Jackson artist paints to honor community icons

Michigan

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—If you take a walk around downtown you might come across a Jackson legend. It’s the work of a 19-year-old native, working to bring new life to the area–just with a spray of a can.

“My biggest strive and passion for murals is really getting art out there into the public and just really engaging the community through public art,” said artist, Evan Struck.

Struck’s been painting for 6 years, working on everything from community displays here in Jackson to traveling all around the country to show off his skills as a speed painter, but it’s his latest project of bringing Jackson legends to life that’s making a permanent impact in the community.

“Being able to honor someone’s life especially for all they’ve done is so incredible and I think when I am really ready to do that and honor people it makes my heart feel good and I think it makes others feel good as well,” said Struck.

He’s completed four murals already from people like jazz legend Benny Poole to professional drummer Geno Parker whose mural he finished yesterday on the side of virtue drums. The owner of the business says when they were thinking of who to honor it was Parker’s name that kept coming to mind because of all the work he did to inspire other Jackson musicians.

“Anyone anywhere you go they know who he is, but if you google him you don’t necessarily find him so it’s kind of a cool thing to be able to solidify something like this and honor his hard work over the years,” said Owner at Virtue Drums, Jeff Stutzman.

He’s also honoring those who give back to the community like Brenda Hughes who works to provide hundreds of people in need with free food and clothing. Hughes says seeing her face on the side of her building means everything.

“When he approached me I just started crying. You know and I told him thank you. This means so much to me you have no idea,” said CEO of Jackson Giving Back to the Community, Brenda Hughes.

For Struck, that’s what it’s all about.

“When I’m able to really do that and honor people it makes my heart feel good and I think it makes others feel good as well when they’re driving by and seeing the walls.”

Struck also says he hoping to start more murals soon to recognize more people who’ve impacted the city.

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