STEPS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, MURALS CALLING FOR JUSTICE TAKE THE PLACE OF STAINED GLASS. Before the pandemic, 18-year-old Senia Cade had always thought of herself as “some kid who paints in her room when she’s bored.” But when COVID-19 cancelled the Fort Washington, Maryland, student’s prom and graduation dreams, painting helped her vent frustration. … In a summer defined by the twin traumas of COVID-19 and racial reckoning, it was not long before Cade connected her artistic efforts with swelling protests over violent threats to Black Americans’ lives.
“I can use a paintbrush to send a powerful message,” said Cade, slathering a base coat of royal blue paint onto a four-by-four-foot plywood board covering a stained-glass window at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. She was laying the foundation for an image that would promote racial unity and harmony. Cade was also creating what would be only her second piece of public art at one of the nation’s most famous churches.