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Project funded by Georgia Tourism Product Development Grant

DUBLIN, June 27, 2016 – Dublin Downtown Development Authority and Visit Dublin GA announced today that Corey Barksdale, a nationally recognized Georgia artist, has been selected as the muralist for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument under development in Dublin, Georgia. The result of a $5,000 award by the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Tourism division to fund a mural and gateway signage at the site of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. monument, the mural will be located at the intersection of Church and Telfair Streets. It will set the tone in creating an artistic and interactive public space for tourists to experience the first step in Dr. King’s rise to greatness as a leader of the Civil Rights movement.

The project will install a 54’ 7” wide by 10’ high mural on the wall of a neighboring building highlighting First African Baptist Church and Dublin, Georgia as the location of Dr. King’s first public speech in 1944. This mural by a Georgia artist will serve as an additional interactive component of the monument site, provide an artistically colorful backdrop for the monument site, and create a vivid gateway for downtown Dublin. “This project presents the unique opportunity to not only commemorate a very important moment in our history, but also transform a downtown gateway and add to the collection of unique public art we have in downtown Dublin. It is a win for everyone involved, and we are so proud of the support and man power that has been poured into the MLK Monument project,” said Tara Bradshaw, Director, Main Street Dublin.


Atlanta artist Corey Barksdale uses art to capture African American history, and intends to capture Dr. King’s speech in Dublin through color and emotion, saying, “A lot of my images are representative of the experiences that I have had and how I identify myself. These subjects reflect my community. The bold colors that I use have been with me since the beginning. Initially I focused on a few primary colors. Now I am blending them in different ways to create my secondary colors. I give the colors a different value or tone. Examples: blue is a darker tone, then red a mid-tone, orange is light, yellow even lighter, and white I use for highlights. So there is actually a system, and I use certain colors over and over. Using bright colors is part of my makeup. Much art from Africa utilizes some of the same color combinations that I use. So, it’s part of my DNA that I use these colors; it’s what seems natural.”

Barksdale’s resume includes a current project for Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, as well as murals on the Atlanta Beltway, in Athens and Decatur, GA, and numerous projects for television. The National Museum of African American History and Culture will feature eleven inaugural exhibitions focusing on a wide arc of history: Slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migrations to the North and West, the Civil Rights Movement, and beyond. It will be a place where everyone can explore the story of America through the lens of the African American experience. Opening September 24, 2016, Barksdale’s image will be part of a 360-theater exhibit film that celebrates African American creativity and cultural expressions through art, music, dance, theater and literature.

“Dublin is lucky to have an artist of Corey’s caliber creating the mural for the Dr. King Monument. His passion and skill in capturing the African American experience through color, imagery, and motion will translate into a vibrant experience of interpretation that will inspire visitors of today and tomorrow,” said Rebecca McWilliam, Director of Tourism, Visit Dublin GA. “We’re grateful to Georgia Tourism for the opportunity to have an artist of Barksdale’s experience and talent creating this work of art for what will become the primary gateway to downtown.”

See Barksdale in action in Athens:

Georgia Tourism

In an effort to further tourism product development within the state, Georgia Tourism offered this inaugural grant to communities who participated in the department’s Tourism Product Development Resource Team program. The Tourism Product Development Resource Team program works to evaluate a community’s potential for tourism growth and development through innovative, unique experiences based on a community’s local culture and heritage.

“The Tourism Product Development Resource Team has streamlined its initiative to assisting our communities with funding, which is one of the greatest needs in fortifying tourism product development in Georgia,” said Cindy Eidson, Director of Tourism Product Development for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “By providing initial funds to projects that we help inspire, we are jump-starting tourism economic development across the state, helping to not only grow Georgia’s tourism offerings, but also creating new jobs and sustainable economic development in each of these communities.”

For more information about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument, please contact Rebecca McWilliam at Visit Dublin GA, the destination marketing organization for Dublin-Laurens County, at 478-272-4002 or by email at

For inquiries, email Barksdale at or view many examples of his fine art paintings at
About GDEcD
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, aligning workforce education and training with in-demand jobs, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.