Toledo Public Art Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

. January 16, 2017.
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In 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr. said to an audience in Montgomery, Alabama one of his most profound and memorable statements:

“Life’s most persistent and
urgent question is,
‘What are you doing for others?’”

Toledoans help others in countless ways, because like many midwestern towns, Toledo is built on community.

What we do for others couldn’t be made more evident through the bounty of public art found throughout our city. These murals and sculptures beautify the city and enliven neighborhoods because the artists make them for others.

To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, legacy and impact on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we’ve gathered three public works of art in Toledo that honor the American hero and civil rights leader.

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Mario Acevedo Torero and BGSU Students on Broadway St. in the Middlegrounds District

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The mural was painted by Peruvian artist Mario Acevedo Torero and students from Bowling Green State University in 2014. On the other side of the building is a mural of farm-worker activist Cesar Chavez.

2) “Martin for All” by Yusuf Lateef on Collingwood and Delaware in the Old West End unnamed-3

Artist Yusuf Lateef created the mural in 2015 through a partnership with Art Corner Toledo and the Toledo Fair Housing Center. The mural pays homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and calls attention to the Toledo Fair Housing Center’s values of diversity, teamwork inclusion and equal opportunity.  

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The mural features a quote from King’s June, 1965, commencement address at Oberlin College: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

3) “Radiance” by Constancia Gaffeney & Wil Clay on the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Bridge

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The statue was installed in 1989 after an invitational competition sponsored by The Arts Commission. The six-foot bronze and stainless steel sculpture features King’s face four times: looking over the city to the east, west, north and south.

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