Downtown Jackson, Mississippii

Visit Jackson and the agency’s Creative Design Manager, Reshonda Perryman, have completed a new downtown mural, “Jxn Icons.”

The boldly colored painting, located on the back wall of the Old Capital Inn on North Street, depicts Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers; writer and photographer Eudora Welty; American ballet dancer, educator, and author Thalia Mara; and rapper and philanthropist David Banner.

The larger-than-life mural, intricately completed over five weeks, showcases a diverse representation that spans age, ethnicity, and notoriety while focusing on a few of the many things Jackson is known for: civil rights history, literature, performance arts, and music.

“I didn’t want to paint portraits in a traditional way,” said Perryman of the bold colors and shapes used to depict the figures. “I wanted it to represent Jackson – all of the different shapes, sizes, colors – the eclectic melting pot that Jackson is. I wanted something that said ‘soul.'”

Perryman told WLBT that the work mimics the nature and spirit of her home state’s people.

“I wanted other people to look at (the mural) and see themselves or a part of themselves in it.”

Rickey Thigpen, President/CEO of Visit Jackson, acknowledged Perryman’s work and the attention it is already receiving around the city and the nation.

“Reshonda has worked incredibly hard on this mural, Thigpen said. “She has made all of us at Visit Jackson proud. We hope that the community will feel a sense of place. We are the capital city with a vibrant history. We are the City With Soul, and we will remain City With Soul Strong.”

Once it is safe to do so, Visit Jackson will hold a press conference with an official unveiling and celebration of the mural. David Banner and a representative from each of the icons’ families will also be on hand.

In the meantime, Banner, who told WJTV the mural is “like a father telling their child they are proud of them,” has words of admiration of his own for Perryman.

“I just wanted to tell her how proud I am of her and that I’m glad that, not only do I have the mural, but it was painted by somebody who’s from where we’re from.”

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 and started working on the idea for this mural last fall, depicted in a 5’x6′ canvas at Visit Jackson’s corporate offices.

Related: Google Public Art Map of JXN