In response to President Donald Trump’s ongoing calls for funding to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, street artist Ron English is building his very own “Welcome Wall” for immigrants and asylum seekers.
Described as “a temporary art installation to fuel the resistance against Trump’s racist monument,” English wants a range of artists to design sections of the 2,000-foot-long wall that address issues of racism, immigration, and wildlife migration.
English is no stranger to border obstacles, having previously painted both the Berlin Wall and the wall that separates Israel and the West Bank. However, he says the Welcome Wall is different. According to the artist, while those projects “were more endeavors at using the existing structures to house ads against their existence,” he says the Welcome Wall is “to influence a deeper debate before national treasure is repurposed to create a wall.”
He continues, “As the focus of our nation congeals on the idea of a wall, I wanted to open up the dialogue to other voices. A wall means different things to different people. The Welcome Wall will exist in another context from Trump’s wall. It will be more of a bulletin board/community art project that invites a more expansive and inclusive dialogue about real-world problems and real-world solutions.”
Construction is set to begin next month, with a new collaborating artist announced every month when it’s their turn to design a section. The wall will be an ongoing project and will stay up until presidential election night in 2020. The wall will then be auctioned off in sections to benefit environmental charities, indigenous communities, and other nonprofits.
English is currently crowdfunding the project. For more information, head here.