On February 1 at 4 PM, please join us as we celebrate the unveiling of a Black Lives Matter (BLM) mural at the Beverly Public Library. Beverly Main Streets recently agreed to donate the BLM mural, which was originally created as part of Beverly Main Streets’ rotating art gallery project, to the Beverly Public Library. The BLM mural was created by Amanda Beard Garcia who, as part of the Beverly Main Streets’ revolving artist program, created this important statement following the death of George Floyd.
In an effort dating back several years, Beverly Main Streets received permission from the Lindsey Building Condo Association to create a rotating art gallery on a fence on their property located between their building and Atomic Cafe. At the time, it was painted a red color, so it was called the Red Fence Gallery. Beverly Main Streets would commission artists to paint a new mural on the fence every three months to enliven downtown Beverly.
During the summer 2020, Beverly Main Streets hired local artist Amanda Beard Garcia to paint the BLM design she submitted for consideration. Garcia chose to paint the fence on the same day as the Black Lives Matter Walk organized by Beverly High alumni. The mural symbolizes the attention being given across the country to social justice and racial equity pursuits. Due to the significance of the message and Beverly’s on-going commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Beverly Main Streets and the Lindsey Building Condo Association collaborated to donate the fence with the BLM mural to the downtown branch of the Beverly Public Library, where it will continue to be representative of the city’s commitment to racial equity. The fence will be replaced with a new red fence which will have a plaque letting local residents and visitors know where they can find the original fence. In addition, Beverly Main Streets has worked with local institutions and businesses to display a banner with the mural image, so the message will continue to have a visual impact even in the time when the fence is removed.
“For much of our country’s history, the US Constitution, our laws, and people in positions of power have devalued the lives of Black Americans. By words and actions, our government and our society have long said that Black lives do not matter. We must acknowledge the wrongs of our country’s past and embrace the truth, so basic and self-evident, that Black lives do matter. In Beverly and everywhere, the lives of our Black friends, families, and neighbors have the same value and worth, and matter in the same way, as do the lives of everyone. This beautiful, important mural clearly expresses this truth.,” commented Mayor Michael Cahill.
“The Beverly Public Library strives to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone. The library has always offered more than books; it is also a center for arts and culture and community engagement. We are honored to be the recipient of this special mural. Displaying this piece in the library makes it accessible to all, in a space that encourages dialogue and connections among our community. We hope all community members will visit and take advantage of all the library has to offer,” commented Library Director Allison Babin.
The BLM Mural creator, Amanda Beard Garcia, also commented, “As a Beverly native and artist of color, it was important to me to support Black Lives in a way I knew how: to visually voice ‘we’re with you’ — to make a commitment to our community to listen, learn, grow, and take action and hopefully inspire others to do the same. While my painted mural was expected to be temporary (as the others have been), I’m grateful that it will find a new home at the library as a reminder that there is always more work to be done.”