International muralist unveiled anti-gun violence mural in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — International muralist Kyle Holbrook unveiled an anti-gun violence mural in Rochester this week.

Holbrook has been a mural artist for 22 years. Now, he’s traveling across all 50 states visiting cities and families affected by gun violence.

“It’s been almost like a therapy for me. Talking about it, doing murals about it,” said Holbrook.

The artist watched many close friends die from gun violence growing up. Now, Holbrook is using his murals to share the pain that gun violence has caused.

“The purpose of this project is to connect all these different cities that are across the country. You know, every where I go there’s been a shooting that’s just happened. Often times, it’s teenagers who’ve been shot, and teenagers who was doing the shooting,” said Holbrook.

Holbrook’s father, who died when Kyle was 18, was from Rochester.

In the Rochester mural, the artist wanted to add a few layers.

“I think of Rochester as a smart place, so I wanted to do more than just gun violence. I wanted to put ‘stop guns’ so people can realize that we can do something about the gun laws—which can be a solution.”

At age 14, Holbrook lost his basketball teammate Greg to gun violence. He knows what it feels like to lose loved ones. He said his intention is to make people feel remembered.

“I want just for people to know that their loved ones aren’t forgotten – that these issues aren’t forgotten.”

At the time of the interview, Holbrook had visited 39 states, with 11 left to go. The trip is sponsored by the organization he founded, Moving Lives of Kids Community Mural Project (MLK Mural), which supports youth development, community work and education.

Holbrook plans to return to return to Rochester in the near future to work on projects with local youth.

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