Breonna Taylor’s portrait will officially make its way into the Smithsonian this Friday, Sept. 17. The precious art piece was created by Amy Sherald, the same artist who painted Michelle Obama’s stunning mural. The commemorative artwork will hang on the fourth floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a part of the museum’s new exhibition “Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience.”
The stellar painting which was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine in September of 2020, pictures Taylor wearing a turquoise dress and the engagement ring that her boyfriend Kenneth Walker planned to purpose to her with before her untimely demise, The Hill reported.
The museum shared that they purchased the artwork from Sherald who planned to donate proceeds from the art piece to social justice causes. Coincidentally, the debut of the portrait falls on the museum’s fifth anniversary.
On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by officer Brett Hankison alongside Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly after the three Louisville Metro Police Department officials broke into the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker as a part of a drug bust. The event sparked a national outcry for social justice and a summer filled with contentious protests demanding for police reform. Breonna Taylor was only 28-years-old during the time of her death.
In the months following her tragic passing. Taylor’s name became a symbol of change and a central pillar of the Black Lives Matter movement. Murals of the young EMT worker popped up all across the country to commemorate her short but meaningful life, including one in her hometown of Louisville.
MADAMENOIRE visits several other locations where you can find beautiful murals and artwork in honor of Taylor’s legacy.
A group of over a dozen volunteers banned together to create a 7,000-square-foot mural of Breonna Taylor on July 4 of 2020. The surreal image was constructed after Annapolis-based social change non-profit Future History Now partnered with the Banneker-Douglas Museum and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture to find a space, sponsors, and volunteers, the Capital Gazette. reported.
The spray-painted mural sprawls across the basketball courts in Annapolis’ Chambers Park.
Jefferson Square, Louisville
It was the mural that stood at the center of the Breonna Taylor protests in the city. Taylor’s legendary mural in Louisville’s Jefferson Park became the pulse of her contentious court case against all three officers who were eventually found not guilty of her unlawful murder. Surrounded by City Hall, Metro Hall, and the courthouse, Breonna’s mural stands in the middle of what the city later referred to as “Injustice Square,” CBS reported.
“They chose that park because, guess what, it’s right in the middle of everything,” Taylor’s aunt Bianca Austin explained of the coveted symbol, the report notes.
“That statement is that the injustice that y’all done to this woman, here it is, every day when you come to work, you need to be reminded of Breonna.”
The beautiful mural was later moved from the city’s downtown area to a nearby museum called the Roots 101 African American Museum, where it permanently hangs as a tribute to Taylor, WDRB added.
Two local artists named Detour and Hiero Viega painted a stunning mural of Taylor in the city’s River North district on 29th and Walnut street.
Both artists told the city’s local news station that they hoped to use color to breathe life back into Taylor’s powerful story.
“For me, I always tell artists that we are the visual historians of current times, so really using our artwork to tell what’s happening in our current time,” Detour explained to News 9.
A tattoo artist by the name of Chris Burke constructed a beautiful mural of Breonna in the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee. The precious piece stands tall right on the corner of E. Locust Avenue and N.Holton street.
Burke called Taylor a “true American hero” and shared with Urban Milwaukee that he believes her life deserved to “be celebrated.”
The mural rests on a building owned by Ihsan Atta who explained that he wanted the artwork to be a conversation starter and to hopefully act as a catalyst for community building.
“People need to educate themselves and need to get out of their comfort zone and become friends or befriend people of color,” Atta told the news site.