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‘I just wanted to represent a symbol of peace:’ Artist talks new Ukraine peace mural in Lexington

Murals decorate downtown Lexington, but a new image has nothing to do with Kentucky.
Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 12:24 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Murals decorate downtown Lexington, but a new image has nothing to do with Kentucky.

It’s dedicated to people living across the world. A Ukraine peace mural was painted at 705 W Third Street.

Artist Graham Allen with SquarePegs Studio and Design said his simple silhouette says a lot about what’s on his heart.

“As I was putting this whole thing together, I kept thinking to myself, ‘I’m fortunate just to think that here I am, putting this beautiful thing up that everyone will appreciate, makes everyone smile and then, when I’m done after a few hours, I have a home to go to, I have a car that’s going to take me to a home and a family and my child,’ and most everybody does, but those people don’t right now...it’s hard,” he said.

The mural faces a busy stretch of Lexington. The pleasing picture to the eye also serves as a reminder.

“We had several people, as I was putting it together, telling me that they were already motivated in their own actions by trying to do some things and that they lived so close to it, reminded them that they should do something daily,” Allen said.

The mural depicts a dove securely holding an olive branch, the Ukrainian flag soaring above with its vibrant blue and yellow, and children riding on the wings.

“I myself have an 11 year old, and I can’t imagine having to put him through that. It’s just a lot,” Allen said.

While the present is dark, the murals’ subjects face forward toward the future.

“It’s a direct representation of a brighter future...to show they have a strength and a little power to do something to push forward,” Allen said. “I thought it was important to put a male and female figure in there and include a little bit of every body.”

Sketched and painted on a gritty and weathered surface is a crystal clear image of hope and loyalty.

To see other murals Allen and his team have done, check out the SquarePegs Studio and Design Facebook page.

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