Current Location:
Kirkhof Center -> 1st Floor (KC)
Location Notes:
KC; 1st Floor; Suite 1201; Back of Lobby Area

Tell Us We Matter

Jamari Taylor
GVSU Collection
Latex paint on particle board
Artworks - Height: 8' Width: 8'
Note: 8ft x 8ft (2 boards at 4' x 8' each)
Side profiles of two black women from the shoulders up. One reaches out and touches the other on the lips with one finger.
Historical Context:
On May 30th, 2020, a peaceful protest in support of Black Lives Matter was held in downtown Grand Rapids in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. Following the protest, a late night riot caused damage to vehicles and buildings. In the following days, the Grand Rapids community worked together to clean up the damage, including many businesses who had to cover up broken windows with plywood. Seeing the plywood as blank canvases, graffiti artist Guillermo Soleto reached out to Hannah Berry of Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts who brought together local business owners and property managers to support the pivotal community artist project that became "Windows GR". An artist liaison group of Jasmine Bruce ('18), Leandro Lara, Adrian Butler and Kendall Redmon with Asia Horne ('13) of Free Alchemy Studio as the catalyst helped advocate for the amplification of local Black artists and artists of color to express themselves using the project as a platform. The art addresses systemic racism and injustice while cultivating messages of equality and freedom of speech directly from the creative perspectives of Grand Rapids artists. Since then, pieces from the project have been acquired by local institutions such as Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Aquinas College and now proudly at Grand Valley State University. Jamari Taylor is a portrait artist from Battle Creek, Michigan and a current resident of Grand Rapids. Through her chosen materials of charcoal, acrylic and oil paint, she creates images with character, power and strength. “Tell Us We Matter” was Jamari’s way of speaking courage, support and love while showing the Grand Rapids community the importance of unity.