June 29, 2021 - The City of Fort Wayne’s Public Arts Commission joined by Mayor Tom Henry, City Council Members and other city leaders held a series fo dedication ceremonies for murals featuring Hometown Heroes called Faces of the Fort.
The project focuses on celebrating the culture of Fort Wayne’s diverse population by preserving the history of Fort Wayne's diverse neighborhoods while highlighting people who have made contributions to the advancement of civil rights social justice and immigrant quality of life in our community.
Artists used stories submitted by residents about community leaders who have contributed to social justice efforts to create the Faces of the Fort murals. Faces of the Fort was a conceptual project suggestion in the Public Art Master Plan, Art for All, and is the first project the Public Art Commission has initiated.
The southeast mural, located at 4307 South Anthony Boulevard, depicts Irene Paxia, nominated for her work with Amani Family Services in interpretation services and community support for immigrants and refugees, and William E. Warfield, Fort Wayne’s first Black real estate investor and publisher of the city’s first Black newspaper, The Vindicator. The mural artist is Kacy Jackson.
The northeast mural, located at 1514 St. Joseph Boulevard, features City Councilman Glynn Hines, nominated for his work in civic engagement and fighting for justice for underserved communities, and Founder of the Resiliency Foundation, Genevieve Meyer, who is working to end child marriage in the state of Indiana and across the nation.The mural artist is Benjamin Duke.
The southwest mural, located at 1818 Bluffton Road, displays the Director at Language Services Network of Fort Wayne, Raquel Kline, nominated for her work in translation and interpretation services for immigrants and minorities, and Thomas Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of the Smith Academy for Excellence who is known for being a trailblazing educator in the Fort Wayne community. The mural artist is Mitchell Egly.
A committee comprised of members from the Fort Wayne Public Art Commission, local arts organizations, neighborhood groups, the African/African-American Historical Society, the immigrant and refugee community and the LGBTQ community selected artists to paint the murals, which will be designed based in part on the stories submitted by residents.
Additional information on each mural, the mural subjects and the artists can be found at www.FacesoftheFort.com.