Medeiros.

He added that the location was perfect for what they're trying to accomplish.

"We really felt this was a great location to focus and celebrate on the diversity that our city offers through this mural. There's also a lot of expansion and development projects that are forthcoming on this street," Medeiros said.

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Levesque spent days in the hot sun painting on the wall of Primo Press - taking several trips across the street to make sure her vision was coming to life.

"People remember me creating it, too. They'll come up to me and be like, 'oh wow I've never seen someone create a mural.' It's amazing to see this whole process so it sticks with them much deeper than just another image on social media,” she said.

Levesque is planning to create several murals in the near future. She was also the artist who created Hartford's women empowerment mural in October.

Rise Up is looking for talented artists to finish this project. If you think you have what it takes, visit their website.

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