Posts Tagged Rebeka Ryvola
Special thanks to Ephrame aka “E” for his leadership as a small business owner in the community, muralist Rebeka Ryvola for her creation of a vernacular mural which captures Frederick Douglass with his local and national friends, local author Dr. Courtney Davis for organizing the picture day, Ranger Nate, Ranger Virginia and the good folks of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site for their presence and Grahams Alley Douglassonian Tarence Bailey, Sr. of The Hill community of Old Easton, Maryland in Tablot County for coming together to make a memorable day for the neighborhood of Old Anacostia.
Thank you for your kind support!
P.S. Want to extend special thanks to those who supported the creation of the mural with in-kind donations or a financial contribution to cover costs.
Anacostia Watershed Society
Capital Community News (East of the River)
Nettie Washington Douglass
Brandon & Anna-Lee Dozier
Prof. Leigh Fought
Frager’s Hardware Store
Dr. Perry Frank
Phil Hutinet (East City Arts)
Kenneth B. Morris
Stephen “Boundary Stones Godfather” Powers
Brent & Leigh Peterson-Weiser
Principal Riddlesprigger (Ketcham Elementary School)
W Street Douglassonians
Raymond Weeden (DC Prep – Anacostia Elementary Campus)
Forklift Materials Help Bring The Spirit of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial to the Anacostia Community (Guest Blog Post)
As we wrap up Black History Month, we want to share an amazing mural project that was recently completed as a part of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site’s celebration of Douglass’ birthday. Led by local journalist and historian, John Muller, the project sought to create a mural installation that involves the local community and brings the spirit of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial to the streets he walked and neighborhood he called home.
John Muller, a local journalist and historian in Anacostia, originally reached out to Forklift in search of drop cloths, tarps, and scaffolding for the project he was leading to commemorate the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial and Anacostia Park Centennial. He was excited to instead find other materials, such as our “oops” paint and eco-friendly Amazon Paint which were used to paint the base of the mural for the ground and rolling green surface of Cedar Hill.
John’s knowledge and involvement in the Anacostia community inspired to him lead this mural project, since the community had been discussing the need for a beautification project for some time. In addition to covering the community for nearly a decade through a variety of online and print media outlets, John is also very well informed on the topic of Frederick Douglass, having written a book about Douglass’ final years in Washington, D.C.
Working alongside John was Rebeka Ryvola; the artist and co-creator behind the mural. Rebeka is an illustrator, based out of Boulder, Colorado and Washington, D.C, who works with mixed media through which she enjoys “shifting perspective, lending voice, prompting discourse, and bringing beauty into the world.” We asked her to explain a little more about how the mural evolved:
“Douglass said, ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’ The mural concept was co-created with John, who thought it would be interesting to feature some other historical figures affiliated with Douglass in the mural, of whom he knew a great deal. When I started sketching, the scene that appeared was a garden party with abolitionist John Brown, journalist Grace Greenwood, Civil Rights leader Ida Wells, first African American Harvard grad Richard Greener, and Blanche Bruce, who was the first black senator to serve a full term. The space around these historical greats became filled in with children and animals from the community, some playing baseball, one serenading with a violin, an instrument that Douglass played. When I sent the concept to John for feedback he was elated to see it, explaining that it was a spot-on depiction of literary salons that Douglass used to host on the back lawn of his Cedar Hill house. Now this party is celebrating the lively community of Anacostia that resides just one block away from that very house.
Now these figures bring their revolutionary presence to the kids of the neighborhood, encouraging learning, curiosity, and exploration of their world and their ability to deconstruct any barriers, real or imagined, that prevent them from achieving their grandest dreams. -Artist Rebeka Ryvola
Before being commissioned for the mural, Rebeka focused on studying global environmental and social challenges – earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Global Resource Systems and Master’s Degrees in Environmental Management from the University of British Columbia and Yale University. According to Rebeka, she has always been artistic, and although she didn’t initially know how to connect art to her studies, she eventually came to realize she could combine both of her strong interests – all thanks to her supportive classmates in grad school.
