Taylor and Main St., Columbia, SC, 29201
The mural space is a joint project of Indie Grits, Tapp’s Arts Center and One Columbia for Arts and History. Starting in April 2015, a mural artist will be selected in conjunction with the Indie Grits Festival and will paint a mural within the theme of Indie Grits. A new artist and mural will be featured in subsequent years. The wall space was generously donated by Capitol Places who owns the building.
The first iteration of the mural was designed and painted by artist Seth Gadsden and is associated in theme with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the burning of Columbia in February 2015.
As the artist describes, “Don’t Tread on Us is a statement and a question about ownership and empowerment. The Gadsden Flag’s perpetual presence in my family’s history has triggered a lot of personal questions about politics, structural racism, and national identity. Using an urban script to alter the image — and changing the ‘me’ to ‘us’ — I complicate the message and hopefully draw attention to the shifting layers of meaning the image has accumulated over the past 239 years as it passes from one context to another: from the political arena to advertising to art, and so on.”
Mr. Gadsden is also the Managing Director at the Nickelodeon Theatre and the Director of Indie Grits.
Lee Snelgrove, Executive Director of One Columbia for Arts and History states, “Seth’s mural is both challenging and whimsical in how it contains multiple layers of meaning and will be perceived differently by many people. I personally find it to be an interesting iteration of the slogan that brings all Columbians together in its reference to ‘us.’ It’s exciting how public art can create dialogue within a community. And, I’m looking forward to the future opportunities that this mural space will give us to enhance this area of Downtown.”
The second work is by Atlanta artist Trek Matthews, on commission by Indie Grits, One Columbia and Tapp’s Art Center. He creates futuristic landscapes with geometric shapes.
Date created: October, 2014