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15 Salads You Have To Eat This Summer In #RealColumbiaSC
Posted on July 14, 2017 at 10:56AM by Holly Heaton
In the summer heat, a crisp salad bursting with flavor is the ultimate refreshing meal. With access to an abundance of fresh and vibrant South Carolina produce, Columbia chefs are serving up ...
Here's How To Celebrate The 4th Of July In Columbia SC
Posted on June 28, 2017 at 2:51PM by Holly Heaton
  Photo by: John A. Carlos II  Burgers on the grill, boats in the water and fireworks flying through the southern air...it's almost 4th of July weekend, y'all. Don't stress over ...
What's Hot This July
Posted on June 27, 2017 at 6:49AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Bask in the glory of summer this month. Fill up those extra hours of daylight with festivities, outdoor events, concerts and more. Read on for a roundup of things to do all month long ...
5 Places to Celebrate National Doughnut Day in Columbia SC
Posted on June 2, 2017 at 6:16AM by Columbia, South Carolina
Everyone loves doughnuts - it's a fact. We've rounded up five local spots with unforgettable sweet-and-stickies, so you can indulge the #RealColumbiaSC way. Oh, and you should definitely hit all five ...
What's Hot This June
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 8:11AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Summer is on its way and that means there's more time to experience Columbia, SC through a line-up of seasonal events, concerts, exhibits and more! Keep reading for a roundup of things to ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Lee Snelgrove with One Columbia for Arts and History
Posted on May 11, 2017 at 7:43AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Get to know the man who's worked hard to bring a lot more color and creativity to Columbia SC - Lee Snelgrove with One Columbia for Arts and History!       Lee Snelgrove ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Abby Naas with the Columbia Fireflies
Posted on May 9, 2017 at 10:32AM by Dayna Cantelmi
A somewhat newer face in the Columbia community, Abby Naas and the Columbia Fireflies with whom she works have already made quite the impact on our region. Find out just what it is that ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Chef Mike Davis with Terra
Posted on May 9, 2017 at 9:42AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Today, check in with Chef Mike Davis from Terra for all of his insider tips on Columbia SC!       Chef Mike Davis, owner of Terra in West Columbia, is a ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Rita Patel with Hotel Trundle
Posted on May 8, 2017 at 1:20PM by Dayna Cantelmi
Thanks for tuning in yesterday and getting to know Trae Judy with Music Farm Columbia a little better! Now, find out how Rita Patel with Hotel Trundle has impacted our ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Trae Judy with Music Farm
Posted on May 8, 2017 at 7:00AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Get to know some of the movers and shakers in our community who make the tourism industry in Columbia warm, welcoming and thriving. Stay tuned this week as we get to know some of Columbia's Faces of ...
What's Hot This May
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 6:10AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Between the weather, sports, concerts and festivals, there's no reason not to be out and about in the streets of Columbia, SC this May. Read on for a roundup of things to do below, then ...

Capital City Times Mural by Alcorn Middle School Students

  • N Main Street
  • Railroad trestle near Earlewood Park
  • Columbia, SC 29201

Along one of Columbia's busiest streets, thousands of people pass a billboard-sized work of art each day, but they may not know its history or community significance.

Formally called "Capital City Times," but more commonly known as "the black mural," it has adorned two walls of a North Main Street railroad trestle since 1995.

Either from the street or from adjoining Earlewood Park, it is easy to pick out familiar elements on the mural such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the State House and children at play. But a closer look reveals the images as they were interpreted by the students who produced it.

According to Judy Battiste, who coordinated the project with 24 Alcorn Middle School students, the mural was originally supposed to take up one wall of the trestle. However, by the time it was completed it was so large that it had spread to both of the walls that face the street Ñ half of it facing northbound traffic and half facing motorists traveling south.

"One side shows the kids' feelings about themselves growing up in Columbia, South Carolina. The other side is more of a tribute to African-American role models," Battiste said.

The wall that depicts growing up shows the face of a smiling black child next to that of an angry black child.

"Many people have asked why we painted an angry child, but I tell them it represents the mixed emotions children experience. There are also images of children playing, such as the child on the swing," Battiste said.

The emphasis of the other wall is to pay tribute to famous black Americans. Along with King, this wall honors South Carolina natives Ronald E. McNair, an astronaut who died in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, and Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, a former astronaut and now commanding general of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing.

The children's feelings are also projected onto that wall through the way some things are depicted. For example, the State House, which serves as the mural's backdrop, was painted without the Confederate flag above its dome. But the flag was very much present atop the State House in 1995.

That wall also paints a picture of racial harmony: stick-figure children, black next to white and each holding hands, that form a line across the entire wall.

Bettiste was chairwoman of the arts committee for the local chapter of The Links Inc., a national women's service organization, when she became interested in a State Museum exhibition of the work of famous African-American artist Romare Bearden, whose foundation helped support the project. From that came the idea for the mural.

"I thought it would be a good way to expose local students to African-American art," Battiste said.

The project began eight years ago as a collage of the children's feelings about school, family and community. Battiste said the students patterned their collage after Bearden's style and technique, which often involved rural themes based on his memories of the South. With inspiration from Bearden and help from local artists Vanessa Ashford-Bussy and Ralph Waldrop, the students succeeded in transferring their collage to the mural, after CSX Transportation, which owns the trestle, gave its permission.

Ashford-Bussy helped the students arrange the collage, which Battiste said took about a week. The work on the mural was led by Waldrop, who has painted numerous murals in Columbia. Perhaps best known of his works was the mural of University of South Carolina running back and Heisman trophy winner George Rogers, which once was on the side of a Blossom Street building on the campus.

The students met with Waldrop once a week to bring their vision to life as a mural. Almost a year from the day they started, it was complete.

The mural contributes to the community by making art accessible to more people, Battiste said.

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