Mural commemorating Lansing entrepreneur Louie Boji on display at downtown building

A new mural in downtown Lansing celebrates the life and legacy of longtime local entrepreneur Louie Boji.

Decorating the main entrance of the Louie Building is A Father’s Dream which depicts Louie Boji, a handshake and an eagle.

Award-winning artist Joshua Adam Risner designed and painted the 24×9 foot piece that is visible to passersby from the building’s glass windows. During the mural’s unveiling Thursday, Risner said he wanted to showcase how connected Boji’s dreams of entrepreneurship were to the needs of the local community.

“The movement and how, like, when you have good character and you make good decisions and you do the right thing you provide, you know, the potential and hope and dreams for the people that come after you,” he said.

Boji immigrated to Lansing in the late 1960s from his homeland of Iraq. Since then, he has owned and ran dozens of businesses across the state and country. Ron Boji, his son, told those in attendance he’s looking forward to the ways the mural will inspire future generations.

“All the politicians and the different people walking up and down the streets of Lansing for the next 50 years will be able to see this graceful mural that is here and what it stands for,” he said. “For every immigrant that comes into the United States and does what my dad with a couple of dollars and a shirt on his back and my mother and my two sisters.”

Boji was in attendance at the event. He suffered a massive stroke a few years ago that has kept him from being able to walk or verbally communicate with others.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and Governor Gretchen Whitmer also attended the mural unveiling. Whitmer said she’s grateful for the investments and partnerships Boji has made to the community.

“I hope that as people look at this mural and understand what it is really all about, and what it’s communicating that they will find inspiration and find common ground around the same goals.”

The Boji family purchased the Farnum building in 2018 and renamed it The Louie Building after their patriarch. It was once the home of the Michigan Senate until 2017 when the legislative chamber moved several blocks away.

Copyright 2022 WKAR Public Media. To see more, visit WKAR Public Media.

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