Photo by Emily Branson: The canvas for “Swan Dance,” a mural by local artist Brady Scott, is on the Poetry in Motion Dance Productions building at Main Street and Fifth Avenue in Hutchinson.
By Emily Branson / Photo Editor
All artists want a way to express themselves in ways that show who they truly are and how they feel about what they’re creating. For Hutchinson artist Brady Scott, he showcases his talent by painting murals.
Scott has painted murals in Hutchinson and Wichita, along with many other cities and states. When an opportunity arose this summer for Scott to join Wichita artists Priscella Brown and Slim Suber in painting a mural, there wasn’t much hesitation. The mural that was in the process of being painted portrayed Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor alongside a clear message – Black Lives Matter.
“I like the Black Lives Matter movement,” Scott said. “I think it is a voice that had to be said in Wichita and I’m very proud to be a part of that mural. Priscilla and Slim invited me to be a part of that mural, and I was very excited to go up there and help them. I painted all night long, and they had been painting for weeks too.”
While the excitement later turned to sadness for the artists, they are still proud of the work and the message that they put together. About a week after the mural was finished, the business which the mural was being painted on ended up painting over the “Black Lives Matter” message, but left the portraits as they were.
“We were all a little sad when the BLM message was erased or painted over,” Scott said. “But we’re not the building owner. For me and my friends, ‘Black Lives Matter’ means just that, that black lives do matter.”
Scott has also painted murals in Hutchinson that encompass people of all races, including one on the Poetry In Motion Dance Productions building located on the corner of Main Street and Fifth Avenue. The ‘Swan Dance’ mural features two dancers of different races smiling at each other.
“I just painted people,” Scott said. “I didn’t think about it at the time, but I tried to mix in different cultures. Everyone dances at the dance studio. We did a big video in front of it and everyone danced in front of it. I thought it was a great project to help the dance studio.”
One of the largest and most prominent murals that Scott is currently painting is in the tunnel of the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. The artwork is about 300 feet long and shows a timeline that stretches from the 1900s to the future.
“I just think that people are people and I wanted to include everybody that goes to the hospital, and the hospital wanted to do that as well,” Scott said. “They wanted to include different cultures and different races and different age groups. We’re just trying to illustrate that the hospital is going to go into the surrounding communities to help with healthcare. That’s what the main goal is – the hospital helps people. People are different in cultures and races so everyone interprets it a little bit differently.”
While his murals are not necessarily based around race or racial injustice, Scott’s artwork has given people something to be unified with through the powerful messages behind them and people can all come together to appreciate the art.
“I don’t really get into politics a lot in my art, I try not to,” Scott said. “I paint what I paint. Hope, kindness, peace, love. All that stuff. But Emmett Till is on the mural and he was like 14. A lot of people that I know say ‘Oh, that was yesteryear.’ That was like your grandparents. It wasn’t that long ago. You can’t ignore it. I don’t know how people can, but they do.”
Follow Brady Scoot on Instagram @bradycreative.