Sunday, Oct 23, 2016
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Moody Manor mural carries 'a message in the paint'


At the Frederick Douglass center, Warren Woodberry, right, shows the mural he helped design. It was painted mostly by residents of the Moody Manor apartments, where gunfire killed a girl, 1, and injured her sister, 2. The mural is to be installed at Moody Manor.

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Vibrant blue and green hues. Men and women in a field tending to rows of corn, tomatoes, and other crops.

Floating on a cloud above it all, a memorial to a young victim of gang violence.

These scenes, depicted in a large mural 8 feet tall by 32 feet long, will soon greet residents and visitors at Moody Manor, the Kent Street apartment complex that was the site of a gang-related shooting last month that claimed the life of a 1-year-old girl and seriously wounded her 2-year-old sister.

The artwork was unveiled Friday at the Frederick Douglass Community Association. The work is almost complete and will soon be installed at Moody Manor.

The mural was painted mostly by Moody Manor residents, with guidance from husband-and-wife artists Warren and Yolanda Woodberry. Mr. Woodberry teaches classes on art and African-American inventors at the Frederick Douglass center on Indiana Ave.

"By the kids being involved with this, we hope they will take ownership of it," Mr. Woodberry said. Half the mural portrays farming in an African village; the other half, a farm in an urban area. Keondra Hooks, 1, who was shot and killed Aug. 9 as she slept in a Moody Manor apartment, is memorialized in the painting, shown on a tiny cloud.

Paint for the mural was donated by 21st Century Paints. Other financial support for the project came from the Cherry Street Legacy Project at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

"It's not only a couple kids coming to paint," said Major Smith, 17, who does not live in Moody Manor but helped paint the mural. "It's a message in the paint. People can coexist without violence."

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