A Symbol of Unity and Love: Kaleidoscope Mural Project Vibrantly Displays Seven Chakras on Crown Mountain Road
ST. THOMAS — Local artists over the past weekend painted a new mural on Crown Mountain Road called “Kaleidoscope Mural Project”, which aims to display a creative rendition of the seven chakras. The collaborative effort also seeks to brighten up the side of the road with art. The mural is located near Plantation Crown & Hawk Botanical Garden in St. Thomas.
Catherine Wilson, owner of Shangri La VI, a vacation rental villa, was the lead organizer for the project and explained how idea to paint something on what once was a wall covered in mildew came about.
Ms. Wilson said that three years ago, when the VI Pride Committee reached out to residents about locations to paint a rainbow, she wanted to paint the wall and realized it was split in seven sections — equal to the number of colors of the rainbow. Ms. Wilson developed the idea further with her strong background in yoga, and connected that the seven colors of the rainbow are the same colors as the seven chakras. Chakras are various focal points used in a variety of ancient meditation practices, collectively denominated as Tantra, or the esoteric or inner traditions of Hinduism.
Ms. Wilson then planned to work with artist Amy Gibbs to paint just the flowers of the seven chakras on the colors of the rainbow. Ms. Gibbs then suggested Ms. Wilson transform the project into a community project, which she agreed was the right move and sent out a call to artists.
Ms. Wilson was impressed with the quality of submissions received and the creativity each artist wanted to express.
The seven chakras and colors that are painted on the wall are: root chakra (red) , sacral chakra (orange), solar plexus chakra (yellow), heart chakra (green), throat chakra (light blue/turquoise), third-eye chakra (dark blue/purple) and crown chakra (violet/white). Each of the seven sections of the wall represents a different chakra and was assigned a primary artist.
Ms. Wilson said it was “sensational” seeing the idea develop and become reality this weekend, and she expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to the project. ”They created such beauty, and it is beauty on every level,” she said.
Diane Holmberg, who painted the heart chakra, explained that she received a text about the project and instantly was interested. Ms. Holmberg wanted to paint the heart chakra because green is her favorite color, and “love is all that matters,” she said. She turned it into a family event as her daughter, niece, and some close friends helped her complete her portion of the mural.
Ms. Holmberg said her hope is that people feel joy when they pass by the completed project and described the mural as “absolutely fantastic and inspirational.”
Sylvie Reis, who painted the crown chakra, instantly wanted to be part of the project when she heard about it. She was so excited that she couldn’t sleep the night before work began. Ms. Reise said working on the mural pushed her limits as an artist by doing something symbolic. It was also a topic she knew little about until she researched it.
Marcella Ferreyra, who painted the sacral chakra, was drawn to this specific chakra because orange is vibrant and lively, she said.
Ms. Wilson said she purchased high quality UV protectant sealant specifically for outdoor murals that will be painted over the mural every year to preserve it. The first coat will be applied after the artists put the finishing touches on their sections throughout this week.
She also thanked the sponsors who either provided supplies or contributed financially to the project. They include: Ace, Barefoot Buddha, DJ Soul Candy, Franklin Construction, Frenchtown Deli, Keys, Leatherback, Moe’s, Nidal Doretha, Mystic by the Sea, Paint Depot, Premier, Saje Sanctuary, Scoops & Brew, Sherwin Williams, Taco Chelles, Tap and Still, The Healing Hut, The Italians, VI Coffee Roasters, VI Natural Medicine and Za Rock Pizza.
The project is jointly supported by a grant from the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC, a federal agency.
Fundraising is still open for the project as Ms. Wilson’s goal is to reach $1,000 dollars for each primary artist. A Go Fund Me page for the project should be open for another two weeks. She said once people see the completed work, it should prompt more donations.
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