Local Rapper Brings Art To New NE OKC Grocery Store


Friday, October 2nd 2020, 8:29 am
By: Ashley Holden


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Jabee Williams is on a mission to bring art to the Northeast side of Oklahoma City.

The local rapper and his non-profit partners are calling it the With Love Project.

On Saturday, six artists will unveil their murals, which line the side of a new grocery store in an area that has been a food desert.

Each mural is unique and different, ranging from a portrait of Breonna Taylor to intricate designs. 

Ebony Iman Dallas is hoping to spread a meaningful message with her work. 

"In light of the Breonna Taylor murders and everything that's going on, I felt like this was the best way I could contribute by honoring black women," said Dallas. 

The title of her piece is called Four Winds. 

"It features a black woman that is basically blowing the wind into the earth," said Dallas. 

She hopes this work of art empowers the black women that come to see it.

"I hope that they see that we are so much more than the way that we've been treated," said Dallas.

Painting this mural here in this neighborhood is extra special for this artist.

"My aunt used to own a daycare right down the street from here it was called Brandy's Preschool," said Dallas. 

The school was where she did her first mural, when she was just 14-years-old. 

Not every artist has a personal connection with the northeast side, but Jabee carefully selected each one.

"I wanted to get artists that I knew would understand the vision," said Williams. 

"I feel like it's already making an impact and were not even done," said muralist Tiffany McKnight. 

McKnight is from the Tulsa area but is making an effort to learn about this part of the city.

"For this to be a grocery store to know that's a step in a really great direction and that there's eyes on this side of town in OKC and people are looking at it as a place to invest," said McKnight. 

She said she believes these murals are a starting point for more positivity change this community. 

You can stop by the big unveiling and ribbon cutting for the new grocery store on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The building is near Northeast 23rd Street and North Kelham Avenue and will soon transform into a 7,000 sq. ft. market run by Restore OKC. 

After the only grocery store in NE OKC closed last year, the non-profit converted a workshop into a micro grocery store.

This was a short-term solution to help get fresh produce and food to the community, but this new building is their long-term plan. 

It was made possible through a $300,000 donation from Life.Church to build out the space. Their new market will have a commercial kitchen, café and serve hot meals.

A manager from Homeland will be provided through a partnership between the grocery store chain and Restore OKC. The store brings a potential of 40 jobs that will be filled through the non-profit's job training program. 

Restore OKC is hoping to open their new market by end of year or early 2021.

If you want to learn more about the store, head to the non-profit's official website.

For more information on the unveiling and the ribbon cutting head to the With Love Project's official Instagram page.

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