How is it that a son gets massive art talent when his mother, father and sister have none? It’s a question that makes Larry Wilson smile and shake his head. “There’s no art bone in the family except for him,” proud Papa Wilson says of son Ka’ Davien ‘KD’ Baylor.
Ka’Davien is the creative imagination behind a just-completed mural at 1533 Marshall Street called ‘Leaders of Tomorrow.’ It features items unique and special to Shreveport including the Shreveport Rose and the downtown skyline and bold splashes of color. Ka’Davien’s cousin Chance Martin is featured on the wall, along with others who are representational of the many young people that Larry Wilson works to mentor through his nonprofit S.C.O.R.E. Inc.
S.C.O.R.E. (Setting Children On the Road to Excellence) has a joint mission of teaching academic skills and promoting moral values to young people in Shreveport/Bossier City. It is a goal Wilson takes very seriously…seriously enough to have funded the non-profit out of his own pocket since its founding in 2018. He pays for the toy giveaways at Christmas and other projects that his S.C.O.R.E. kids take on, including the mural. When father and son (Larry and Ka’Davien) decided to launch the S.C.O.R.E. Public Art Campaign and wanted a location for their first local mural, he went to Ryan Williams, the owner of the building at 1533 Marshall. Ryan first ‘met’ Ka’Davien on Facebook, where he hired him to do some logo work for his businesses. That later expanded to artwork hanging inside the building at 1533 Marshall — and then the conversation turned to something much larger. “We had been talking about doing something big for the city,” says Williams. Ka’Davien shared some renderings of his mural ideas and Williams liked what he saw; “If this isn’t diverse, if this isn’t Shreveport, I don’t know what is.”
After securing the location, the challenge was to find artists. Baylor is a talented muralist with a number of works under his belt in his current home city of Houston, Tex., but Leaders of Tomorrow was a large mural and it cried out for collaboration. He posted about the opportunity to paint on Facebook and soon, had artistic accompaniment. Shreveport-area artists Eric Francis, Whitney Tates, Dominique ‘OGD’ McLemore, Ben Moss and Jessie Sebrean all participated, as did young people from the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. The engagement of the children was a highlight for Ka’Davien’s dad Larry. “The kids were out seeing the joy of art with amazing, inspiring artists,” he said. “The goal is to get their minds on something positive.”
The mural was completed after a long week of work, but this won’t be the last. The newly-created SPAC (S.C.O.R.E. Public Art Campaign) is just getting its wings, and Baylor is eyeing other walls downtown and in underserved neighborhoods that are in need of love, color and art.