Abilene artist spreads message of unity, paints mural near downtown

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For years we’ve watched artists take the canvas from paper to brick, bringing a pop of color to the Key City and changing the scenery.

“I think it brings more meaning to the city,” said Abilene resident Noora Khan. “It makes it feel like it’s more of a community, you know? We’re not just all strangers”

While sometimes these murals are all about using bright shades, in Kylee Washington’s latest project, the ‘pop’ came from the message.

“I know that you don’t have to be the loudest person in the room, we all have gifts and things that we can do be an advocate,” said Washington.

Washington has been asked for years to paint the side of her family’s car repair shop but couldn’t find the right design, that was until about a week ago. The 22-year-old says she felt called to do something to express her feelings following the death of George Floyd.

“I felt a lot of emotions,” said Washington. “I felt anger sadness, hope and that really lit the fire in me.”

Although the neutral tones in the mural don’t reflect the strength of her feelings, they do reflect the unity she’s hoping for.

“I am multi-racial. My dad is half white half black and my mom’s Hispanic. I just wanted to represent everyone and just say that we are all stronger together in this fight,” said Washington.

While the words are clear, the rest is left up to interpretation.

“I wanted it to be vague enough so where everyone could take something different from it,” said Washington. “I just wanted to do something now that would have a positive impact.”

This is Kylee’s first mural but she says it won’t be her last. Just in the last week, the 22-year-old has already been approached by other businesses to paint something similar for them.

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