Four notable Jacksonians have been immortalized in a new painting created for Visit Jackson.
“Jackson Icons”, created by
Reshonda Perryman, depicts Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers, writer Eudora Welty,
ballet dancer Thalia Mara and rapper David Banner.
The 5’x6’ acrylic and latex on canvas work currently hangs in Visit Jackson’s executive board room at 308 East Pearl Street.
Perryman, Visit Jackson’s creative design manager, said the boldly colored and exciting depiction was intentional.
“I didn’t want to paint portraits in a traditional way,” she said. “I wanted it to represent Jackson – all the different shapes, sizes, colors – the eclectic melting pot that Jackson is. I wanted something that said ‘soul.’”
The larger-than-life painting showcases a diverse representation that spans age, ethnicity and notoriety across a wide spectrum.
“Welty is known for literature (and her home, a local attraction),” Perryman said. “Mara: ironically, a lot of people did not know that she was a person and just thought of (Thalia Mara Hall). We wanted to honor what she brought to Jackson (with the founding of the USA International Ballet Competition).”
“We chose Medgar Evers for obvious reasons, the height of the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi. And, David Banner, because he represents a totally different, younger audience. Mississippi is known for all types of music, but we highlighted him because rap is a genre that’s often overlooked in our area.”
Perryman, a 30-year-old Fayette native, graduated from Jackson State University, earned her Masters in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design and is the owner of Pixels & Paint, an art and graphic design business. She began working for Visit Jackson in June 2019.
“One of the reasons I signed on to work here is because Jonathan (Pettus, Vice President of Marketing) and Rickey (Thigpen, President and CEO) offered to create a space for me to do all the things I like to do,” Perryman said. “And I like to have my hands in a lot of creative things. Art is my background; it’s been my whole life. I enjoy being able to do that at work and use a blend of my skills.”
Not only is Perryman excited about her own work, but the work of many who are helping to showcase the full potential of the city.
“I want people to slow down and pay attention to not just the art, but all the amazing things happening in Jackson.”
Perryman’s goal is to create 100 paintings and five murals this year through her personal and professional endeavors. Look for “Jackson Icons” as one of those murals, coming soon to a prominent downtown wall.