Detroit’s second council district unveiled a COVID-19 memorial mural this week. The artwork is located at 55 W. Seven Mile Road, next to a firehouse.
The mural features Detroiters who died from the virus, including Fire Captain Franklin Williams, Police Captain Jonathan Parnell and Jason Hargrove, the DDOT bus driver who contracted COVID-19 after he was sneezed on by a passenger.
“It’s about humanity. It’s about what we have experienced. It’s about you are not alone with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” — Roy McCalister Jr., District 2 Councilmember
Councilmember Roy McCalister Jr. of District 2 describes the mural, saying, “We have the skies with the angels looking down and opening up. And we have the faces of service people that have been affected by it.”
McCalister says the idea for the project came about after the city’s memorial for COVID-19 victims on Belle Isle held in August. He says Rochelle Riley, the City’s Arts and Culture Director, approached each council person about creating a dedication to victims within their own district.
“It’s about humanity. It’s about what we have experienced. It’s about you are not alone with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says McCalister.
The mural was designed by Detroit artist Charles “Chazz” Miller with input from a committee. It was painted by Miller with help from students at Renaissance High School, University of Detroit Mercy and other community members.
McCalister says the Arab American and Chaldean Council donated wall space for the mural, Home Depot and Meijer donated supplies, and DTE provided a lift to assist with installation.
“It was a group project,” says McCalister.