Lynchburg museum searches for artist to create mural, honoring local African-American history

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A Lynchburg museum is making efforts to observe African American history.

Mary Brice is the only enslaved person in Lynchburg history who has been identified and photographed. The Lynchburg Museum Foundation wants to use a mural of her to honor slaves who worked on her plantation and others who labored nearby.

“We know names of others but have no image of them, and then we have images of others but no names,” Museum Director Ted Delaney told WFXR News’ Amanda Lee. “So she’s the one person who been identified and named and photographed.”

He says Mary Brice is a woman who worked at Lynchburg’s Point of Honor in the 1850s.

“Most people today think this of it a house where a particular family — a white family lived but it actually was a plantation that was almost as much as 750 acres.”

Brice was among dozens in her enslaved community who lived and labored there between 1775 and 1865.

“Were hoping to draw attention to their story, to that chapter of the history and to layer that on top of what we already do here,” Delaney said.

The museum’s panel is looking for an artist or group of artists to install a mural of Brice on one or more piers of the John Lynch Memorial Bridge near Cabell Street and the Blackwater Creek Trail.

“Were hoping that people see themselves in this mural and that people here who are non-white realize that they’re a part of local history and that there are people who look like them that are a part of our community’s history,” Delaney added.

Ideas from artists are due Friday, May 7 at 5 p.m.

The Lynchburg museum system is looking for someone to start the project in late June and have the project finished in July.

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