The City of Temecula, Community Services Department, Temecula Valley Unified School District, and the Temecula Valley Museum announce a new Emerging Artist Mural in Sam Hicks Monument Park (28300 Mercedes Street). This temporary public art piece honors Frederick Douglass. The public is invited to attend the unveiling on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at 5:00 pm. Refreshments will be available.
The Emerging Artist Mural Project seeks to support emerging artists by providing a space to showcase their craft. Artists paint a mural on varying topics, facilitated by Bigfoot Graphics. For the months of January and February, a mural of Frederick Douglass is showcased to represent Black History Month and the birthdate of Douglass.
This beautiful mural was created by 15-year-old artist Mya Hill, a Mission Vista Academy and Bigfoot Graphics art student. Mya was asked to create a mural in honor of Frederick Douglass and in support of the Temecula Valley Museum's American Black History Month in February. Mya stated "I’m so honored to have me, and my talents selected for this project. Even with all the lovely help I received, completing it was a bit of a challenge. My favorite part of this mural is by far the bust of Frederick Douglass."
About Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in February 1817 or 1818 as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, Frederick changed his surname and became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, becoming famous for his oratory skill and incisive antislavery writings. He was described by abolitionists as a living counterexample to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave. In response to this disbelief, Douglass wrote his first of three autobiographies.
Frederick Douglass spent years writing and editing an influential abolitionist newspaper, broke barriers for African Americans in government service, served as an international spokesman and statesman, was an influential proponent of the suffrage movement for both blacks and women, and helped combat racial prejudice during the Reconstruction Era. Douglass considered photography an important tool in ending slavery and racism. He was among most photographed of the 19th century, consciously using photography by looking directly into the camera, confronting the viewer with a stern look, to advance his political views.
Douglass believed in dialogue and in making alliances across racial and ideological divides, as well as in the liberal values of the U.S. Constitution. When radical abolitionists, under the motto "No Union with Slaveholders," criticized Douglass' willingness to engage in dialogue with slave owners, he replied: "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.” Frederick Douglass died on February 20, 1895. Douglass’ legacy is one of international renown, as a social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.
Temecula Mayor Zak Schwank states, “The City of Temecula is proud of this grass-roots mural program and our ability to celebrate important people and milestones in our country’s history. That a 15-year-old student can beautifully capture the essence of this impressive human being, informing the public as to his greatness, is truly remarkable.” Temecula City Council Member & Community Services President James ‘Stew’ Stewart agrees, “Just as Frederick Douglass understood the power of photography to communicate his message, the City of Temecula understands the power of art to open hearts and minds. We are very proud to provide this mural program for emerging artists and community appreciation.”
The mural is now displayed in Sam Hicks Monument Park. The museum will also celebrate American Black History Month through facts and free crafts in the museums Art and Education Room. All are welcome! For more information, please call (951) 694-6450.