Durham mural honors civil rights | News Briefs | Indy Week
Pin It

Durham mural honors civil rights 

Artists sketch figures for the Durham Civil Rights History Mural.

Courtesy of Brenda Miller Holmes

Artists sketch figures for the Durham Civil Rights History Mural.

Nestled between the Durham Arts Council and an empty storefront office sits an equally empty wall.

Within the month, however, the 2,400 square feet of egg-shell-colored cinderblock will become the canvas for Durham's first official public art project: The Durham Civil Rights History Mural.

As a part of its Cultural Master Plan, the city granted $20,000 to the project in December 2012. After what lead muralist Brenda Miller Holmes described as a "really really long journey," painting is soon to begin.

The city recently approved the design for the mural, which will depict scenes of Durham's involvement in the civil rights movement, such as the Royal Ice Cream Sit-in. Miller Holmes said she hopes to have scaffolding up in the next two weeks and plans to start working shortly thereafter.

The 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act is July 2.

Though Miller Holmes has been a muralist for 12 years and has more than 20 projects to show for it, she won't be painting this one alone.

Miller Holmes has been working with a team of 30 community members, ranging in age from 15 to 65, since the design process began in the beginning of 2013, and her team will help paint the mural as well.

"I wanted this project to be intergenerational because this isn't my story to tell," Miller Holmes said. "I'm a muralist, but I'm not a historian, so I wanted the community's input."

The mural project will include an interactive website and a documentary about the creation and impact of the public art piece, according to the project's Multimedia Director Rodrigo Dorfman.

The way Dorfman sees it, the project contains two phases: "the creation of the mural and the impact it has on people."

Dorfman started filming his documentary about a year ago and said he plans to continue following the characters for a year after the mural's completion to see how it has affected them.

Despite the initial grant Miller Holmes and her team received from the city, they have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise an additional $10,000 to complete the project.

The original plan was to paint the mural on an 800-square-foot wall, but when the building that wall is a part of changed hands, the project changed to its current location, on Morris Street, and subsequently tripled in size.

"Getting a wall that was three times bigger was great, but it also meant everything else, including costs, tripled as well," Miller Holmes said.

The Indiegogo campaign closes on June 18 and is still $6,000 short of its goal. Of the money raised through this campaign, $7,000 will go to painting supplies, and $3,000 will go toward the making of the documentary.

"This project is important because art creates a space, free of politics and self reservation, where people can talk about what they might not have otherwise," Dorfman said. "This is a space where people can talk about the past."

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Briefs



Twitter Activity

Comments

The basic necessity of an individuals life is proper food, cloth and shelter. But still a major portion of our …

by carsonmojica on The cost of treating charity-care & bad-debt patients (News Briefs)

Lol I'm reading of jek to no delusional rantings and an ar would not ever take of someones arm lol …

by Emily Davis on How to Buy an Assault Rifle in North Carolina (News Briefs)

Most Recent Comments

The basic necessity of an individuals life is proper food, cloth and shelter. But still a major portion of our …

by carsonmojica on The cost of treating charity-care & bad-debt patients (News Briefs)

Lol I'm reading of jek to no delusional rantings and an ar would not ever take of someones arm lol …

by Emily Davis on How to Buy an Assault Rifle in North Carolina (News Briefs)

By the way they will never repeal the 2nd ammendment so if that's what you want France is your best …

by Emily Davis on How to Buy an Assault Rifle in North Carolina (News Briefs)

Jek to no on one hand your against killing and weapons on the other you wish death on gun owners …

by Emily Davis on How to Buy an Assault Rifle in North Carolina (News Briefs)

I hunt with an ar 15 so I know from experience that it definitely does not ruin the meat it …

by Emily Davis on How to Buy an Assault Rifle in North Carolina (News Briefs)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation