The Lake Charles Mural is located at 1704 Broad St in Lake Charles, LA. The site of the mural was purposely selected for many reasons, one of which is it's located in the heart of the city on a major artery and secondly, it's located on a street where many black owned businesses were located prior to Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Those businesses have not and are not rebuilding. The mural instills hope in all from here because it pays homage to businesses or institutions that we all grew up with that are no longer here either because of the storms or because of socioeconomic conditions that have plagued the black community caused them to close. Featured are Shattuck St Park and Recreation, Mayo's Grocery, Balls Fried Chicken, the Prater St. Fruit Stand and Pryrce's Pharmacy. This mural has united a community because of the images and what it represents and has accomplished something that local politicians have been trying to do for years which is find a way to get drivers off of interstate 10. A truck driver that normally delivers between Houston and New Orleans was passing on 1-10 and caught a glimpse of color that he hadn't witnessed before. He exited and found his way to the mural where he sat for a while gazing at the imagery. After asking questions he left with a promise to return. The LC Mural has become a source of pride for those who grew up here and know its history.
Shannon Dejean and Derrick Thornton
Derrick Thornton is a self-taught contemporary artist from Lake Charles, Louisiana, whose art proudly draws from the “black diaspora” which serves as the inspiration for his work. A “true artist,” Derrick paints and creates ONLY what allows him to tell a story or make a statement. Never what is popular. His subject matter is often reflective of the things he saw as a child, learned while attending Washington Marion High School, or experienced in his journey into adulthood, while studying art at McNeese State University. “You will see every aspect of “Black Life” in my work. My Black experience, as well as the experience of others around the globe. With my art, I hope to show the struggle, the joy, the revolutionaries, and the hustlers. Because all those things encompass who we are and what we are. And there is beauty, as well as a story in it all.”
Connect on Instagram @AGtheCurator
Shannon Denise DeJean is the founder-owner of Buku Designs LLC a company that specializes in T-shirt production, crafts, and graphic designs. A life-long resident of Lake Charles, Louisiana Shannon's love for art started early in life. Shannon won an ad contest in elementary school as well as having a poster displayed at the local MLK festival in junior high school after which love of art flourished. Shannon would spend days in her room drawing clothing as well as drawing images out of the Sunday comics along with her cousins. Shannon is the mother of two daughters, she attended Ralph Wilson Elementary, Ray D. Molo Middle, and graduated from Washington Marion Magnet High School in 1995; all located in Lake Charles, La. Shannon received her LPN license from Sowela Technical College in 2001 and worked for several years as a Wound Care Nurse before deciding to open her business. Buku Designs was started in 2010; and was a way for Shannon to use her art. The self-taught designer became one of the most sought-after t-shirt makers in her city making shirts for a variety of clients including schools, churches, hospitals, small businesses, politicians, public events, etc. Shannon also supports her community in many different ways. She is a member of Community Partners, E.D.G.E., and St. Henry Catholic Church. She donates T-shirts to different youth organizations and has hosted different community volunteer activities such as Pit Stop for First Responders, and back-to-school drives, just to name a few. Shannon feels her biggest business-related accomplishment was being able to serve the community in which grew up by making high-quality, T-shirts, and items that everyone could afford. Shannon did not want to only make a T-shirt but to bring someone's vision to life through her art and creative skills. Shannon has always taken pride in her craft and tries to put her best foot forward through her work.
Connect on Instagram @BukuDesignsOnline
I create art that I connect with. I look at the world, and what is going on in it. I think back to my childhood memories, and experiences that I’ve had. I find the beauty and truth of my culture and community, and I paint a picture for the viewers. I was inspired to be a part of this mural project after hearing about where it would be located and understanding what something like (a mural) could do for my community as a whole. After much thought, I decided that my contribution to the mural should speak more to the future of the community I grew up in and to highlight symbols of the past that we should never forget. It was inspiring to be working with Shannon Dejean, another great artist that I know. Being able to speak through our art is something I know will make this project special to everyone in the city that passes it. Being able to create something powerful is something we both agreed on and something I feel will be expressed in this mural.