WE RISE is a utility box painted by local artist and Long Beach resident, Andrea James. The box is covered in vibrant butterfly wings, and “WE RISE” is written on the east panel of the box as you enter the Washington Neighborhood. In many cultures, butterflies represent the memory of lost loved ones. For other people, butterflies represent rebirth, change and transition. After the year 2020, the symbolism of butterflies became a focus point for the artist for these various reasons. No matter who the viewer is, everyone can find meaning and appreciation for the butterfly and what it represents. The box is meant to bring light, love and positivity to the neighborhood residents.
WE RISE comes from the artist’s teaching experience at Washington Middle School. During a teacher appreciation luncheon, the student choir sang “Rise Up” by Andre Day. Hearing the lyrics of that song, sung by the young voices of this neighborhood, brought tears to every eye in the room. It was a magical moment, and those kids deserve all the light and love. This box is dedicated to the students, teachers, and staff of Washington Middle School.
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