Update: This event has been postponed. Check back later for the reschedule date.
After three months of painting and installation, local artist Lawrence Matthews III is ready to reveal his new mural at Orange Mound Community Center's dedication celebration this Saturday.
Through UrbanArt Commission's District Mural Program, and with the help of assistants Amber George and Toonky Berry and photographer Andrea Morales, Matthews presents his first permanent large-scale public art piece — one that represents members of the Orange Mound community depicted as the epitome of role models and icons.
- Lawrence Matthews III
- Orange Mound Community Center mural
"A lot of times, it's like, let's put the most famous person or a celebrity on this wall," says Matthews. "I didn't want to do that. What I wanted to do was give a platform and give space to people who are just regular working people to see themselves exalted and treated as icons."
Lawrence says that many people in the black communities don't have the opportunity to see themselves represented this way often enough.
"And that has residual effects across generations," he says. "So maybe seeing a firefighter that is 20 feet tall or to see a nurse, a teacher, or somebody graduating high school in the background, this place that you inhabit so much. I thought that was more powerful."
Much of Lawrence's work outside of this mural deals with the issues surrounding displacement of Africans living in America, civil rights, and the gentrification of black communities.
"As an artist, I think there is a social responsibility that is a part of making art," he says. "It's making things beautiful, too, but also telling stories and navigating different things."
Orange Mound Community Center Dedication Celebration, Orange Mound Community Center, 2572 Park, Saturday, March 14th, 1 p.m., free.