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Man behind Exchange Building mural helping raise funds for St. Jude patients

Michael Roy's 7-foot mural is also a non-fungible token or NFT, letting visitors donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — High tech art in downtown Memphis is helping raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  

The man behind the mural said it took 12 days to paint the piece on Madison Avenue.

“It’s very much downtown, it’s not small and I felt a great responsibility to do it justice and to make it something that hopefully people in town can like and vibe with,” said mural artist Michael Roy, a.k.a. Birdcap.  

He painted the 7-story mural on the Exchange Building in April.

It’s not only encouraging those who walk past to pause, but it’s also a non-fungible token or NFT, letting visitors donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“It just seemed like the best of both worlds,” said Roy. “I like doing murals it’s my favorite thing but they’ve become very inert backgrounds so if there’s a way to make it so it can monetize, or it can dance or it can sing, it just adds another level to it.”

Roy, who is a Memphis college of art graduate, shared he found the inspiration for the piece from therapy.

“Growing bigger than your problems and kind of becoming free of them,” the artist explained. “When it became for public art I retooled it a bit to kind of make it about city problems and everyday problems.”

It's mural people in the Bluff City can identify with. 

“The main character now is sort of an avatar of Memphis,” Roy said. “That’s why I put so much Memphis insignia on them.”

It's an insignia representing Memphis, the city that adopted him. 

“If you want to rep Memphis. Memphis is welcoming," he said. "I’m very grateful for that, I wouldn’t have a career without Memphis.”

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