BAIA Talks:
Interview with Najee Dorsey on Together Columbus Mural Commission

Najee with mural in studio prior to installation — My lonely heart escaped its Southern Blues, 10 x 20 foot mural.

An Interview with Najee Dorsey by Columbus’ Ledger Enquirer Chuck Williams on the ‘Together Columbus 2017 Public Art Project’ . Together 2017, in its second year as a community-based campaign initiated by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, will invest nearly $140,000 in Rotary Park along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk south of downtown and a multi-faceted art project that combines murals with poetry.

Najee’s piece is titled  ‘My lonely heart escaped its Southern Blues’ and was derived from the an excerpt from the poem “My River Valley”,  written by Northside High School theater instructor Isiah M. Harper. The mural will be installed in the historic Liberty District, Columbus, GA.

Isiah Harper, a local author and Northside High School teacher, joined others Friday morning in a reading of his poem “My River Valley” during an ‘unveiling’ ceremony where Together 2017 announced a $139,000 investment in projects for the Columbus/Phenix City/Fort Benning region. Harper was commissioned to create a poem about the community that will serve as the inspiration for four artists to paint murals based on lines from the poem. Garry Pound, Sally Bradley, Najee Dorsey and Butch Anthony are the artists selected for the project. Mike Haskey The Ledger-Enquirer.


Who is Horace King:

Horace King (reference in the BAIA Talks interview) (September 8, 1807 – May 28, 1885) was an American architect, engineer, and bridge builder. King is considered the most respected bridge builder of the 19th century Deep South, constructing dozens of bridges in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Born into slavery in South Carolina in 1807, King became a prominent bridge architect and construction manager in the Chattahoochee River Valleyregion of Alabama and Georgia before purchasing his freedom in 1846.

He also constructed lattice truss bridges in the style of Ithiel Town at every major crossing of the Chattahoochee River and over every major river in the Deep South between the Oconee and Tombigbee. King also became active in politics, being elected and serving as a Republican member of the Alabama House of Representatives from 1868 to 1872.