One of more than 50 local murals commissioned by the Sprout Fund, this one by Kip Herring (birth name Kenneth Arthur Herring) was completed in 2005 and represents a vision of Hazelwood's future.
The artist, now doing a project in St. Petersburg, Russia, and going by the name Arthur Airin, said the mural grew out of his studio work, although he had to change his original design several times.
"The specific imagery incorporated the ideas from the council," he said. "The child was my idea, which represents the future. Making the child multiracial was important for me, and one can see the different eye and skin color, up close."
He used a mosaic understructure, exposed from crumbling old brick, to suggest a new Hazelwood bursting forth. He used primary colors to create vivid images representing air, water and earth. The triad symbol represents rebirth or renewal. The mural represents the hopes and dreams of the community.
"I did the mural because it was an opportunity on several levels ... adventure, income and exposure," he said.
Mr. Airin, 43, originally from Danville, Va., said he never formally studied art. "I started painting toward the end of high school and taught myself all mediums from there."
He called public art "needed communication from creative minds toward mundane, order-based culture.
"Imagery speaks, and allows the viewer to express opinions as well. Public art is far more interesting than an old, decaying wall."