Ismael “Miles” Dela Cruz, Chouteau Greenway Project
I’m a street artist. I primarily do graffiti.
When I heard that Great Rivers Greenway was planning a greenway that would stretch from Forest Park to the Arch and have public art along the way, I was like, “Awesome! Let me get some graffiti artists in there. We’ll do a huge graffiti wall.” In my mind, I saw this great growing flower that the people from the community could go and plant and love on so that whenever they’re going down the freeway, they can say, “I did that,” and take pride in what they created for their neighborhood. We’re bridging and lifting up communities through art.
The Chouteau Greenway Project will connect people everywhere like a bloodline. As a member of the Greenway Project Artists of Color Council my job is to make sure that we’re intentional about reaching out to people from every community and inviting them to take part.
One of the really special things about this mural that’s for the Greenway Project is that we wanted to represent how there are many pieces coming together to create something beautiful. We tied in the Great Rivers Greenway logo with the leaves, the little wind flow right in the middle, and the sun. And the whole community is involved in creating it. One of the biggest takeaways for me from being part of the Council is making sure people are heard, seen, and allowed to be a part of something big like this.
— Miles Dela Cruz, Arts Coordinator for Freedom Arts & Education Center