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Morehouse Art Professor's King Mural Dedicated

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

(Jan. 17, 2010) - Looking at his colorful, 125-foot, 25-panel mural honoring Martin Luther King Jr. '48, Louis Delsarte attributed its inspiration to the students he teaches each day as a Morehouse art professor.

"The students are the future leaders and heroes," he said. "This is what Dr. King's legacy is about and what this memorial is all about."

A two-year labor of love has now become a pictorial of King's life, chronicling his growing up on Atlanta's Auburn Avenue, studying at Morehouse then becoming the world's pre-eminent leader in the non-violent civil rights movement.

"My mural depicts Dr. King in the light that he so richly deserves," Delsarte said. "His sacrifice has moved me as an artist and as an American. I wanted the mural to reflect the peace, despite the turbulence. The colors are reflective of the hold of promise...at the end of the rainbow."

The mural was officially unveiled before an estimated 250 people on Jan. 17 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Natatorium, just a block away from King's birth home and across the street where he is entombed at The King Center. The mural is spread across a significant portion of the Natatorium's wall.

"Great cities have great art and have great artwork," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "Today, we have both in both the piece of work we have here and the artist who sits with us."

Terry Mills, dean of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, said Delsarte's work reflects not only his dedication to his craft, but also to ability to see through the world's negativity.

"Louis is a true artist and is true to his art," he said. "We are indeed very proud of you and we're very proud to have you as a member of the Morehouse College faculty and teaching our young men about the importance of art."

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