Downtown murals raise awareness bring attention to COVID-19 and public art

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ST. LOUIS – Artwork inspired by COVID-19 is bringing some added color—and conversation—to St. Louis neighborhoods.

“As I was painting, a lot of people were stopping by, taking pictures,” said artist Dan Ricketts, St. Louis Sign & Mural.

Rickets spent a few days painting three murals at the Court Square building at 11th and Walnut streets downtown. He said he was commissioned to come up with the public art.

The three murals, cleverly distanced six feet apart, feature COVID-19 guidance.

“Wash Your Hands,” “Social Distance,” and Wear a Mask” messages are positioned above Ricketts’ paintings of Frida, Michelangelo, and the Girl with a Pearl Earring.

“I think it was really good – kind of just to bring awareness, and help the St. Louis arts scene,” Ricketts said.

The message is a universal one and with it carries a local theme. Two of the facemasks feature the Cardinals and Blues logos.

The third face mask painted came as a welcome surprise to brothers Jeff and Randy Vines, co-creators of Stl-Style, a local shop on Cherokee Street in south St. Louis.
The Vines have sold tens of thousands of their iconic St. Louis flag face masks.
Seeing the mask included on the mural meant a lot to the Vines.

“Especially in really good artwork. We’d love to meet the artist. Maybe elbow bump him, since we can’t shake his hand. We appreciate him taking an interest. And incorporating these masks into his artwork,” Randy Vines said.

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