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High school student's nationally-recognized artwork gets turned into Rock Island mural

The original painting, called "Black Pride" was selected in May to be displayed at the U.S. capitol during the summer of 2021.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — A mural gracing brick wall in downtown Rock Island was inspired and adapted from a painting done by Rock Island High School student Riley Jones. 

The original painting, called "Black Pride" was selected in May to be displayed at the U.S. capitol during the summer of 2021.  The painting was selected among a nationwide high school art contest held by the U.S. House of Representatives. Riley won the competition in the 17th Congressional District. 

On Thursday, August 19, the mural was unveiled in front of a crowd of supportive community members.  

Her father, who was in the crowd, said seeing the mural made him feel a sense of pride and humility.

News 8's Devin Brooks gives us an up-close look at the new mural unveiled downtown Rock Island. The mural is an enlarged version of a painting done by Rock Island High School junior Riley Jones.

Posted by WQAD on Thursday, August 19, 2021

"This art is talking about the pain that many Black people have suffered, "Jerry Jones, Riley's father said.

"This is not a flower in a vase, it's not a painting of a tree, there's real meaning behind this," U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) said.

The mural is located along 20th Street across from Leo's Shoe Repair. 

Riley's artwork will be hung up at the capitol in Washington, D.C. in August 2021. 

Rock Island city leaders say art murals are one way they're trying to revitalize the downtown area to attract new businesses and people downtown.