Harriet Tubman Statue to Be Unveiled at National Center’s ‘Colvin-Feagin Art and Jazz Show’
By Hazel Scott/ASU
A monument honoring famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be unveiled during “The Colvin-Feagin Annual Art and Jazz Show,” sponsored by The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University. The event is slated for Thursday, August 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the University’s Montgomery Interpretive Center, located directly in front of The ASU Stadium.
The community art show honors renowned artists Dr. William Colvin and John W. Feagin, both ASU alumni, who have played an important role in visual arts in the community. The annual show will also recognize Dr. Lee Ransaw for his longtime efforts to celebrate and support African-American art as an essential element of African-American culture.
“The Colvin-Feagin Art show provides an opportunity for our Center to feature the outstanding work of two renowned artists from ASU that have been trailblazers in the Visual Arts: Dr. William Colvin and Mr. John Feagin...We are also happy to celebrate the esteemed artist, Dr. Lee Rasaw, who has been distinguished internationally for his work as an artist, author, educator and co-founder of the National Alliance of Artists from HBCUs. This will be a unique evening of celebration, entertainment and recognition of ASU's achievements in the Visual Arts with a special focus on art in the African-American experience,” said Janice Franklin, project director of the National Center.
A highlight of the art show is the unveiling of the Harriet Tubman statue by Atlanta-based sculptor Fred Ajanogha. Born into slavery in 1822, Tubman escaped to the North in 1849 to become the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. A portrait of dignity and courage, she made 13 perilous trips to help escort more than 70 slaves to freedom.
“To have a visual representation of her life and legacy is important because we have an opportunity to teach students how we have persevered as a people because of such great ancestors as Ms. Tubman,” said Franklin.
Franklin said what Tubman stood for has inspired her. “The idea of this woman, who was very small in stature, to risk her life to help liberate others who suffered the same circumstances that she endured … I just think that type of sacrifice and love for her people just speaks to me. The United States made the decision to have her image on a U.S. currency because of courage and dignity. There are global lessons to learn from the legacy of Harriett Tubman,” Franklin added.
The Harriet Tubman Statue is a 3-dimensional sculpture, made from fiberglass resin and bronze paint created by Ajanogha in 2020.
About the Honorees
Colvin has devoted most of his career to the preservation of African-American culture through the Visual Arts. He has helped to foster a deep respect for the genre in all of his students as well as the community at large.
Feagin has spent the bulk of his career instilling a love of art in Montgomery’s youth as a teacher at George Washington Carver High School. He also has been and still is a big proponent of creating art that lives within the community. His work can be seen throughout the city of Montgomery.
Ransaw is a retired Dean of Arts and Letters, as well as retired Chair of the Art Department at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia.
The community art show is used as a fundraiser to collect donations for the “Colvin-Feagin Art Gallery Fund,” which helps support the National Center’s mission of celebrating African-American culture through the Visual Arts.
“These funds help to purchase and properly care for artwork from artists whose work focuses on the Civil Rights Movement and the African-American experience,” Franklin said.
For more information about the art show or to donate, contact The National Center at 334-229-4824.