MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A California artist is creating a permanent reminder of the things important to Tyre Nichols on the side of an Orange Mound neighborhood store.
Wednesday, Lourans Mikhail began painting a large mural that showcases Nichols’ love of skateboarding, sunsets, and photography.
“That’s the roll of film with the film rope pulled out, him skateboarding from one of his videos, the silhouette, and then the background is one of the photos he took of the Memphis bridge,” Mikhail said.
Mikhail’s mural also includes the powerful message Change the World. He said he was inspired by something Nichols’ mother said during her son’s funeral service.
“His mother was speaking, and someone shouted out he was going to change the world, and she replied, ‘he already has,'” said Mikhail. “When I read that, I thought it was one of the most beautiful things, especially coming from his mom, who was going through this traumatic experience.”
Nichols, a 29-year-old father, died three days after he was beaten by Memphis police during a traffic stop. Five former officers have been charged with second-degree murder.
Mikhail has worked with Paint Memphis on other big mural projects in the city. He said as soon as he heard about Nichols, he wanted to come back to Memphis and do something to celebrate his life.
“I said, ‘hey, I’m ready to book a ticket and fly out here and get some paint. All I need is a wall and a place to stay, and let’s make a message,'” Mikhail said.
Mikhail has spent about ten hours on the mural outside the Save More Grocery. People from the neighborhood have been watching and like what they’ve seen so far.
“It’s beautiful,” said Dominque Brown. “It’s a good spot. Everybody comes to the store.”
Other Tyre Nichols murals are going in Memphis. Mikhail hopes to have his finished by Saturday.
Save More Grocery is located at the corner of Park and Pendleton.