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Burlington mural showcases two centuries of BIPOC history

A man in a black hoodie paints onto a colorful mural on a ceiling atop a hydraulic lift.
Alexa Herrera Condry
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Juniper Creative Arts
Will Kasso Condry of Juniper Creative paints the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers atop a hydraulic lift. The mural captures 200 years of BIPOC history through almost 100 portraits.

The 1,100-square-foot vaulted ceiling at the entrance to the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center is now home to the likeness of generations of BIPOC artists and activists in rich, bright acrylic paint.

Juniper Creative Arts’ latest mural, “The Wall of Respect: Luminaries of Justice and Liberation” took 11 months to assemble and features nearly 100 portraits.

On this ceiling are several portraits of people blended with
Alexa Herrera Condry
This mural mixes BIPOC revolutionaries with beautiful flowers and flowing water. Some of faces here include: Octavia Butler, Larry Dulay Itliong, Alvin Ailey, Mamá Tingó, and Gordon Parks

Jennifer Herrera Condry is the creative director for Juniper Creative. Since 2017, this Vermont-based Black and Dominican family collective have been painting murals all over the state. She says this project is rooted in education.

“This mural itself feels like an encyclopedia for BIPOC folks,” Jennifer said. “You can come to this one space and learn so much that isn't even being taught in schools.”

Some of the most notable faces include Harriet Tubman, Burlington’s DJ A-dog, and the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, the segregated African American unit regiment that was stationed in Colchester, at Fort Ethan Allen.

On this center panel of the mural are several portraits including revolutionary leaders surrounded by children, flowers, and a stained glass pattern.
Alexa Herrera Condry
At the heart of the 11,000 square foot of acrylic portraits is Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Cecile Fatiman, key leaders in the Haitian Revolution.

Will Kasso Condry is a muralist with the group. He says the artwork only scratched the surface of how rich BIPOC history is.

“It's not just about people from outside of Vermont,” he said. “It's about celebrating the local heroes as well. You know, honestly, if we could have put like 20-30 more people, we probably would have.”

This part of the ceiling is covered in portraits of people surrounded by flowers and flowing water.
Alexa Herrera Condry
The right panel of the mural features the portraits of Ntozake Shange, Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde, and the Mirabal Sisters.

The mural will be open to the public by appointment starting in October.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Marlon Hyde @HydeMarlon.

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