UK Forms Committee To Decide Future Of Controversial Mural

Feb 4, 2016

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has formed a broad-based committee to recommend a long-term resolution for a mural in UK's Memorial Hall that has sparked dialogue across the campus

The 1930’s fresco painted onto a wall in Memorial Hall depicts black men and women toiling in the fields.  The piece was briefly covered, then it was uncovered and its future remains unclear.  So is the work by artist Ann Rice O’Hanlon a statement of history or a statement of the University of Kentucky’s current values as in institution? The answers have varied.  After months of gathering input, Dr. Eli Capilouto says it’s time to move forward.

UK’s President has formed a multi-cultural committee and named Melynda Price and Terry Allen as co-chairs.  Price is a professor of law and Director of the African American and Africana Studies Program and Allen is the interim Vice-President for Institutional Diversity at UK. Allen says it’s important that all student and faculty voices are heard before a decision is made about the mural’s future.

The committee met for the first time last week. Capilouto has said that the piece will continue to be displayed but the question is how and in what context.