Hometown Wanderlust is a brand new, adventurous, weekly blog featuring one girl’s experiences with food, music, shopping, history, art and life in general around Dublin GA. This week, Dublin GA’s favorite redhead experiences a bit of history in the making during the creation of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument mural.
It’s a stifling July morning, but the level of heat is beat only by the level of excitement we feel on this momentous day! This is the day the artist, Corey Barksdale, will begin work on a mural that will canvas the wall of the future MLK Monument site. Over 70 years ago, a young Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his thoughts right here in Dublin, Georgia during an oratorical contest at the age of 15. Those words eventually would spread across a nation and still ring in our ears today.
We meet Corey and members of the congregation at the historic setting, the First African Baptist Church. The concept is laid out to the members who enthusiastically raise questions. Some crave interpretation, coloring the air with questions on meaning, symbolism, and ultimately, conversation. Corey jumps into the interaction, explaining his thinking as he developed the concept, and words of hope, togetherness, and the dreams of all humanity fill the proud, historic church. Through words, a vision is captured, shared, explained, and envisioned. Much like that April day in 1944.
Corey has beautifully captured what we are craving in this time…hope for the future, a child’s wish, togetherness and generations united through time. There can be no concrete explanation. Just as we are all different and unique, each interpretation is just as different and unique. No right, no wrong. Just different.
We wander outside to the work site and watch as the first blasts of color, guided by a steady hand burst onto the wall. Colors that swirl and blend into an image that from close up are merely colors, patterns, and swirls. Each different, yet all stunning in their own right.
As this day goes on, vibrancy and intensity leap from the wall, drawing locals to the beauty of the mural as it continues to take on the life it was meant to have all along. A continuing work, blending and mixing. Not the easiest task in this summer heat. The struggle of the elements, future weathering and wear will add nothing but beauty and character if we just open our eyes and see the images around us as they were intended…a mixture of beauty and strength. The world as it is meant to be.
For more information on the MLK Monument Mural project visit https://visitdublinga.org/news/artist-corey-barksdale-selected-muralist-dr-king-monument/
For more on artist Corey Barksdale visit http://www.coreybarksdale.com/