Those of you who have been by our Warehouse space have probably seen that we have a new mural on our front wall! This new addition to our famous blue wall on S. Harrington St is an exciting development in our change from HQ Raleigh to Raleigh Founded.
Since Raleigh Founded is all about supporting local businesses, and having social and economic impact on the Triangle Area, who better to paint our new mural than Mayanthi Jayawardena, owner of Serendib Creative? Mayanthi is a talented local Raleigh artist who specializes in creating her own art as well as commissions, logos, cover art, and so much more. She also does photography and videography, and loves being behind the camera and helping others feel confident. While she was painting our new logo, she was able to talk with the Raleigh Founded team about the inspirations behind her artwork, recent pieces that she has created, and much more.
First and foremost, Mayanthi is a proud Sri Lankan-American woman. Her heritage is reflected in her artwork, as she uses bright colors, beautiful jewel tones, gentle curves, and other hints of Sri Lankan culture to set her work apart. Her Sri Lankan heritage, travels, music, and other life experiences are the main inspirations behind her artwork. Mayanthi describes her art as a source of healing, adding;
“I feel like my art has had a far deeper motivation during these difficult times and I have truly felt inspired to create something that speaks to me and to others. Whenever I feel overwhelmed I turn to art, whether it is creating something new, listening to music, cooking, etc. I also have an incredible support system in my family, boyfriend, and friends. They keep me motivated, inspired, and dedicated to keep pushing forward.”
Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Mayanthi worked for over nine years in sexual violence prevention & survivor support. In that field, art was a form of healing and also a platform to raise awareness. More recently, Mayanthi, who was a selected artist for the Raleigh Arts Quarantine Artist Call, has worked on pieces inspired by recent events, such as the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the protests against police brutality and racial violence that have occurred both here in Raleigh, and across the country.
The pieces inspired by those combating the pandemic were “Breath of Hope” and “Breath While Broken.” Respectively, each of these illustrations represents “the hope and life that healthcare workers bring each day” and the more somber, darker aspects of life that the pandemic has brought to all our doorsteps, but particularly those of healthcare workers. Mayanthi has also created two pieces that were inspired by the powerful movement against racism and xenophobia; “The American Dream” and “Together We Rise.” “The American Dream” represents Mayanthi’s experiences as a BIPOC in the United States, and “Together We Rise,” a feature on First Friday Raleigh, is a “portrait about different communities of color uniting during these times.”
When she is not creating or running Serendib Creative, you can catch Mayanthi at The Morning Times, having a burger from Mama Crow’s at Transfer Food Hall, or a pastry at Lucette Grace! Be sure to follow her work at www.serendibcreative.com and on instagram @serendibcreative.
-By Caroline Brinkley