Rodney “Lucky” Easterwood began his art career in the 1980s as a pictorial painter, painting giant advertising billboards and signs by hand. It was a difficult task transferring a small image onto a canvas of a much larger scale and it took considerable training to perfect the lettering and sizing.

As computers and printers took over, the need for pictorial painters diminished, but that did not stop Easterwood from continuing his passion for art. He began painting murals across the country including Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL and his hometown Kansas City, KS, while spreading positive and inspirational messages through his work.

“I don’t just paint colors on the wall,” Easterwood said. “I want to inspire.” Easterwood is known for art that instills cultural pride and hopefulness through his realistic style of painting.

Another one of Easterwood’s many inspiring murals will be unveiled Sat., Nov. 27, noon at the Community Boxing and Fitness Center, 2055 N. 17th St. in Kansas City, KS. The mural is sponsored by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS.

mural wide
mural wide

The mural, which Easterwood named “Brighter Day,” features two young children who Easterwood says reflect the children in KCK. He hopes the mural will inspire KCK youth to pursue the bright futures ahead of them.

Anita Easterwood, Easterwood’s daughter, is also an artist and was influenced by her father’s work.

“He really is an amazing, talented artist,” she said.

Last year, the two worked together on the Black Lives Matter mural on 18th and Quindaro that was featured in the visually-focused book “Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter.”

Black Lives Matter mural
Black Lives Matter mural

That mural features a Black child kneeling and writing affirmations on the ground like, “I will inspire,” “I will grow,” “I will breathe.”

Easterwood also painted the “Stony Road We Trod” mural at the Garrison School Cultural Center in Liberty, MO. The mural depicts the history of education for African Americans in Liberty with images of the Laura Armstrong school which in 1865 was the first school for African Americans in Liberty, former Garrison teachers and principals, and an image of Linda Brown and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Stony the road we trod
Stony the road we trod

Easterwood has plans for more murals across Northeast KCK. Keep an eye on his website for updates:

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Jazzlyn Johnson

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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