Public Art

Dunbar History Mural

Dunbar History Mural

Originally envisioned by then Councilmember Chris Ford, the project's intent is to not only beautify the center, but also to bring pride and remembrance to the storied high school and its surrounding community. Councilmembers James Brown and Kevin Stinnett have been instrumental in the project. The project is a partnership between the City of Lexington and LexArts.
The Lexington Youth Arts Council, along with the current Dunbar High School History Club, interviewed members of the Dunbar Class of 1966 at a 50th reunion in 2016. Those educators and memories most talked about were chosen to be featured on 15 murals. Created by artist, Christine Kuhn, the colorful murals are eight foot by eight foot and now hang on the exterior of the community center.
The building was built in 1923 and served as the African American high school for Lexington until 1967 when Lexington schools were desegregated. The building now serves as The Dunbar Community Center which offers activities including arts & crafts, cooking classes, kickball, homework help, step aerobics and more.  The center also includes a weight room and is home to some Parks & Recreation administrative offices.
The backgound designs of the mural panels are traditional "adinkra' symbols from West Africa, the artist picked a symbol that seemed appropriate for each person or scene.  
  • Charles Quillings - Band Director  - Cooperation and Endurance
  • Katherine Rollins - Home Economics Teacher  - Encouragement
  • Sanford T. Roach - Basketball Coach from 1943-1965, leader in integrating high school sports  - Charisma and Leadership
  • Louis "Sweet Lou" Johnson - Dunbar Graduate and Major League Baseball Player - Initiative and Dynamism
  • William Henry Fouse - First Principal - Resourcefullness
  • Clara Wendell Stitt - Third Principal - Transformation 
  • PL Guthrie - Second Principal - Guardianship
  • Paul Lawrence Dunbar - Noted Black Poet and School Namesake - Knowledge
  • JoAnna Offutt Sewell - Choir Director - Cooperation and Independance
  • Henrietta Thompson - Home Economics Teacher - Excellence and Authenticity

Links to articles about the creation and dedication of the Dunbar Mural

Lexington Herald Leader



Detail images from the mural. Click on each to see image to see it larger