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Monday, 1 March 2021

Celebrating Fort Wayne's Black creatives and vibrant public art scene

Credit: WFFT
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Celebrating Fort Wayne's Black creatives and vibrant public art scene
Celebrating Fort Wayne's Black creatives and vibrant public art scene

If you're walking the streets of downtown, you'll notice the city's vibrant public art scene.

Many of these works represent the rich history, culture, and stories of the Black community.

Developing tonight ... the city of fort wayne is celebrating black artists in our city.

The streets of downtown are filled with vibrant public art, many representing the rich history, culture and stories of the black community.fox 55's nico pennisi shows you their work and speaks to city officials about its importance.

3 take pkg: if you walk around downtown, you may notice murals painted on the sides of buildings - about 10 of them are the work of local black artists.

Theoplis smith iii also known as phresh laundry is one of the most prominent names in the fort wayne public art scene.

Erin okeson with visit fort wayne says his influence is profound - this being one of 5 murals he's done in our city.

"he has his bright yellow ice cream fort wayne mural that's downtown on 222 pearl street."okeson says it's even more important to showcase these murals this black history month after the unrest this past summer.

"downtown windows were boarded up and a lot of those incredible black artists came downtown and covered those boards with art and murals.

It was really incredible and i think really eye opening for a lot of people to see just how many amazing and talented black artists we have in fort wayne."public art manager dan baisden says public art is a mirror of the community it lives within."it always is a visual representation of who we are as a community so when we're working with artists we want to make sure that we are truly expressing who we are and how we see ourselves and how people see us through artwork."that's why this black history month the city is looking to commission an artist to commemorate the words of dr. martin luther king jr. the civil rights icon spoke in our city on june 5th 1963, months prior to his "i have a dream speech."okeson hopes the city's public art inspires black youth.

"as we add more public art and more murals we continue to learn about those artists.

It's just more incredible people for our younger, next generation to look up to."

In fort wayne im nico pennsi ifox 55 news we did reach out to a few of the artists but they didn't get back to us on this snowy day.

If you're an artist and you're interested being commissioned for the doctor martin luther king memorial, we have have those details on our webstie at w f f t

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