Chicago P.D. Actor LaRoyce Hawkins Brings Light to Hometown with Inspiring Mural
In 2020, LaRoyce Hawkins had a mission: help bring some light to his hometown of Harvey, Illinois. The Chicago P.D. actor known for playing officer Kevin Atwater knew just where to start—with art.
Over the course of several months, LaRoyce had dozens of meetings with Harvey’s mayor, Christopher Clark, discussing potential projects that would benefit Harvey in some way, shape, or form. “I wanted to find my way in there to help and to sage the city. To elevate the frequencies a little bit. So, after a series of conversations, the idea went from one big idea to a smaller idea that was going to have a big impact,” he said.
This small idea with a big impact has a name. It’s called the Harvey World Wall, a public street art initiative positioned directly across the street from City Hall—and close to where the mayor prays. With the final blessing from Restoration Ministries to adorn their building with art, LaRoyce enlisted the help of his friend, artist Amoz Wright, who found four other artists, David Israel, Nefertiti Abdulmalik, Dante Lyles, and Caleb M. Harris, who were all eager to bring their own spin to the space.
Each artist was given a simple directive: Bring light to Harvey through your art. Titled “Talk that Talk,” “The Creation of lyur MJSD” (pronounced “Your Majesty”), “Green Harmony,” “Change,” and “Give,” the five sections work in sync to tell a larger story of hope and change. Beyond every layer of paint and stroke of artful intuition is a story of triumph, positivity, and steadfast creativity.
“It’s just inspiring to see,” said LaRoyce. “The artists are so powerful and beautiful, and I think the wall is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, which is give people a little hope, make you smile real quick, and just give you something to look at in the dark.”
The mural, which was completed in early 2021, is just the first step in LaRoyce’s efforts to bring beauty to the town that lies just south of Chicago.
“We’re working on a 12-year plan, hopefully even longer,” LaRoyce explained. “Every year we want to see light being added to the city. We want to bring good energy in and get the bad energy out.”
Harvey World Wall can be found at 15331 Broadway Ave., in downtown Harvey.