Grand Rapids student mural to be featured at 56 McDonald’s restaurants

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — New artwork, designed by a Grand Rapids high school student, will be arriving at dozens of McDonald’s restaurants across Michigan in the coming weeks.

Kahari King, a sophomore at Ottawa Hills High School, created a mural that will be displayed at 56 McDonald’s restaurants in Michigan. Her mural, “A Celebration of Culture and Community,” beat out other entries submitted by Michigan high school students for an inaugural McDonald’s art contest.

The coin features six different faces in the background, with a map of Michigan imposed across the top and the word “Freedom” written near the top along with the McDonald’s logo placed on a red burqa.

The contest winner was announced Wednesday at a McDonald’s in Grand Rapids.

King’s Ottawa Hills art teacher, Tiffany Oliver, said she was blown away by his work when he first showed her the mural.

“I think everything fell into place, there is no imbalance, nothing really needs fixing, I was amazed at how he did it on his own “Oliver said.

The image he created using free online software, Pixlr.com, will be displayed on a small 8-foot by 4-foot mural outside the venue. A print of the artwork will also hang inside the McDonald’s at 415 28th St. SE in Grand Rapids, where King received his award.

Along with the honor of having his works exhibited statewide, King received a $1,500 scholarship which he said he would use towards his future in art. Her high school, Ottawa Hills, also received a $1,000 scholarship.

“This piece was so special that our judges decided to put this piece outside more than 50 restaurants across Michigan,” said local McDonald’s owner/operator Matthew Schulz.

King’s inspiration for his play was drawn from his life.

“People of color, my community, I wanted to put that into my work because I’m a proud African American and I just wanted people to know that and recognize that,” King said.

Famed Detroit mural artist Desiree Kelly was there to congratulate King. Kelly did a Zoom masterclass with the high school kids before they entered the contest.

Four schools from across the state competed. The other three schools were Detroit Cass Tech, Flint Mott Middle College High School, and Saginaw Arthur Hill.

Winners from these schools will have their artwork displayed at their local McDonald’s. These locations are:

  • 1000 Mack Avenue, Detroit
  • 1831 Dort Hwy, Flint
  • 1454 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw

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