LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Peace Week kicked off on Sunday hoping to highlight kindness and love during these, especially tough times.
Local painters of all ages came together to add to the 7th Street Mural Project.
"Patchwork Peace and Protest" and "Love is Greater Than Fear" are the two murals being added to the colorful and empowering wall.
The artists said they hope the community feels a sense of peace with every written word and colorful image.
Within every brushstroke, Jay Starkey wants to provide others with something she rarely experienced.
"I didn't have a lot of peace, like growing up where I lived was really rough in the beginning," she said.
By drawing butterflies that resemble freedom and writing a line from a poem she wrote, Starkey hopes the community hears her message.
"Inclusion is okay and being different from someone is okay and going through different things is okay," she said.
The Little Rock Central High senior was one of the selected young putting her mark on the "Patchwork Peace and Protest" mural.
Tanya Hollifield, a member of Arkansas Coalition for Peace & Justice, said it's important to have the younger generation adding to the paintings.
"I hope it energizes them, gives them peace, gives them strength to go on and make changes in the world," she said.
The painting was one of two being added to the 7th Street Mural Project to help kick off peace week Sunday morning, according to Hollifield.
"With all the strife going on, it's really brought out all these colors and all these people that want to participate and put their mark," she said.
On the other end, painters of all ages were contributing to a message to help empower the community, according to the organizer Hamid Ebrahimifar, that "love is greater than fear."
"We still have love here, and love has a great place in families and the community, so we want to focus on that," he said.
Focusing on this outlet that provides a sense of solidarity for the viewers and painters like Starkey.
"When I do art, whether it's writing a poem, painting. I can find my inner peace," she said.
While also bringing everyone together in unity with just a simple stroke.
"There are certain things that we want to express, but it's hard to do it when we use our words, so art kind of breaks that barrier," Ebrahimifar said.
You can find the rest of the events for Arkansas Peace Week here.