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Designers Transforming Plywood Used To Board Up Stores During Protests Into Works Of Art

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – During this summer's protests and looting, retailers in many major cities boarded up stores to protect their businesses. In these uncertain times, much of the plywood remains. Now, artists are transforming these blank canvases.

Designer Elyssa Dorf volunteered more than eight hours of her time to paint a holiday scene in front of a Pottery Barn in New York City.

"It was kind of a funny way to start the day, seeing all of this plywood, and I wanted to do something that I could be excited about," she said.

The beige boards are also being used to make political statements. Konstance Patton and fellow artists created dozens of murals since the summer, many responding to the death of George Floyd.

"It was amazing because the day I got out there, I saw about 200 people painting that day," Konstance said.

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Konstance says she's now working to make sure that when the plywood comes down, these works of art are saved and stored.

One organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed, has the same plan. The founder of "Save the Boards Minneapolis," Kendra Zellner-Smith, says she'd like to hold an exhibit at the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum.

"Any boards we see up on businesses, anywhere, they have art, they have graffiti on them, making sure that we can keep them accessible and public to the community for that reason of healing," Kendra says.

In Louisville, Kentucky, some artists are donating their murals for auctions to benefit the community.

Konstance and Elyssa say their ultimate goal is to see this street art spread hope.

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