St. Louis artist paints message of hope


EAST ST. Louis, Illinois — Words can make a difference in a person’s attitude. St. Louis artist Tsubabi Bayok hopes his latest work will inspire those who see it.

“If anything, I hope people see hope,” he said.

People will at least be able to see his work. This is a mural that climbs along Interstate 64 in East St. Louis at the junction of Interstate 55. This is a big one.

“The most ambitious ever,” he said.

The huge part rises along a 1,000-square-foot concrete retaining wall and extends to full length.

“I’ve always wanted to do a skyscraper, but I think I got it. It’s not tall, it’s wide,” Bayok said.

Creating a mural is a difficult task, including the high-speed traffic that he passes by when he is working.

“It’s not even a trippin of quotes-an unquoted danger of how fast people are going,” he said.

One of the most difficult parts of a venture is applying more than 50 gallons of paint to the walls.

“Just walk behind the rollers,” he said. “I carry 5 gallons up and down a small hill and walk back and forth. That’s a lot.”

It also takes time to work.

“A day of nine or ten hours,” he said.

However, Bayoc is cooperating with this project. He is working with his son and volunteers from the University of Missouri-St. Louis to put a message on the mural.

“The message,’I believe you’re worth it,'” he said.

A World Wide Technology Raceway official just off the site asked him to turn the walls into artwork in time for the NASCAR race in June.

“They wanted a positive message. Something to see is pretty when they go down the freeway on their way to the race,” he explained.

The request excited him.

“Being able to put a dope message on the freeway is valuable,” he said.

He believes that his message of love, value, and strength is important in our time. These times when people may have doubts and uncertainties.

“We don’t even know what we’re dealing with. People are dealing with a lot. The only thing they see is that they only see it for five seconds,” he said.

But you can see the murals.

“Depending on the time so far, it can be seen by millions of people,” he said.

And if they can at least remove something from looking at his mural, Bayok feels that the message on the wall can brighten someone’s mood.

“Smile,” he said.

Click here to see more details about Bayoc’s work on his website.


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