From afar, commuters and pedestrians briefly see sections of this Cornerstones of History mural depicting important political and artistic figures and symbols that were instrumental in transforming the social fabric of Northeast Washington D.C. with threads of social activism, art and culture. As one approaches the intersection where this FOTERA terrazzo public art piece is installed as the focus of a fountain, the central images sharpen into four monumental portraits honoring Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks. The curved wall forming the mural makes these central figures appear to burst out of the background. When the water feature is activated, the water flows on either side of the mosaic, reminding the viewer that this historical mural is about change and renewal.
Authorizations for this project were granted by Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, the Estate of Mercer K. Ellington, The King Center, AP – Wide World Photos, Inc., and CMG Worldwide, Inc.