Artist Statement

West End Remembers is a colorful addition to the neighborhood set against the overpass’s somber gray and the environment’s natural colors.

This mural was created based on an in-depth study of the history of the West End Area. The mural is not meant to be an extensive history of the region but a documentation of some important events and places in the neighborhood. The historical images are set according to the chronological order of historical events.

Favorite hopes the mural will inspire other visual documentation of the community to remind people of the rich heritage in the West End and their shared responsibility to preserve and appreciate their community.

“It gives the community a sense of importance and a constant artistic presence that greets you whenever you pass by. It is art that lives outside of the museums and galleries and enriches the whole community and those passing through. It’s art that belongs to everyone, art that does not discriminate between age, race, class, or cultural heritage. It belongs equally to the homeless as well as the community stakeholders…It has been a high honor for me to join with the BeltLine, Cleta Winslow, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the community leaders to create this work. I put the brush strokes on the wall, and I drew the design, but it was years of careful planning and unseen hands that made this possible.” -Malaika Favorite


Artist Bio

Malaika Favorite received her BFA (1971) and MFA (1973) in art from LSU Baton Rouge. Her artwork is featured in Art: African American and African American Art and Artists by Samella Lewis, Black Art in Louisiana by Bernardine B. Proctor and the St. James Guide to Black Artists by Thomas Riggs. Her works are in the following collections: Absolut Vodka, Morris Museum of Art, the Alexandria Museum of Art, The Coca-Cola Company, Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, and The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also created a series of murals for Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in CA. She has two commissioned outdoor murals in Atlanta, one on Auburn Ave. (2007) and another on White Street (2009).

Malaika is the 2018 recipient of the Michael Crespo Fellowship, and in 2023 she created a mural for the West Baton Rouge Juke Joint building.