COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) – A new 100-foot mural is catching people’s eyes in Downtown Columbus.
The artwork, which highlights central Ohio’s “social justice legends” who have died, is at the corner of Broad Street and Cleveland Avenue at Washington Gladden Social Justice Park. Its goal is to inspire people to learn about the social justice battles fought in Central Ohio.
Designer Alan Jazack said every little piece of this new mural has a purpose.
From afa,r what sticks out is the word “justice,” but when you get closer, the mural’s deeper meaning is revealed, Jazack said.
“You get an appreciation of the word ‘justice’ from across the street, but when you approach closer, you see all the details about the names and the issues that are presented,” Jazack said.
More than 160 names of local people who fought for social justice issues, along with more than 50 terms relating to those causes, make up the highlighted word “justice.”
Jazack said the mural’s pink lines resembling sound frequency waves represent each of those people’s loud voices, and the letters “us” — coated in yellow — tie the mural all together.
“Us as a local community, us individually, and all these names presented, they’ve got a reason to be on here and everyone is invited to learn more about it,” Jazack said.
The mural is also interactive. Viewers can scan a QR code on the mural that directs them to a website where they can read more about each name featured on the wall.
Tom Worley, director of the Washington Gladden Social Justice Park, said everyone involved in creating this mural researched each of these “social justice legends” using records from the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
“Whether it’s the years spent on abolition, suffrage, dealing with civil rights,” Worley said. “Until today’s issues, whether that’s Black Lives Matter or other aspects, we wanted to look at people who look at people who have been involved in these issues over the years.”
The park focuses on a range of social justice issues in central Ohio over the last 200 years.
“It gives an opportunity not just for the passerby to decide what this justice is all about,” Worley said. “But to know that kids are going to be here on the grounds on their field trips and learning more about the history of Columbus, and for them to explore what these social justice issues might mean to them today.”
They hope to turn the informational website into a study guide to use at area schools for years to come.
This mural will be on display at Washington Gladden Social Justice Park for the next two years.