A person’s hand print (part 2)

Excerpted from the oral history of Ann Fowler.

The second phase was painting the wall, and by that time it was summer and I had some summer classes. I [told] some afterschool kids, “When you’re done with your homework come out and help me paint.” So they painted the white part of it, and then we glazed it. And then I painted the big logo. And then we had some volunteers do tape work. I was thinking design-wise, what’s easy? Well, straight lines, because all you need is tape.

Then, for maybe two or three Saturdays. . . I would stand out on the street and anyone who would walk by, I’d say, “Would you help me paint this wall? You can have this square.” All the squares were already painted, [but] I said, “what color square would you like to have?” They’d say, “Oh I like the blue one.” And I’d say, “Well, what color would you like your hand?”

I took everyone’s picture, and they would sign their name, and then they would get a paintbrush and a hand, and some of them are very creative. May Helen Johnson has a multi-colored hand, and it’s beautiful. As days went by people would say, “Look, there’s mine,” and “I want to be near your square.” They would come up and want to have a part of that—that was the idea, to really, really involve the community. It was a great way for me to, again, see what the street life was like, just passing by. It was great.

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