GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The artwork covering boarded up windows in downtown Grand Rapids following a riot at the end of last month will soon be up for action.

“It’s not a beautification. It’s a revitalization project,” said Hannah Berry with Rabbits and Lions, an art gallery and event space.

Rabbits and Lions organized the effort. In two days, more than 200 artists signed up to take part. There was a conscious effort to partner with black artists.

“I really wanted it to be bold and straightforward,” one of those artists, Jamari Taylor, said.

She painted an image of a mother telling her daughter, “You matter.”

Many of the mural images share meaningful messages from black people in our community.

>>Photos: Downtown murals

“It’s important to know that we matter because with everything that’s happening, it didn’t feel that way,” Taylor said.

Rockford Construction donated the wood. Paint supplies were also donated — everyone from the Grand Rapids Art Museum to Sherwin-Williams pitched in.

“The city that has been supportive of the arts. The arts may be the thing to support us and move us forward during this time,” artist Paul Collins said.

Eventually, the boards will be replaced with windows. The goal is to remember the messages even after they are gone, so the art will be for sale. If you would like to own one of the murals, you can email Berry at