LEXINGTON, Ky. — University of Kentucky officials plan to take the veil off a mural but surround it with other works of art to provide more context about the school’s history.
President Eli Capilouto announced the plans for the artwork Thursday, according to news outlets.
The university covered up the Depression-era mural in Memorial Hall, which features black workers toiling in a tobacco field, last year after some students called it a relic of racist history that doesn’t belong on today’s campus.
Capilouto appointed a task force to decide its future, and that committee decided that “it is time to tell the story more completely and through the eyes of many experiences.”
Capilouto also announced five “pillars” to improve campus diversity, which include creating a core class on race and ethnicity and restructuring UK’s office of institutional diversity.
The task force recommended surrounding the mural with other artwork that provide a broader narrative of the university’s history, including new works commissioned from artists of color, said history professor and task force member Anastasia Curwood.
Also, digital displays in the lobby will tell the history of the mural and its artist, Ann Rice O’Hanlon.