The Rise! Mural is a mosaic art installation that was created to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity while also celebrating black excellence in the City of Riverside.
In 2019, Riverside resident Rochelle Kanatzar shared through social media that her daughter Edison Rose had experienced a painful racial encounter at school that had left her in tears. Shortly after, Erin Maroufkhani and Shea Ellis, with support from the City of Riverside, came together with Rochelle to collaborate on a project to show Edison that “Black is Beautiful.”
The result is a magnificent mosaic depiction of thirty-plus African American portraits that have influenced the Black community throughout history. The Rise! mural includes portraits of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Elijah McCain, Ruby Bridges, Edison Kanatzar, Nelson Mandela, and many more.
The mural’s name was inspired by Edison’s favorite poem, Maya Angelou’s “And Still I Rise.”
This City-funded project furthers Riverside’s mission to expand community partnerships and enhance equitable access through arts, culture, and recreational services within the City.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the 14 collaborating artists were not able to participate together. Instead, they were all sent mosaic materials and completed their portraits individually. During the mural unveiling, the artists and community were able to finally get together and celebrate this beautiful partnership between the community.
Rochelle expressed her joy at being able to show Edison the expressions of support.
"Edison, through sharing your story I was able to see your village. They stood up and they stood out, and I am here to tell you your village is large and it is strong”
– Rochelle Kanatzar
The mural can be viewed on the corner of Market Street and 9th Street in Downtown Riverside.
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