New Brooklyn Park Mural Inspires Hope, Inclusivity
Geno Okok has the ability to turn anything into his personal canvas. The local artist and former North Hennepin Community College student recently received approval from the city of Brooklyn Park to paint a mural on an old storage container next to the city library.
“They wanted to have something more positive, more uplifting,” Okok said.
Okok started the mural last week and hopes to finish in August. On Monday, despite sauna-like heat, Okok was busy working on the project.
“We”re creating a mural to beautify this area,” Okok said, “and beautify Brooklyn Park.”
The colorful creation is a microcosm of Brooklyn Park’s population. There are painting of kids from all backgrounds.
“As you see I am creating pretty much every race that lives in Brooklyn Park,” Okok said. “It’s like so diverse.”
Geno Okok’s Message: Hope and Inclusivity
The message Geno Okok wants to get out is simple: create hope for kids and let people know that Brooklyn Park is inclusive and welcomes everyone.
“I’m going to put ‘dream big,'” Okok said. “We’re going to put ‘never give up’ on the sides. Then we’re going to have a bigger mural on the other side that says ‘We Love Brooklyn Park.’ In short we heart BP.”
In the wake of the George Floyd tragedy, a local artist like Okok has a chance to express emotions in this seminal moment in time. Okok has also painted murals in Crystal and other spots around the Twin Cities.
“We’ve made some George Floyd murals in St. Paul and Minneapolis,” Okok said.
A few years ago Okok took art classes at North Hennepin Community College, which is just across the street from the mural he is painting. Okok’s creativity will be seen by plenty of people. It’s visible from 85th Avenue and West Broadway, which is planned for a future light rail stop.