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In June 2020, Ray Mawst’s “This Too Shall Pass” mural on Monona Drive graced our cover with bright colors and a message of hope. Summer that year felt like a tumultuous and fiery tumble into the great unknown: It marked the third hottest summer on Wisconsin record bringing little relief to the racial unrest and protests for Black lives that convened in downtown Madison almost daily. Not to mention, the pandemic still held the upper hand, with uncertainty and fear looming large in the minds of many.

Mawst intended “to spread some optimism during dark times” with his mural. He is featured among 19 Madison voices of resilience in our June 2020 issue. The inclusion of an artist among the voices of journalists, front-line workers, political and nonprofit leaders and educators was a conscious choice. Art and public art, in particular, play an important role in our community, especially in times of unrest, uncertainty and division. Art unites.


“The Machine” after vandalism was cleaned up. (Photo by Emma Waldinger)