If you weren’t paying attention, you might walk right by it, but there’s a small, secret, metal monument dedicated to Trayvon Martin sitting atop a lamppost in Jamaica Plain.
According to WBUR, Matthew Hincman, an associate professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, attached the small, cylindrical metal statue to a lamppost a couple weeks ago without any official permission from authorities. It’s located at the corner of Eliot and Center streets in JP’s Monument Square.
The top of the monument is flat and features a small hooded sweatshirt that appears to have been tossed on the ground. On the side of the fixture, Hincman inscribed his name and the message, “Still, 2014.”
Here is what it looks like:
Martin was the unarmed African-American teenager who was shot by a neighborhood watch coordinator two years ago while walking to his Florida home while talking on his cellphone.
Hincman told WBUR he hopes the monument opens the floor for conversation because he thinks there are many more stories like Martin’s that need to be told.
Across the street from Martin’s monument is a granite Civil War monument, which is dedicated to about two dozen West Roxbury men that died in the Civil War.
The professor told WBUR that the proximity of the Civil War monument to Martin’s adds another dimension of meaning:
By pairing Martin’s death with the Civil War monument, Hincman aimed to make “a contemporary marker to how far we’ve come in terms of race relations, in terms of power and equality since the end of slavery, since the end of the Civil War.”
Hincman also told WBUR that he chose to circumvent authorities because “he remains skeptical of the city’s public art approval process,” and believes art should originate from artists, not from the city’s art board, which he says often commissions projects with preconceived themes and sites.Justine Hofherr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her @Jhofherr29