Local artist makes ‘Ruston Strong’ permanent through downtown mural


RUSTON, La. (11/29/2019)– As the City of Ruston continues to recover from the April tornado, one artist is working to keep the community uplifted.

“I just want people to feel uplifted and take away a positive message,” Ashley Greer said.

Unity, love, and healing. That’s how Greer, describes her latest piece called “The rainbow after the storm.” It’s a 12 by 24 foot interactive mural that symbolizes how the City of Ruston came together after the April tornado.

“Everyone united and it’s just a reminder that good people are here in this city, and you always want to remember that,” Greer said. “It’s like we’re family here.”

Ruston Strong- It was the slogan that was adopted in the first couple of days of recovery after the storm hit.

“It became this anthem for community and resilience and strength,” Tori Davis, Ruston Main Street Director, said. “I remember thinking ‘that needs to be a mural’ or needs to be put somewhere where it is forever visually remembered in Ruston.”

Visitors can now interact with the mural. Greer says the balloons are meant to symbolize how the city’s spirit was uplifted after the storm.

“So when they interact with it, the goal is people can stand it front of it and act like they’re holding the balloons and people are being uplifted, the same way we all gathered together after the tornado,” Greer said.

Greer also says she hopes people who see the mural know the story behind the bright colors.

“We lost two people in the tornado, the Butlers, and this is dedicated to them,” Greer said. “This is a piece of art that heals and for me, I just want to use that to hopefully, somehow, heal that family and heal the community.”

Greer says she hopes everyone finds true joy in the mural, because she believes that art really does heal. The mural is located on Vienna Street in downtown Ruston on the east wall of JACO Federal Credit Union.

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