Murales Lian’s artwork takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues while celebrating struggle and mutual aid. Often referencing current issues, his work explores the varying relationships between public/private space and fine art. Having engaged subjects as diverse as the refugee crisis, prisoner aid and feminist solidarity, his work reproduces familiar visual and aural signs, arranging them into new conceptually layered murals. While his public work is mostly grand scale pieces, he also enjoys the process inherent in small scale private commissions and in both cases his methodology is consistent. When working in public spaces, he tries to incorporate his murals within in the community, so much of public space is usurped from the public, (i.e. by advertising, bad city planning, propaganda etc.) and the goal of his artwork is to be part of the public sphere, to promote public discourse and make the Communities voice heard. This can be translated into workshops, visual images of the area being represented in the murals or simply communicating with a neighborhood before starting a piece..
King Avenue PLUS is a Flint neighborhood organization composed of those who touch King Avenue or have an interest in revitalizing this neighborhood. Dr. King was a man of vision for positive change and peace and our most prominent street is named for him. King Avenue PLUS plans and works for Flint’s King Avenue to become a street that is valued and attractive for neighbors and those passing through. Initiatives and on-going programs include the development of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Garden – 10 vacant lots owned by the Genesee County Land Bank and private owners – re-developed and maintained as multiple gardens and peaceful space between W. Genesee and W. McClellan on M. L. King Avenue. This mural in the former Detroit Street Business District will be a significant and visible part of the recovery and marketing in the King Avenue Business District. The mural and its granting partners, Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Keep America Beautiful and the “working partners,” The Flint Public Art Project, and Artist Kevin Burdick, represent a project that is community – driven and community valued. Thanks to all.
Keep America Beautiful, in partnership with Diageo, released a Community Improvement Grant opportunity to its affiliate network that was to be used to support the efforts of volunteers, residents, community groups, and business owners/employees to prevent litter, promote recycling, and beautify areas in and around Martin Luther King Jr. corridors and neighborhoods. Working with the MLK Plus group, Keep Genesee County Beautiful, a program of the Genesee County Parks, submitted an application and was awarded the funding used to bring the MLK Plus group’s vision for Flint’s MLK Corridor to life.