By Rachel Holt

BOSTON (CBS) — As a longtime resident of Roxbury, Dayenne Walters walks by the billboard at the intersection of Centre Street and Roxbury Street often. One thing used to stick out to her: “The disuse of the billboard. The way that the billboard had just fallen into disrepair,” she said.

“To have this sort of eyesore in the middle of my neighborhood, it just felt really disheartening.”

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So the artist came up with the idea for “Billboard Hope,” a project that features rotating works by local artists.

“Why don’t we just flip it a little bit and use that vehicle to sell joy, to sell inspiration,” said Walters.

Since March, the billboard is no longer an eyesore in John Eliot Square, but a place to showcase beautiful art, including the current piece on display by Roxbury native DaNice Marshall.

‘Billboard Hope’ in Roxbury’s John Eliot Square (WBZ-TV)

“I can’t say it’s a dream come true because I didn’t dream that big. I just dreamt that I would paint something and it would make a difference. If someone looked at it, they might smile. That was my hope. And so it just came out, and now it’s up there,” said Marshall.

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Photographers, 2D graphic artists, painters, and quilters will all be featured. Anything that can be translated to a flat surface can be exhibited on this billboard.

The artwork changes every four weeks with plans to feature 13 artists in total who work with a variety of mediums. They’ll all be connected by one theme: “Hope and Inspiration For the Future.” As of now, the project is scheduled to run through April 2022.

“It just seemed to me that right now, above all else, we just need to be kinder to one another, be hopeful and have a purpose in life. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow so while we’re here, let’s just enjoy,” said Marshall.

“We have something to contribute. A strong voice. A beautiful voice. A voice of hope,” said Walters.

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For more on Billboard Hope, visit its Facebook page.

Rachel Holt