Artists will collaborate with youth of the Somali Association of Arizona to paint a mural on 51st Street and McDowell Road this weekend

The Somali Association of Arizona (SAA) is hosting visiting artists to lead a workshop with youth members to paint a community mural on the weekend of March 30th and 31st. The mural will face McDowell Road in the shopping complex on 51st Street that houses many Somali-American owned businesses.

Artists Haadi Mohamed, Fahad Mohamed, and Yaqub Hussein painted their first mural this fall in their home town of San Diego California. They will work with local youth to design and paint the mural over the weekend. They are also photographers and will lead a photo workshop so that the SAA youth can document the mural process.

"We want to put a spotlight on women and how much they do to hold the community together," says Haadi. The theme of the mural will be sisterhood and celebrates Somali-American women. "Our sisters are often more visible than we are because of their religious clothing, we want to create a visual aesthetic that celebrates this fact. Collaborating with young women in the SAA will be key," explains Haadi.

"Arizona has welcomed over 7,000 Somali refugees, but this will be the first time we contribute our culture and artists to a piece of public art," says Mukhtar Sheik, Program Manager of the SAA.

The Artists and SAA will be painting the mural in the shopping center on the NW corner of McDowell Road and 51st Street Saturday 2 - 6pm and Sunday 10- 5 pm.