Austin/ Arts & Culture
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Published on June 20, 2024
Bastrop, Texas Unveils Majestic Harriet Tubman Statue for Juneteenth CelebrationsSource: Jim.henderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a tribute to the end of slavery and to honor Juneteenth, Bastrop, Texas, welcomes a significant piece of art, a nine-foot-tall sculpture of Harriet Tubman. According to KVUE, the statue is currently stationed at the Kerr Community Center and will be on display for three months.

The statue's presence coincides with the City of Bastrop’s Juneteenth Freedom Celebration, symbolizing Tubman’s role in leading countless enslaved individuals to freedom through the Underground Railroad. This momentous occasion is even more poignant given the Kerr Community Center's historical significance as a gathering spot for the African American community, during a period stained by racial segregation in the nation. In a display of historical resonance, the sculpture portrays Tubman with a vigilant gaze, protecting a young child.

KXAN reports that the sculpture, created by Wofford Sculpture Studio and brought to Bastrop by Pyrology Foundry & Studio in partnership with Found Fine Art, captures Tubman's indomitable spirit. Having toured across the country since 2020, its arrival in Texas marks its first time in the state, integrating Bastrop into a nationwide contemplation of Tubman's legacy.

Residents have expressed a deep connection to the sculpture and its subject. "A little overwhelming part of our history ... that type, representing [a] big part of our history," Itoya Collins told KVUE, attesting to the powerful emotional impact of the piece.

Community member Sharon DeShay, a fifth-generation Bastrop denizen, similarly underscored the importance of the statue's physical presence, "To see the history of what our ancestors have gone through, for our children to see it physically it makes a difference," she conveyed to KVUE.