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Artist’s work to be part of Smithsonian exhibit

By Ivan S. Cutler, Carolina Peacemaker / August 13, 2020

Artist Jenna Rice with her portrait of George Floyd will be part of an exhibit this fall at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum African American History in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Ivan S. Cutler, Carolina Peacemaker

A justice art portrait of George Perry Floyd, Jr., painted in the aftermath of Downtown Greensboro and national street protests of his Minneapolis police murder will become a part of a permanent exhibition at Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

In a temporary exhibition area of other justice art on the exteriors of businesses and storefronts on S. Elm St., local artist Jenna Rice inscribed her initials on her “face of the movement” disassembled mural scheduled for crating and shipping to the museum this fall.

Soon after Floyd’s death on May 25, intense peaceful street protests occurred, as well as unrelated late-night looting and property damage. The Greensboro portrait and figurative artist spray-painted a portrait of Floyd on protective OSB window covering at the entrance of Crafted — Art of the Taco restaurant on South Elm Street. This is only the third time Rice has spray-painted a mural.

In early June, vandals defaced the Floyd portrait, prompting a furious Rice to repaint “with an angry intensity that produced a better, more vibrant image of the movement,” she said. About that time is when Ayla Amon, curatorial assistant of the museum and UNCG History lecturer “saw it and the rest is history.”


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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