Around Town: Instagram Debuts “Kind Comments” Mural

The social network has displayed the mural at Union Market. 

People gather around Instagram mural in Union Market, Washington D.C.

In October, Instagram premiered a mural located on a wall outside Union Market. The mural is part of #KINDCOMMENTS, a global initiative to spread kindness on and off the Internet.

The event honored senior Julia Chon and senior Olivia Trice, at K12 International Academy, an online private school. Chon was recognized for her clothing and accessory line featuring animals “flipping the bird”. Trice is known for her custom made crochet tops. Both girls have used Instagram to help advertise and sell their products.

The event started with Instagram employees speaking about the movement. Before each speaker presented they took a moment to read kind comments off their own Instagram pictures. Speakers included Chief Operating Officer, Marne Levine, the artist of the mural Dallas Clayton, and the two young women being honored, Julia Chon and Olivia Trice.

Levine mentioned a trend Instagram has noticed of users on the application. According to Levine people have a tendency to pose in front of murals and post those pictures to Instagram, which is why they decided to paint these murals.

“When combined with the power of community it is really really powerful, that is why we decided to transform walls around the world into these colorful beacons of kindness. To encourage people to come together as a community, but also to spread #KINDCOMMENTS and compassion online, but not only online, but IRL [in real life],” said Levine.

High school senior, Julia Chon, sets up her table at the #KINDCOMMENTS event in Union Market

Dallas Clayton believes he was chosen for the Kind Comments campaign because this is already a part of what he does. Clayton travels around the world to paint messages of inspiration and love on buildings around the world already.

“I hope the mural adds color and life and love and hope and all the things the city could use right now. I hope it stands in opposition to being closed off; I hope it stands in opposition to exclusivity, hatred, and a litany of other negative feelings. I hope it uplifts and enlightens and inspires,” said Clayton.

Morgan Cornelius, community programs lead, SMB’s and Teens at Instagram said, “This is our offline way of reminding everyone to spread kind comments and support one another. With this particular event itself, working with Union Market, we thought it would be very cool to celebrate teen entrepreneurs and celebrate the amazing things they’re doing on Instagram.”

There were also other organizations present at the event including Build. The national organization helps high school students start their own businesses to keep them excited for school. Two student businesses from Build were at the event one of which created hats with earphones within the knit hats, the other group featured a padding placed on book bags to make them more comfortable for students.

According to Aria Marinelli, founder of Blue Salt strategies people in the community have already started to take notice of the mural.

“Even yesterday people were already starting to take photos in front of it and doing their own poses and bring their own joy to the mural. For me, public art really is an expression, but it also allows people to express themselves in unique ways,” said Marinelli. 

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