The second phase of JXN Icons series was unveiled in Jackson on Nov 17, 2021, celebrating nine additional heroes, visionaries, and legends of Mississippi’s capital city. They include Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander, Angie
Thomas, and Richard Wright for their literary contributions; Dorothy Moore for her musical contributions in blues, gospel and R&B genres; Harold “Hal” and Malcolm “Mal” White for conceiving the idea to establish Hal & Mal’s, the
iconic restaurant and hub for live music and the iconic Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade; James Meredith for the bravery he exhibited planning and leading Mississippi’s largest civil rights march, the March Against Fear from Memphis, TN to Jackson, MS, even after being shot and suffering many wounds, he led Mississippi’s largest civil rights march; Hezekiah Watkins for his bravery at such a young age, his sacrifice and activism as the youngest Freedom Rider;and Walter Payton for his athletic prowess that contributed to Jackson State University’s notoriety.
The Icons were named because of their extraordinary contributions that have not only impacted our city and the state of Mississippi but the world. Visit Jackson’s Creative Design Manager, Reshonda “Shon” Perryman, was commissioned to create the artwork for the exhibit to portray the newest members of the elite Jackson list.
“Art is my second language and serving my community is my happy place, said Perryman. “Any opportunity to marry the two brings me great pleasure. It is all the more satisfying to do it in honor of daring and inspiring individuals who had a hand in shaping that community.” “Public art has grown significantly over the past few years as a way for cities to bring focus to their own individual strengths and gifts,” said Dr. Rickey Thigpen, President & CEO of Visit Jackson. “The City With Soul is no exception, and we will continue to find ways to nurture this new tourism trend to evoke a robust culture of public art.”
The event was held at the Ecoshed located at 133 Commerce Park Drive in Jackson where the exhibit will be temporarily housed for public viewing from 3-5 pm Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays until December 17, 2021.
About Jackson Icons
Visit Jackson bravely unveiled its first phase of Jackson Icons during the pandemic in 2020. The artwork created by Perryman was a boldy colored painting located on the back wall of the Old Capitol Inn on North Street, depicting civil rights leader Medgar Evers; writer and photographer Eudora Welty; American ballet dance, educator, and author Thalia Mara; and rapper and philanthropist David Banner. The series of paintings showcases a diverse representation that spans age, ethnicity, and notoriety while focusing on a few of the many things Jackson is know for: civil rights history, literature, performance arts, and music.