Saturday, January 6 will be a day of celebration at Highside Market as they host their first Community Art Involvement event since the new development opened.
You may have seen the beautiful mural by Charity Hamidullah that went up at Highside Market this past October, but what many didn't realize is that the concept was designed to include a collaborative element for local students.
This weekend, the Cotton Companies team and Hamidullah will welcome 30 art students from Wynnton Arts Academy for a day of collaborative painting. "We are excited to kick off our school-wide STEAM focus ‘How can we foster a community of HOPE through the ARTS?’ at the new Highside Market downtown," the Cotton Companies announced in a recent press release. "The HOPE mural was commissioned to represent the important ideals of Harmony – Optimism – Peace – Empathy."
To better understand the project from the muralist's perspective, we interviewed Hamidullah about the process and why she believes it's important to collaborate with young people on projects whenever possible.
Mural artist Charity Hamidullah (Source)
Q: So, tell me about this mural project that you're working on.
A: I'm so grateful to be a part of it! This week, we are going to meet with about 30 plus kids to add a collaborative addition to the existing mural at Highside. Saturday's collaborative event will be more of like a community paint session.
Q: How so?
A: I have these flowers, daisies, sort of growing from the bottom of the hands in the mural. The children are going to paint markings inside of each one. Just however they feel they want to leave their mark. Then, from there, we'll just bring it all together.
It's really exciting because collaborative projects that incorporate kids really bring the community together. I love them because these projects are really about so much more than one place. When we can get kids involved, we're communicating about the future of our world in general. Kids are, you know, everything. So I'm really looking forward to bringing all of that together full circle with them.
Image of the existing HOPE mural at Highside Market by Charity Hamidullah. This weekend's collaborative event will allow local art students to add to the mural with the artist.
Q: Can you speak a bit about the subject of the mural?
A: Yeah. The mural's about HOPE. It's about being the masters of our change. The butterflies sort of attached to the fingers are there to show how much control we have to really change our world, our society, if we come together as one.
There's a lot of different colors in there, because I like to play around with color. The many colors are intended to address our diversity as people, and how we can all come together and make our world a better place.
This mural is about how we can work together to create the change we want to see. I love that kids are going to get to be a part of creating that message, too.
Q: That's amazing. What else would you like for people to know about this collaborative project?
A: I really want them to know just how amazing Highside Market is! Just the vision behind it is so great. Working with Chris (Woodruff) has just been amazing. You can just see all the love that he's really pouring into this space. Highside Market is so intentional. I've been at other markets and things like that and um, sometimes they just seem more business-driven, but you can definitely tell Highside Market is a community-driven place. It has so many undertones of community, connection and bringing people together. I'm really grateful to have been invited to be a part of this project. The Cotton Companies intentionality with this space shows and you can tell how special it's going to be for Columbus. I believe that will also trickle out into the world, so I'm just grateful to have been a part of it all. ◼️