MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just hours after George Floyd’s death, his image could be seen all over the Twin Cities. It would soon spread around the country and the world. You could see his picture printed or painted on storefronts, in the windows of people’s homes and on boarded-up windows.
The day after Floyd’s murder, 18-year-old Ella Endo put her grief into her art and created an image of Floyd’s face. She researched what people who knew him personally were saying about him, describing him as a “gentle giant” and she included those descriptions into her image of Floyd.READ MORE: Mitchell Hamline School Of Law Offers Class On Derek Chauvin Trial
“This kind of [was] just how I reacted to it, a piece that kind of expressed my emotions, and I wasn’t planning on share it with anyone,” Endo said.
However, her home church, Calvary Lutheran, took the mural and hung it above their main entrance. This church is located just one block from George Floyd Square, so thousands of people ended up seeing it. The church has no plans to take it down.
“By keeping it up there, even a year out, it’s like we are still here, we still remember him, and we will not stop for others as well,” Endo said.
On the one-year mark of Floyd’s murder, Endo is selling her artwork printed on T-shirts, with 100% of all the proceeds going to several Twin Cities organizations working for racial justice.
While Floyd’s face has become symbolic, she hopes people remember he’s more than that.
“He’s not just a symbol of either justice or the oppression that happens. He’s not just a symbol. He had a life,” Endo said.READ MORE: AG Ellison Seeks Comments From Community Leading Into Derek Chauvin's Sentencing
Several businesses on Lake Street are still rebuilding one year later. A to Z Auto Shop still has broken windows, but their boards turned to something beautiful. Alex Kisling pointed to a mural of Floyd and his daughter, Giana, that’s been on his building for the last year.
“Something like this, showing the love for George Floyd and the community, it’s something that you’d love to express,” Kisling said. “We just need to continue to move forward and to build the community up and not tear it down.”
Guillermo Quito’s restaurant, Los Andes Latino Bistro, was looted during last summer’s riots along Lake Street. Today, he’s back open, with Floyd’s face on his front door.
“It has affected all of us,” Quito said.
He believes Floyd’s image serves as a reminder, as well as a motivator.
“Justice has been made, right? But we got still a long way to go,” he said.MORE NEWS: New Trial Not Merited For Derek Chauvin, Prosecutors Argue
Quito says he’s already working with a local artist with plans to paint the entire side wall of his restaurant as a mural dedicated to Floyd.