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Posted on: October 1, 2021

Jackson residents honored with new murals in neighborhoods

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Two new murals honoring residents are brightening up Jackson neighborhoods. They were painted this summer by Evan Struck, a local 19-year-old artist who’s getting national attention for his talents.

One of the murals is on the side of a Clinton Road building that’s home to Jackson Michigan Giving Back to the Community. It shows Brenda Hughes, the founder and CEO of the non-profit that helps residents with basic needs like food and clothes. Hughes says the mural is a reflection of her efforts to give back to Jackson. “I get choked up looking at it. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be acknowledged in such a powerful and beautiful way. I hope it brings more positivity,” Hughes said.

The other mural painted at VIRTUE Drums on W. Michigan Avenue depicts local drummer Geno Parker. Struck says he painted the murals because he wanted to highlight the contributions of Jackson residents, donating paint and time to make them happen. “I was also looking for projects to do in neighborhoods. If we can place murals and art outside of the downtown area, it can really increase the positivity and love for art here in Jackson,” Struck said. All Star Rental donated the use of a lift so Struck could paint high walls. The artist chose to honor Parker, a long-time Jackson drummer, on the side of VIRTUE Drums, a custom drum and music store. Parker says he’s been getting recognized around town as the man in the mural. “The word ‘Listen’ in the painting really stands out to me. I hope the mural will inspire people to keep going, and encourage musicians to keep playing music,” Parker said.

Struck is also the artist behind two other murals in Jackson, a mural honoring jazz legend Benny Poole on the side of the Nite Lite Bar on W. Pearl Street, and a tropical fish mural at the Pet Station on E. Michigan Avenue. Murals and other public art projects must first be approved by the City of Jackson to make sure they are appropriate for the building. “I thank the Jackson Public Arts Commission for approving these murals. Being able to do this kind of art the right way is always important,” Struck said.

To start the process of painting a mural or installing an art piece, contact the Parks and Recreation Department using the email recreation@cityofjackson.org.

Evan Struck and Brenda Hughes pose in front of the mural on Clinton Road.

Evan Struck and Brenda Hughes in front of the mural on Clinton Road. 

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Geno Parker mural at VIRTUE Drums on W. Michigan Avenue 

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