October 6, 2022 - Led by the Fort Wayne Public Arts Commission, Mayor Tom Henry and city officials held a dedication ceremony for a new Faces of the Fort mural.
The mural, located on the east façade of the building at 520 West Jefferson Blvd., depicts local community advocates Ephraim Scott Smiley III and Omowalé-Kétu Oladuwa. The mural subjects were selected as hometown heroes for their commitment to positively impacting the lives of young people in our community. The mural artist is Michael Johnson (DJPupLuv•theARTIST).
“A city’s art often depicts what that place honors and values as well as the historic figures who are foundational to who we are as people and what we strive to become,” said Fort Wayne Public Arts Commission and Faces of the Fort Chair Réna Bradley. “Faces of the Fort murals are a unique opportunity to recognize the history that is happening and being made today, to give those who are championing it their flowers today, and to inspire each of us to become more engaged, active, and hopeful members of our community today.”
The Faces of the Fort project launched in 2021 and 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.
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 select artists to paint the murals. There are four Faces of the Fort murals installed in the southeast, southwest, and northeast quadrants, and in downtown Fort Wayne.
Additional information on each mural, the mural subjects and the artists can be found at www.FacesoftheFort.com.