'Community Expressions': Virtual exhibit highlights civil unrest, call for unity in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- In the midst of the ongoing civil unrest and protests nationwide, a new virtual art exhibition is highlighting Fayetteville's tumultuous year.

The virtual art experience known as "Community Expressions" has been put together by The Arts Council of Fayetteville and Cumberland County.

The free online exhibition contains a collection of still photos of plywood murals "depicting the voices of the community," according to the Arts Council's website.

Metoya Scott, the Public Relations Manager for the Arts Council, says this exhibit highlights the wide range of emotions shown over the last few months.

"Sometimes, you don't realize the depth of a situation, until you're able to visualize it," Scott said.

The pieces of plywood were originally used to board up windows and doors in the downtown area, after the May 31 looting that left many businesses along Hay Street damaged and vandalized.

Local artists and residents quickly filled those pieces of plywood with phrases, words of encouragement and calls for peace.

"We believe that art is a way of healing and it allows people to express the way people are feeling and come together to create a conversation," Scott added.

Others painted the names of the Black men and women killed at the hands of police officers, including George Floyd, the Black man killed in Minnesota, sparking many of the demonstrations and riots that took place during the summer.

"Definitely, a lot of thought-provoking art that was downtown, as well as you could tell there was a lot of emotions that people are really calling for peace," Scott said.

Scott says using art as a channel to facilitate those conversations can push the community in the right direction for unity.

The virtual exhibition will be available until the end of September on their website.
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