On May 8, 2014, MCS was awarded at the Historic Capital for its work on the Tallahassee/Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk. Florida State University College of Fine Arts recognizes Master Craftsman Studio, recipient of the Tallahassee-Leon County Historic Preservation Award 2014. Congratulations to all MCS artists in constructing a significant project for the FSU studio and the City of Tallahassee.
On September 30, 2013 the Tallahassee/Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk was unveiled during an emotional dedication ceremony at City Hall. More than five hundred people filled two rooms to capacity to witness this historical event and listen to the accounts of the ”foot soldiers.” Fifty eight foot soldiers were honored in this sidewalk, with their names being placed within brass footprints.
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 sidewalk memorial is illuminated at night by solar lights incorporated into the panels.
Master Craftsman Studio is a unique university auxilliary under the College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance. We specialize in realizing the institutions’ creative desires for its campus. As an in-house studio to the school, we work with a wide variety of university entities such as maintenance, grounds, planning, design, public relations, athletics and academics. We are a self-subsidizing auxiliary of the university which means we generate our own funding. Students see a working professional studio and are exposed to the inner business workings from estimates and ideas, to installation and invoices. This format allows us great opportunities to demonstrate to students the confluence of creativity and entrepreneurship. This practice helps students see that their creativity is a powerful tool that can solve any problem.