Imagine Flint

Katie Yamasaki and Caleb Neelon have collaborated at Welling Court Mural Project several times to produce powerful and socially relevant pieces. We asked them about the most recent one:

How did you meet and why do you like collaborating?
Caleb: “Katie and I met in Spain at a mural festival where we were both painting. We hit it off and live not that far from one another so it was natural to try and collaborate a bit more both at Welling Court and closer to my home in Cambridge, MA where we have done a few larger ones. I love to paint with Katie because I just get to stay in my lane and paint the dotted background that sets off her portraits. Painting partnerships with roles that feel easy are pretty rare. It feels good!”

What’s this latest mural about?
Katie: “The mural is about the Flint Water Crisis. We wanted to draw people in by a light, joyful image of a child in the water and then remind them that clean water, free of lead, is a right that must be provided to all people. Everyday in Flint, children and families are exposed to lead in their water.
They are asked to bathe in bright blue, chemically treated water that burns their skin and makes them sick. It is out of most major news cycles at this point, but we wanted to create a reminder that the issue hasn’t been resolved and that it needs to be. The painting is meant to do that in a way that asks people to imagine, what if it were their child, their family, their faucet.”