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Artists find healing at Grand Rapids graffiti wall

Devante Barnes.jpg
Posted at 5:29 PM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 17:38:56-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids artist Devante Barnes is the first to start his creation at the graffiti wall in Grand Rapids, located at the corner of Plainfield and Lafayette.

When finished, his portion of the wall will look something like this:


The graffiti wall is a designated legal space to paint.

Over the last week, it's been specified as a place for artists of color to share their work after the death of Patrick Lyoya.

“We need to take a step back and realize that yes, this is sad. But this shouldn’t be normal,” Barnes said.

Devante describes himself as a quieter person. He lets his art do all the talking.

“It’s helped me express feelings I didn’t really want to talk about,” Devante said.

He says the space is an important one, so people can express themselves and find healing. It's especially important to him. He lives just a few miles from where Patrick Lyoya died.

“Anger. A lot of anger. I’m also 26 and Black," Devante said.

Barnes's work can be found here. The creators of the graffiti wall ask that those who place their art on the wall reserve and keep space for BIPOC artists.

RELATED: Friends, family gather for Patrick Lyoya's funeral

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