LEXINGTON, Ky. — March 13, 2022 marks the two-year anniversary of the fatal raid conducted by the Louisville Metro Police Department that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor. The city of Lexington unveiled new artwork at the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning, designed for community members to share their grievances.
What You Need To Know
- March 13, 2022 is the 2-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death
- The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning unveiled artwork in Taylor’s memory that will be displayed for the next year
- Kiptoo Tarus, a Kenya-born native based in Lexington, is the artist behind the sculpture
- They designed the artwork with openings in its wood for visitors to places notes and grievances to Taylor
“Oh Breonna Taylor, we miss you and we love you” are words Kiptoo Tarus wrote to the 26-year-old. Tarus is a Nairobi, Kenya born artist who is the person behind the sculpture in Taylor’s memory displayed at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington.
Born in 1984, Tarus got his Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Nairobi for Design, with a major in illustration in 2008. He worked at a bank in his home country until 2011, when he discovered his true love was diving full time into life as an artist.
Tarus is currently working towards a Master’s degree in sculpture at the University of Kentucky.
“Breonna Taylor deserves her own kinda like… not just cemetery but a mausoleum. That’s what I think about it,” said Tarus.
He painted the words, “A peace is deeper inside” on the front of the large wooden panels that have Taylor’s face painted on it. It’s something inspired by his Kenyan roots and the traditions that surround people passing away.
The sculpture allows visitors to fully immerse themselves into the artwork and grieve by placing handwritten notes inside. Tarus says Taylor’s death was a wake-up call for the nation, not just Kentucky.
“They knew that something was wrong with the society and so to me, that is that pivotal point in the face of mankind. That, oh yeah, this is happening, and you know, it’s time to change or it’s time to make something happen,” said Tarus.
Claudia Love Mair, coordinator for the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Language, helped to recommend the center honor Breonna Taylor in Lexington. Mair is an author of 11 books and a graduate of Spalding University, holding a Master of Fine Arts.
Dozens of people gathered on Sunday to witness the unveiling of the sculpture. Mair reminded audience members to say Breonna Taylor’s name during the beginning of her remarks.
Mair said Toni Morrison’s novel ‘Beloved’ inspired the art installation.
“We finally landed at ‘the clearing’ based on this lovely passage by Toni Morrison in ‘Beloved’, where she gathers all the Black men, women and children to this wide open space that is designed for us to come together and just express the full range of our emotions,” said Mair.
The sculpture of Taylor is three-dimensions, which gives the illusion of her eyes looking at visitors in every direction.
“You realize [Breonna is] looking at you everywhere you go,” said Mair.
The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington will have the Breonna Taylor sculpture on display for a year, which is available to see Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. -2 p.m.