Richland Library to Unveil Black Lives Matter-Inspired Public Art

Richland Library ArtIn partnership with One Columbia for Arts and Culture, Richland Library is featuring the work of two local, Black artists in our community.

On Thursday, August 27, installation begins of two Black Lives Matter-inspired banners by Dogon Krigga and Ija Charles at our Main location (1431 Assembly Street). The 20 x 30-foot public art pieces are on display outside of the building in the library's Plaza and along Washington Street.

Krigga's banner, titled SYNAPSE, is a collage of photographs and digitally-rendered images from the library's Bicentennial Photograph Collection. It depicts the spontaneous moment of ecstasy that generates motion and change - a rendering of the spark of the imagination and a call to action. Known as "the keeper of the crossroads between magick and mixed media," Krigga incorporates divine mysteries, transcribed over time throughout their ancestors' experiences to connect Black people to the future and the past.

Charles' banner, titled Leap, contains acrylic paint and is a symbol of taking risk. It illustrates jumping into reality to change the narrative of how one is perceived in this world, focusing on character rather than stereotypes and pre-notions. A self-taught painter and entrepreneur, Charles has a portfolio that ranges from portraits of ordinary people to a diverse sampling of symbols from our day-to-day culture.

One Columbia for Arts and Culture helped the library to commission both banners. A diverse committee of community members and library staff selected the pieces, which received funding through the library's budget that is dedicated for programmatic efforts, such as public art.

"We asked these artists to visually interpret the 'Black Lives Matter' sentiment, and the committee selected these amazing pieces to provoke thought, inspire joy and bring hope for the future," says Executive Director Melanie Huggins. "It is important, during this time in our community and our country, to show that Richland Library and our community affirms the lives of our Black friends, artists, neighbors and colleagues."

The community has an opportunity to get their own prints of Krigga's and Charles' work through the Richland Library Friends and Foundation. Look for more details in the coming weeks.

For questions or interviews, please contact Emily Stoll at 803-587-3637 or email

About Richland Library
Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

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