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Community Art Tarp Mural a Tribute to Love

2nd Oct 2020

It’s not often in the heady world of tarps that you get to talk about art and romance, but we found a heart-warming tarpaulin story that lets us do exactly that. Actually come to think of it tarpaulin based artworks, murals and the like are cropping up more and more these days – but we particularly like this one, for it’s inclusivity and general feel good factor.

The tarp mural features those 3 simple words “I love you” emblazoned across its surface – but not just in English, in 30 different languages including braille and sign language, and various fonts and typography. The English language “I Love You,” is encapsulated within the heart shaped hand signal that depicts the enduring phrase in sign language. The whole thing looks amazing we’re sure you’ll agree and the story behind the piece is even more remarkable.

About 10 months ago Betty Ryberg, a member of the Aiken Downtown Development Association in Aiken, South Carolina saw a similar mural in Paris and decided she wanted the same for her home town and county. Ryberg and ADDA wanted to reflect the flavour of their much loved district of Aiken, and drew inspiration from the 22 languages used by school students across the county either at school or at home. The association brought in artist April King and the initial idea developed into the multilingual tarp mural masterpiece that we see today.

ADDA Director Haley Knight relates what the project means for her ‘…It's been amazing to work with the artist and to see this project come to life. The piece of art is really a great symbol for how powerful love is. …That love is so universal."

The artist April King explains that through the use of the different types and calligraphy and the connotations they conjure up, the piece can symbolise not only romantic love, but also people’s love for their faith or their family or where they come from - and in fact a whole host of other things. People take from it whatever they feel personally resonates.

In fact the Tarpwork has even become the perfect aid for those creating that whole new form of personalised artwork, the selfie – as people flock to use it as a backdrop for helping them depict their own version of just what exactly love means for them.

And it’s clear in the title picture above just what it symbolises for Betty Ryberg and husband of 51 years Greg - they are among the first selfie masterpiece makers as they embrace for a kiss in front of the mural in downtown Aiken.