NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A group of volunteers have been working all weekend on a project that they hope will cause you to stop and look around on Second Avenue. And no -- not because of all the damage from the Christmas Day bombing.
Plywood boards have served as band-aids down on Second Avenue. Temporary ways to block off the pain. But instead of a covering, they're becoming canvasses. "You don’t like the plain band-aids, you like the band-aids with the stickers and the stars and all the happy things," said Elisheba Israel Mrozik, a local artist.
The initiative is called "Let's Color Nashville" that features several local businesses donating the supplies and nonprofits who recruited the artists and volunteers. "They worked with our local partners, the Civic Design Center, some of our local artists," said John Griffin with AkzoNobel, who donated a lot of the paint.
Volunteers have been putting down the base layer, like a paint by numbers, so that professionals can give it the polish. "And then I can just go in with the details with the spray paint to just line it up, clean it up and blend," said Mrozik.
The result is breathtaking. "It makes you feel good when you’re walking around and you see these beautiful murals," said Gary Gaston, CEO of Civic Design Center, which is located on Second Ave.
Part of the inspiration behind the project is to give people a reason to come back down to Second Ave and look at something more than just the destruction. "If there’s a business next door, pop in, get a coffee, get some ice cream and cookies," said Gaston.
Of course, eventually, these band-aids will have to be ripped off so that stores can reopen and stories can restart. "Everybody wants to see this rebuilt and we all want to see it better than it was before," said Gaston.
But the murals will still live on. "Rather than just throwing them away, we’re going to donate them to schools, fire houses, civic centers, civic organizations and some of the businesses that participated," said Griffin.
Because just like a baid-aid, who says the healing process has to be boring? "It’s just a beautiful message and I think everybody needs to hear it," said Mrozik.
Some of the painted plywood will also be taken to the Germantown neighborhood to beautify areas still impacted by last year's tornadoes.