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BWB NEWS 02/12/2019

Civic Ignition Grant Update: Galveston Seawall Mural

The Galveston Seawall Mural is a 2018 SXSW Civic Ignition grant recipient

The Galveston community came together for the Seawall Mural project, an Interactive paint-by-numbers style mural where BWB volunteers and beach goers did the painting. 248 participants, including Police Chief Peter Davis, supported this project over 3 months time painting & priming. Civic Ignition funds were used for paint supplies and one Beach Cleanup party where volunteers shared a meal. This day was partnered with the Texas General Land Office Adopt A Beach Org Program. Four local leaders coordinated the first of a series of community painted murals designed with a nod to different Burning Man Principles (starting of course, with Leave No Trace!).  

Initial sketch by Valerie Jones

This project has been permitted for a mile stretch of Seawall in the tourist district near Pleasure Pier, where thousands of beach goers experience this mural (3 blocks have already been completed). Project lead Captain Shea has this to say about the mural project, and the endless possibilities to have a civic impact:

Our Seawall Mural is themed “Love this Beach, Leave No Trace.” Our focus with the mural is to shift perspective from “Don’t Litter” to the Burning Man Principle of Leaving No Trace behind. We encouraged volunteers & passersby who asked about the theme to take everything home with them to dispose of it. Don’t rely on the trash bins, debris is still being swept out to sea, affecting our wildlife & ocean quality. Everyone agreed, if we all make a habit of packing out what we pack in, we won’t need bins cluttering up our beach play space.  Our mural shows a clean uncluttered beach, which is what we strive to maintain with our monthly Beach Cleanups through Spring & Summer. We are also committed to 5 yrs of upkeep on the painting, so you’ve got an open invitation to join us!

The next design theme for the mural is based on Immediacy, Communal Effort & Participation. It will show scuba divers witnessing the bleaching of coral reefs & how we can plant coral to restore it. The need for divers to Participate in the preservation of our oceans and not just dive down to witness it,  is very Immediate. It’s got to be a communal effort in every sea, and who better than Burners to lead the global efforts? We’re committed to disaster recovery missions & travel for civic engagements!


We’re the movers and shakers, and with artistic innovations  

We’re excited to see this become part of our ongoing projects, where every chapter on the coast is doing a beach cleanup, and planting coral /seaweed to clean our ocean & save wildlife too. We all plant trees & clean parks, part of our disaster recovery should be planting coral & plants that clean our ocean. Recently we’ve discovered a type of coral that grows very fast, it’s an incredible living organism, when we plant it a few feet apart from the next small piece it recognizes its own DNA and grows toward that piece to connect. They can grow to be the size of a car! It is also possible to mold the coral to grow in artistic formations by using 3D printed sculptures to attach coral fragments to. We would love to see the creation of underwater art for divers to enjoy while serving the purpose of preserving the seas!‘

This Mural has evolved from it’s original design because we encouraged participants to add their creative flair to the piece. We want you to take ownership of this mural and what it stands for, Radical Inclusion means You are a part of the vision, we provided the concept. The Leaders of BwB Galveston are so grateful for your time and talents!

For more information and to volunteer with Burners Without Borders Galveston, you can find them here

The Seawall Mural is a grant recipient from the 2018 Civic Ignition Grant Program. For more information about the next grant cycle, sign up for the Burners Without Borders newsletter here

The Seawall Mural stretch of beach has remained clean during and after the painting process. A few weeks into painting, the City of Galveston Island removed it’s separate Recycling Bins from the beach & taken away several regular trash bins as they realized less of a need for them.

completed section!

Captain Shea: ‘I’d say this mission is accomplished!’


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