GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan teen artist is getting major exposure after helping create a shirt celebrating Black History Month that’s being sold at Meijer stores across the Midwest.
Elijah Brown’s shirt design includes an image of a bird and a cage. The accompanying message reads, “This isn’t just a month, it’s every day for us.”
“The bird in the cage represents a victim who’ll die from police brutality and finally leaving this cage, which is the world and this society,” Brown said.
Brown, who strengthens his artistic skills at the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, designed a shirt through the program last summer. When Meijer partnered with WMCAT for a shirt to celebrate Black History Month, the supermarket chain knew it had the right guy for the job.
“He’s familiar with the process,” said Trudy Ngo-Brown, WMCAT’s director of arts and programs. “He also expressed interest in leveling up and getting more experiences.”
Brown came up with the message and the idea of the bird and the cage on the shirt. He teamed up with artist Jasmine Bruce to come up with the final product. The image is inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests.
The shirt is sold at 220 Meijer locations in six states.
“Two-hundred plus Meijer stores, it feels good,” Brown said.
About 4,000 shirts were produced. They’ll be available all month long or until supplies last at participating stores.