PROJECT HIGHLIGHT | Remnants of 1965

Remnants of 1965 presents Fort Worth’s rich culture and diversity by commemorating an important moment in history to inspire and remind us of what it took for us to get where we are today.  The three glass panels that make up this piece were inspired by historic Fort Worth Star-Telegram photographs of the peaceful demonstration for Civil Rights which took place on the steps of the municipal court building in 1965. By referencing these photographs, the work illustrates the unity exhibited in our past which has significantly impacted our present time.

Two years after the demonstration, the City of Fort Worth’s anti-discrimination ordinance was adopted –  the first civil rights ordinance passed in the State of Texas.  The ordinance, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017, established the City’s Human Relations Commission, which advises City Council and the City Manager on matters involving racial, religious, and ethnic discrimination; recommends measures designed to eliminate prejudice and discrimination; and, promotes and encourages communication and cooperation between all groups interested in bettering community relations.

Artist Riley Holloway approached his first public art project by using his background in drawing​ ​and​ ​graphic design to create imagery that is​​ ​strong and clear.​ While Holloway maintains visual elements found in his​ ​oil​ ​paintings, he chose to ​fabricate the​ ​artwork​ ​digitally​ to​ ​add​ ​a​​ ​decorative​ ​element​ ​to​ ​the​ ​work that seamlessly integrate​s ​ ​with​ ​the building’s Art Deco​ ​interior​ ​design and color palette.

Following a series of vicious attacks on nonviolent activists in Montgomery, Alabama, marching for the constitutional right for African American citizens to vote, Fort Worth demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall (now the Municipal Court building). The resounding sense of community unity illustrated in the central panel was inspired by a specific historic photograph and moved Holloway to consider not only how far the nation had come in dealing with issues of racial equality, but how more work is necessary to truly achieve modernday cultural diversity.  Holloway’s optimism for future progress is expressed by the panel with eight singing and holding of hands with crossed arms to emphasize the power of respect and strength in unity. The young, Black female was modeled after the artist’s wife.  She is featured in the group and again in as a single figure in the opposite panel to reinforce a sense of hopeful resilience forged by the rights and freedoms that come with democracy and are protected through the court system. With her uplifted eyes, her singleness in front of the American flag is a reminder that one person can be an instrument for meaningful change. 

The artwork is installed and, later this year, will be dedicated as part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating recent building improvements.  More details will be announced soon.

About the Artist

Hunting Prize finalist and figurative painter Riley Holloway currently works out of Dallas, TX. He attended The Art Institute of Dallas and the Florence Academy of Art, after which he was awarded an artist residency at The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. Holloway is best known for his dynamic work and fresh look at figurative art. Holloway’s aesthetics create familiar spaces that are rich in storytelling, free from constraints, and true to his subjects.

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See projects currently underway by visiting the Art In Progress page.