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A new mural reaches for the sky atop the Arizona Center parking garage.
Titled “Expressing Ourselves! Identity, Diversity & Thriving in Adversity,” the colorful mural encourages a resilient world of acceptance for all.
Arizona Center, in collaboration with Skye’s the Limit Foundation and Neighborhood Ministries unveiled the mural in May in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.
“The mural was a means to engage youth and young adults to communicate through themes of self-expression, diversity and adversity; demonstrate how we can all thrive individually and together, and to teach acceptance and hope to those that may be struggling with mental health issues,” said Keiko Ratcliffe, CEO of Skye’s the Limit Foundation.
Ratcliffe founded the organization after the tragic passing of her daughter Skye, who was only 19 years old.
“I am taking on her spirit and doing whatever I can to help others in the way I can, in the way I was a mother to her,” Ratcliffe says on the foundation’s website. “I hope to be able to use my experiences as a parent and as a parent living with grief to help those in need.”
The 26-foot tall mural spans three walls and was completed over the course of a few months with input from professional artists, local youth and community members.
The artist team includes local muralists Jesse Yazzie, Lucretia Torva, and artists Elody Gyekis, Sam Beach and Artemis Wilson.
Organizations that helped bring the mural to life include Skye’s the Limit Foundation, Neighborhood Ministries, one n ten, South Mountain W.O.R.K.S., Bring Change to Mind, Arizona Trauma Institute, Phoenix Indian Center / Urban Indian Coalition of Arizona and HEAAL Coalition (Help Enrich African American Lives).
According to a press release, the images and meaning were derived from discussions and a collaboration of ideas from the artists, youth and the larger community. QR codes have also been incorporated into the mural directing viewers to local and national resources.
“(With Skye’s The Limit Foundation) we believe that it takes a village to mobilize support in our communities and we welcome collaborations and partnerships in raising awareness on trauma, substance abuse and suicide prevention,” Ratcliffe said in an email.