Inspiration can hit you at any moment, and sometimes it’s the ordinary, everyday moments that inspire the “next big thing.”
Chris Windfield joined Canopy in January 2020 as the Multimedia Specialist working in the Public Relations department. Not knowing how receiving the “corporate world” would be to his artistic flare, Chris was excited to find ways to incorporate his background as an artist and biographer in his daily work. But it was the way that his daily work—helping to promote awareness of the challenges facing Mississippi children and the solutions available through Canopy—that surprisingly inspired his work in the community.
Back in 2019, New Horizon Church approached Chris about a mural project to cover a 900 square feet space on the north side of their property. The church wanted to promote its youth programs and also provide the community with an inspiring beautification project. His first proposal was a religious portrait, which was fitting for a church but not the direction they had in mind. After working several months with Canopy, New Horizon approached Chris again asking for new ideas, which led to the creation of “Young King.”
“This was my first mural design and while my first proposal was good, we all felt like it didn’t meet the intention of the project,” said Chris. “After working with Canopy, it has brought a lot of my focus to the challenges that our children are facing in South Jackson and all over Mississippi. That’s when I was inspired to create a painting of a child looking to the heavens. It brought a new spin on “horizon”—our future—as well as where our strength comes from to keep going when times get tough. They loved the idea and it’s pretty cool that I had Canopy to help provide that inspiration.”
In early June. Chris began projecting and outlining a 35×9 ft section of the wall. Despite off-and-on rain and fierce heat, Chris was able to complete the base details of the mural before New Horizon’s Juneteenth celebration on June 19, 2020.
“It was my first art piece on that scale so I was excited that people embraced it the way they did,” said Chris. “I finished the fine details in July and since then, I’ve had a lot of people just drive by and see it and tell me how amazing and inspiring it is. I hope it speaks to the community to remind them that our kids are our future and we need to invest in them. And to our kids, to remember to never give up even when the odds are stacked against you.”
“Young King” is just stage one of what will eventually become a 100 ft wide mural. It can be seen off Interstate 20 on Ellis Avenue in Jackson.
“I really had to trust the process and I think with all the creativity I’m offered at Canopy, it really helped me to stay fresh,” said Chris. “I’m truly grateful to work in a place where I can use my creative talents and it can make a difference in someone’s life.”