Oracles of Iowa City
Public mural on Burlington St. in downtown Iowa City.
Concept and design: Antoine Williams and Donté K. Hayes
Lead painter: Jill Wells
Painting fellows: Janiece Maddox and Marissa Hernandez
Storytelling/communication fellows: Nichole Shaw & Fred Ebong
Organizing team: Loyce Arthur, Dr. Dellyssa Edinboro, and John Engelbrecht
The concept and ultimate vision for this mural is a visual call out or beacon to the community and to the greater region of people who will visit Iowa City. The starting thoughts for the theme of this mural comes from Double Consciousness, the term created by African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois as the internal conflict experienced by black people or colonized groups in an oppressive society.
This mural is not the end of any conversation or action in regards to improving the lives and well-being of black people who live in and or visit Iowa City. It is for the white community, government officials, community leaders, and all people who view the mural or have heard of the mural's existence to acknowledge the systematic oppression of black people and be accountable to do more in the community. Most importantly, the mural speaks to black people’s humanity and not just their pain, giving expression to Black aesthetics in order to create a much-needed social transformation regarding race and not only acceptance, but respect.
This project was funded by the City of Iowa City and the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research.