Kelis the Afronaut was created by Juniper Creative in collaboration with dozens of young people from Burlington. This afro-futurist mural showcases a Black warrior named Kelis, who was conceived by the family artist collective, Juniper Creative Arts, as a symbol of joy, love, resilience, and a revolutionary spirit. The mural is the first in the Afro-Pollinator series by the artists which features powerful figures of color that emphasize interconnectedness and mutual co-existence with the natural world.
This project was made possible through a community-led fundraising effort, and the mural represents an effort to highlight the experiences of black and brown people in the community through powerful and joyful storytelling. As a strong symbol of tenderness and love, Kelis represents Black Joy as an act of rebellion against oppression, racism, and injustice. The poppy in her hands honors the lives of those who fought and died in the many revolutions against colonialism, slavery, and oppression.
The Wings around Kelis are made up of 300 individual pieces of artwork created by students from Champlain Elementary School and youth from King Street Center and incorporated into the mural by the artists.