Margaret Walker Center to unveil interpretive plaque in Farish Street Park

IMG_6353 On Thursday, March 22, at 4:30 pm the Margaret Walker Center and Significant Developments will unveil an interpretive plaque for the public sculpture Farish Quilt in Farish Street Park at the corner of North Farish St. and East Hamilton St. in Jackson.

This new interpretive plaque tells the story of the creation of this notable Jackson public art work by artist Linda Trobaugh, commissioned to be a playground sculpture in the new Farish Street Park upon its opening in February 1986. The interpretive plaque includes full text for Margaret Walker’s “A Patchwork Quilt,” a section of Walker’s “A Poem for Farish Street” commissioned by Linda Trobaugh to accompany the sculpture and published as the final poem in Walker’s 1989 book This Is My Century.

The Farish Street/Main Street Project, the Margaret Walker Center and Significant Developments have installed this interpretive plaque to recognize the role that the arts can play in holding historical memory in public spaces. The sculpture and the poem bring focus to the culturally rich history of the people of Farish Street as one of the largest black business districts in the South during segregation and remind us of the small community of business owners and neighbors who continue to bring life to the area.

In 1986, the creation of Farish Street Park and this sculpture were intended to spark increased efforts to revitalize this historic district established during Reconstruction. This plaque is an offering to the people of the Farish Street community whom this sculpture celebrates and a nudge to all of Mississippi to continue our efforts to honor the legacy of this area.

Participating in the program will be Rev. C. Edward Rhodes II, pastor of Mt. Helm Baptist Church; Dr. Robert Blaine, chief administrative officer of the city of Jackson; Dorothy Davis, president of Farish Street Community of Shalom; Dr. helen crump of the Jackson State University Department of English; Dr. Hickman M. Johnson, pastor of Farish Street Baptist Church; Janet Scott, executive director of the Greater Jackson Arts Council; and Rev. David McCoy, pastor of Central United Methodist Church on Farish Street.

IMG_6354 2Artist Linda Trobaugh is currently a practicing architect in San Mateo, CA. She impacted Mississippi through her friendships and memorable contributions to our collective memory such as design work for the children’s gallery at the previous location of the Mississippi Museum of Art for which she and Samuel Mockbee, working together as a joint venture, received an Honor Award from the AIA. The children’s sculpture for which our interpretive plaque is being placed was also celebrated nationally; exhibited Urban Center Galleries in New York. Linda holds a Master of Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Both an archive and a museum, the Margaret Walker Center is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of African American history and culture. Founded by Margaret Walker in 1968, the Center honors her academic and artistic legacy through its manuscript holdings and oral histories, interpretation of African American history and culture through its museum and exhibits, coordination of public programs, preservation of historic structures central to the African American experience, and advocation of Black Studies at Jackson State University.

Significant Developments is a performative art work testing the ability of the for-profit business framework to enact a community empowerment agenda. Initiated by long-time Jackson artist daniel johnson in 2013, Significant Developments brings together artists working across sectors to craft nonlinear advancement strategies for individuals, businesses, and organizations through a process emphasizing a spirit of play and rigorous practice.