Patrick Gono was selected after a call for artists was placed to Monrovia and he lived and worked in Dayton for most of the month of July in 2019 and exhibited his work in the High Street's Gallery Project Space.
Peace and Unity
In the mural, I have represented the US and Liberia by portraying them as native women and celebrate the native cultures from each of our respective countries. I was inspired to create this imagery after visiting Sunwatch Indian Village during my time in Dayton. The Native American woman is not from a specific tribe but represents Native American tribes in general. She wears a feather, which is important. Receiving a feather was a great honor and symbolizes trust, honor, strength, wisdom, power, and freedom. The Native Liberian woman wears a headdress that also has cultural significance. Along with the chalk on her face, the headdress would be worn during happy occasions and festivals. She too is not from a specific area but represents all Liberians.
The sun rises in the background which represents new beginnings and the renewed relationship that Dayton has with Monrovia through our Sister City Relationship. Included in the background is the tallest pole from Sunwatch and the sun shines on the mural in the morning from the east, over all of Dayton, and Monrovia as well, uniting us all under one sun. The birds in the sky are eagles and represent power and strength.
Both of our countries’ flags are red, white and blue, and those bands of color towards the bottom of the mural celebrate our similarities and connections. The symbols in the bottom left corner hold specific meaning. The crossed lines in the middle is a symbol from Liberia which means unity. The broken arrow is a Native American symbol and represents the peace pipe or peace in general.
I leave this mural to the City of Dayton in commemoration of my time as an artist-in-residence for them as well as the Dayton Society of Artists. It is also left in gratitude to Front Street, who lent me a studio to work in, and offered their wall as my canvas.