Community members and leaders came together to celebrate the unveiling of the city’s latest work of art honoring bicentennial legends.
On Oct. 13, the Madam Walker Legacy Center hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication of the new mural depicting its namesake, self-made millionaire and entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, in downtown Indianapolis at 315 N. Senate Ave.
The mural, which is a smaller rendition of a portrait of Madam C.J. Walker painted for the Indianapolis International Airport in 2021, was painted by Indianapolis-based artist Tasha Beckwith. This mural is the second in the City of Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission’s Indiana Legends mural series, the first of which went up in 2021 and depicts African American cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor on the Barnes & Thornburg building, located at 11 S. Meridian St.
“With the help of our community’s generous fundraising contributions we were able to ensure that this mural prominently displays our namesake for all to learn from and enjoy,” Kristian Stricklen, president of the Madam Walker Legacy Center, said in a press release. “We’re so excited to continue preserving and honoring the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker by way of this new beautiful mural.”
Community leaders such as Congressman Andre Carson, Mayor Joe Hogsett and City-County Council President Vop Osili were in attendance and spoke during the program.
Julia Moore, director of public art for the Indy Arts Council, said the mural series aims to spotlight those who have made an impact on Indianapolis but may have been overlooked during their lifetime because of their race, gender or social status.
“Seeing these individuals’ faces and learning about their contributions is vital to understanding who we are as a culture,” Moore said. “Indianapolis would not be what it is today without Madam Walker’s influence.”
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