CHICAGO — A public art installation outside one couple’s home has gone viral. The colorful celebration of diversity and inclusion that was originally meant to inspire their toddler, has caught the attention of countless strangers.
After a tough year, Jesse Campbell and partner Nicholas Vazquez knew they wanted to do something special to celebrate Pride with their 17-month-old boy.
“We just wanted to, you know, start off right on a good foot and really instill in him good morals and values and just be a good person,” said Vazquez. “And this is a good opportunity to have memories and to have pictures.”
Ideas were bursting inside Campbell’s imagination.
“I'm an interior designer, so I use AutoCAD all the time, space planning rooms,” he said.
The interior designer sketched out what would become his exterior design concept.
“It helps me in the design process to see what it's going to look like before I actually pulled the trigger,” said Campbell.
What he came up with turned into a simple, yet powerful, art display for their home and the neighborhood: a massive paintbrush dripping in the colors of the rainbow.
“I loved it. I thought it looked great,” said Campbell.
He wasn’t the only one who loved it. The couple never expected their unique rainbow art installation to generate so much buzz.
“Someone posted it on social media, and it, I mean, it blew up,” said Vazquez. “People started showing up in front of my house, and suddenly, there's a line of people taking pictures, and cars are all double-parked.”
The massive Pride display has undoubtedly gone viral.
People visit from far and wide to take pictures and just soak in the bright colors that stretch from the walkway up the porch steps and onto the front facade.
One couple even used the home as a backdrop for a wedding proposal.
“It just became bigger, and people would stop me and say how it makes them feel and how wonderful it is,” said Vazquez.
“I really realized that it meant something more when I saw that it made people feel safe,” said Campbell. “So, that, that was really special to me.”
But Campbell and Vazquez wanted to turn their viral sensation into something more: a chance to give back.
People passing by can scan a QR code printed on a placard outside the home and donate to the Trevor Project.
“Just scan the code and it brings the website right up.”
The nonprofit focuses on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.
“We thought what a great way to give back to the community,” said Vazquez.
Thousands of dollars have already been raised, and for the proud couple, the impact of their family project has filled their hearts with love and gratitude.
Now, it’s inspired countless others to turn that joy into generosity.