As Houstonians pay their respects to George Floyd, an area native whose life was tragically and outrageously cut short in police custody, Fort Bend County is unveiling the work of dozens of artists to memorialize Floyd and inspire action against racism.
Dubbed the #ArtForJustice virtual gallery, the artwork of 155 artists of all ages from around the country and world are being showcased online the same day as Houston hosts a public viewing and homecoming celebration for Floyd.
“What started as a local effort to show support turned into an expression of love, celebration, and solidarity starting in Texas and gaining submissions nationwide and globally,” said Sugar Land resident and founder of #ArtForJustice, Karim Farishta. “This virtual art gallery is a unique interpretation that seeks to immerse everyone in a transformative moment and energize us in our fight to bring justice.”
The virtual gallery and its curated music can be explored here.
“George Floyd was a part of our community,” said Fort Bend County Judge KP George in a prepared statement. “In this time, #ArtForJustice provides a unique medium and outlet for Fort Bend, Houston, and the world to express hope and engage in this movement in a way that is intimately connected with the County and the movement towards justice writ large.”
A public viewing for Floyd, who grew up in Houston’s Third Ward, will take place on Monday from noon to 6 p.m. He will later be buried at Houston Memorial Gardens in Pearland. Hundreds are expected to attend the public viewing, with many already lining up in the early morning hours to pay their respects.
Floyd died at the age of 46 last month after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes during an arrest. His death sparked outrage across the U.S., serving as the latest example of police brutality and violence. As of Monday, massive protests continue throughout the U.S., including in New York and Los Angeles.
Following days of protests, Minneapolis City Council on Sunday announced that they would be disbanding the city’s police department and replacing it with a form of community-led public safety.
Artists, from left to right: Stefani Pacheco, Gabriella Shepherd, Nizar MacNojia