'Walls of Hope': Paintings to inspire the community

'Walls of Hope': Paintings to inspire the community

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Through paintings, a group of people are on a quest to spread a message of hope here in Savannah.

The works of art are being displayed right now at around a half-dozen locations, and that number is growing.

The four minds collaborating to create the "Walls of Hope" initiative are local church leaders, non-profit organizers and of course a talented artist that kicked this project off earlier this month. From all different walks of life, the creators of the initiative have the same goal.

"We wanted to just push the positive. We know the negative is there, so let's do some things that are positive," said Erika Hardnett, initiative co-creator.

The group chooses positive role models from a mix of genres and selects the locations each painting will go from there.

"People that have positive quotes, which speak to the children, especially the children in our city. Because they still have to walk these streets, they have to get up and go to school in the morning," said Hardnett.

Hardnett describes an encounter with a young man as one painting went up on Wheaton Street.

"He said 'I felt empowered. I lifted up my head and I just had to come across the street to talk to you guys just to let you know that if it didn't touch anybody, it touched me,'" said Hardnett.

That particular painting hangs outside Michael Quarterman's business, who says the messages of hope are very personal to him.

"You can never give up on people. Because a lot of people gave up on me, but I thought I would never change. He never gave up on me, and look at me now," said Michael Quarterman, CEO of Wet Whipz.

"We are doing something that I like to think of as disruptive. It gets people's attention. But it has a positive message. How can you be upset at a beautiful painting, on the poor side of town that says you're great, you're beautiful, I'm in love with the person that you are going to be," said Alicia Scott, initiative co-creator.

If you want to donate paint for the project, or any of the art materials needed, you can take those supplies to 1305 and 1/2 Barnard Street or call 912.844.7812 or 619.253.2788.

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