Public Art Community Town Hall – Oct 21

Posted by Rutgers Camden on October 13, 2020

The United States is facing a long-overdue global racial reckoning, a movement that is taking multiple forms, one of which has involved challenges to the memorialization of a range of historical events and individuals. In recent months, our nation has begun to re-evaluate, through contemporary and social-justice lenses, statues, monuments and other forms of public art – created to honor specific people or to represent a moment in history – that have been erected throughout the country since the 19th century.

We are now called upon to engage in such a re-evaluation at Rutgers University–Camden. In the early summer we received a communication calling attention to an issue with part of the mosaic frieze on the front of the Johnson Park building (a former Carnegie Library built in the early 20th century) and a petition to remove the statue of Walt Whitman from in front of the Campus Center. There have also been countervailing petitions and communications opposing the obscuring of the frieze and the opposing removal of the Walt Whitman statue.

During the month of October, the Rutgers University–Camden Committee on Public Art and History will be hosting town halls to hear the thoughts and recommendations of the Rutgers–Camden community, and our community external to the campus, on what should be done with the mosaic frieze and the statute of Walt Whitman.  The input gathered at the town halls will provide the committee insight as they develop recommendations on how the campus should respond to the demands of removing the Walt Whitman statue and covering the mosaic on the Johnson Park building.

If you would like to voice your opinion on the mural and mosaic please register below for the town hall. Please share widely with any community partner or member you feel would like to participate.

Date and Time: October 21, 2020, 6:00 – 7:15pm

Register here:

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