Florida State University College of Fine Arts’s very own Master Craftsman Studio (MCS) has been recognized for its construction of a memorial for the Tallahassee-Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk.
Master Craftsman Studio has been featured in several media, including the front page of FSU News, the City of Tallahassee, ABC 27, and The Famuan. Lead by studio manager Phil Gleason, staff and student interns at MCS mixed thousands of pounds of concrete by hand, creating a series of terrazzo panels laid in the sidewalk along Jefferson Street (near Monroe Street). Sixteen panels weighing between 800 and 2,200 pounds each tell the story of local “foot soldiers,” or activists, who participated in Tallahassee’s 1956 bus boycott and the lunch counter sit-ins of the 1960s.
The memorial marked the first time the studio worked with terrazzo, a composite material made of concrete and mixed aggregate such as marble, granite, quartz and other tiny flecks, all polished into a smooth surface. Gleason said the terrazzo allowed for the use of a gray color scale. The artisans printed the panels’ images to use as maps while casting the panels upside down in box molds. Gleason enjoyed the process.
The Heritage Walk was unveiled Monday, Sept. 30, during a special program hosted by the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency, the City of Tallahassee and Leon County government officials. The event was open to the public at 6 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers, on the second floor of City Hall at 300 S. Adams St.