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fearlessly brilliant
by Emily Merrell, photography of Beau Jones by Amy Long • Photography of Tolik Rayevskiy by Emily Merrell

The landscape of Downtown Jonesboro is continually changing, and thanks to the addition of several new large-scale murals, two of which were unveiled last month, many of those changes continue to be unique and vibrant.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 31 unveiled two new murals in Downtown Jonesboro, created as part of the public art project “Fearlessly Brilliant,” sponsored by the Downtown Jonesboro Association. The murals were painted by Tolik Rayevskiy and Beau Jones, both of Jonesboro. Members of Downtown Jonesboro Association selected Rayevskiy and Jones from a pool of applicants in December, and the artists worked through the month of May to complete the murals.

Rayevskiy’s mural is located in the Centennial parking lot on Main Street, on the wall of Eleanor’s Pizza. It depicts several watercolor horses. Rayevskiy said he has some past experience with large-scale art that helped him create this piece. Rayevskiy was born in Russia and graduated from Jonesboro High School. He works as a construction painter in addition to creating art. For more information on Rayevskiy’s art, visit his Instagram page, @tolie2stark.

Jones’ piece, titled “The Faces of Downtown,” is on the wall of Skinny J’s Banquet Hall on Union Street, just behind Chef’s In. It is a vibrant triptych of the abstract faces Jones has become known for creating.

Jones said that creating the mural has been a learning experience that he has enjoyed.

“This has by far been the largest scale I have ever painted,” said Jones. “Trying to figure out the whole placement and color scheme was exciting, but a challenge also given the length of the wall.

“It has definitely been a big task for only one person to paint. Also, I am actually terrified of heights, so that has been a learning experience in itself.”

Jones is a Jonesboro native and senior at Arkansas State Univeristy studying strategic communications with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in graphic design. For more information about his art, call Beautox Art at 273-9397.

The Fearlessly Brilliant Project began with the goal of bringing more foot traffic to Downtown Jonesboro in order to benefit merchants, as well as to bring more art and culture to Jonesboro in general. DJA plans to continue the project this year by adding more murals, sculptures and live art.