“Some incredibly brilliant, bold, out-of-the-boxes classmates and a creative academic environment finally proved to me that art could play an important and valuable in opening eyes, changing hearts and minds, and uniting individuals, across communities, nations, and the world. Once I started to bring art into my studies and then my post-grad jobs, I couldn’t stop. I’ve conducted art workshops in Lebanon with Syrian and Lebanese Youth, and in Texas with unaccompanied migrant minors from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. I’ve led creative programming and illustrated for organizations including the World Bank, the Red Cross, and the White House, as well as publications of all kinds. Murals are new for me, but with this project I’m quite hooked.” -Rebeka Ryvola
Rebeka was inspired to become involved with the mural project because of Frederick Douglass’ historical significance. She feels he “continues to inspire so many, irrespective of race, age, or background, to this day. And the location of the mural, Anacostia in DC’s southeast, grapples more visibly than most places with the challenges Douglass worked so hard to address.” For her, the mural was a great “opportunity to explore the history of Frederick Douglass while engaging with the Anacostia community,” a project “100% in line” with her values.
Forklift is honored to have played a part in such a meaningful project that impacted so many in our community. Not only did the mural bring the Anacostia community together, it also received lots of attention from local and national press – The Washington Informer, Philadelphia Daily Tribune, and ABC7, to name a few.
The project’s GoFundMe account is still active. Any funds donated will help cover the costs of the muralist’s design time and labor, in addition to the cost of materials. To donate or learn more about the mural, click here!
“Thank you to you and all of Community Forklift for your help. Rebeka has done an incredible job.” -John Muller
Philadelphia Tribune features photo of “Spread Southside Love” mural (Tues., February 20, 2018, 3-A)
“Hundreds gather at Frederick Douglass home for bicentennial” by Bobbi Booker
“Spread Southside Love” Mural makes cover of this week’s Street Sense! (Please support the newspaper by buying from your favorite vendor)
Thank you to Street Sense for their continued support of community news and local journalism.
Please support your local Street Sense vendor including your friend, and mine, author Gerald Anderson at 9th & G Street NW.
Frederick Douglass Community Mural @ 16th & W SE still needs community support! Should be finished by the weekend — Feb 17 & 18, 2018!
Muralist Rebeka Ryvola has defied physics, gravity and the time-space continuum to somehow, within less than one day, transform the 16th Street SE side of the corner store from a gray wall to the background for the “Spread Southside Love,” Frederick Douglass Community Mural.
Due to many obligations and incidentals the fundraising effort has not been ramped up to the capacity we initially foresaw but there’s only so many hours in a day.
So far more than $800 has been raised through GoFundMe. We are thankful to all of the contributors on GoFundMe as well as our friends at Frager’s Hardware Store who were very generous in giving us a kind discount on our purchase of nearly $650 worth of paint and materials.
But art does cost. I was unable to be on site yesterday. We needed someone to hold the ladder for the muralist to safely reach the top of the design. We offered a couple dollars to compensate the neighborhood for their assistance. We pay a fair wage.
With that said, Thank You! for your continued support of Old Anacostia and all of the Douglassonians from the newest infants to the eldest elders on 16th Street SE and W Street SE.
Special thanks to the corner store owner, E, and all the staff of the market.
The mural should be nearing completion by this weekend’s birthday celebrations.
The new owner of the corner store at 16th & W Street SE in Old Historic Anacostia has supported an effort to create a mural on the 16th Street SE side of his building which will bring attention to and honor the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial.
Our ambitious plan for installation is BEFORE and/or during Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, coinciding with the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site’s celebration of the Douglass birthday with speakers / presenters mostly from outside of the community. The mural installation will involve the local community and bring the spirit of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial to the streets he walked and neighborhood he called home.
We are seeking to cover the costs of the muralist’s design time and labor, in addition to costs of materials such as paint, brushes, painter’s tape and other incidentals.
There will be outreach to involve local children and teenagers and local media to generate positive attention to the legacy and importance of Frederick Douglass to the local community of Old Anacostia and specifically the inhabitants of W Street SE and surrounding environs.
To support this effort please consider making a small donation.