From April 22-27, acclaimed artist Ron English invited other artists from Texas and Mexico to paint a 360 foot “Welcome Wall” next to the proposed 36-foot-tall concrete and steel barrier wall that would destroy Texas’ remnant of habitat in the Wildlife Conservation Corridor.
“To erect a border wall now in the flood plain of the Rio Grande River is not only an act of institutional racism and environmental desecration, but an historical anachronism.” English says.
English was joined in Mission, Texas by artists Anat Ronen, Jessica Monroe, Helena Martin, The Ghost, Federico Archuleta, The Deathhead, Jose Ramirez, Jason Perez (and a stencil by Banksy). The artists painted directly on 4’ x 8’ plywood panels, which will weather in place until election night 2020.
States Marianna Treviño Wright, director of the National Butterfly Center:
“Immigrants come to the United States to make something for themselves, for their children, for the future. They do not come to take, they come to make the American Dream a reality for all of us, and for this reason we are proud to partner with Ron on this project. We want to roll out the red carpet and celebrate the Melting Pot, once the preeminent metaphor for a great nation that seems to have abandoned the virtues of hospitality, inclusivity and civility.”
On April 26, The Bliss Brothers and The Shakes played a welcome party and picnic. For a video preview of the Welcome Wall, click here.