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When Barriers Come Down, Our Power Rises - (2016)

Project Description:

Artist: Carolyn Elaine 

-Location: Burnside Scholastic Academy.

This 150 square feet mural is composed of five mosaic vignettes that honor some prominent African American athletes that the Burnside students identified and felt had an impact on the choices they have today. The composition begins with The 1968 Olympics Black Power salute which was a political demonstration conducted by  African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. It moves on to honor the “Greatest” boxer in American history whose story told in and outside of the ring, is unparalleled in modern celebrity. His incomparable work ethic and fearlessness towards standing up for his beliefs contributed to the legend that is Muhammad Ali. The black-and-white mosaic of this iconic image was starkly juxtaposed with a vibrant background and one of his many quotes. Muhammad Ali died just two weeks after its completion.


The students of Burnside Academy worked with Carolyn Elaine to fabricate the mosaic shillouettes that represent various sports. The students were guided by the schools art teacher in their research on the history of African-Americans athlete. This history was framed and included in the composition. As you move around the building you see images and names of athletes that have opened athletic opportunities for young men and women.



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