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Rico Gatson | The Palm Beach Post

Artist Rico Gatson’s mural Mountain Top, inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. 


WEST PALM BEACH — Artist Rico Gatson is bringing the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. to downtown West Palm Beach’s CityPlace, with a series of multi-colored triangles in progress called Mountain Top, on the center’s Gardenia Garage, harkening to the assassinated reverend’s final speech.

The mural, in a palette of green, red, black, orange and violet, draws its inspiration from King’s words, “I have been to the mountain top and I have seen the promised land.”

Gatson is conducting a free public talk Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in CityPlace’s Culture Lab, 575 S. Rosemary Ave.The talk will focus on Gatson’s political artwork, as well as on King’s impact.

Despite its thoughtful undercurrents, the outwardly cheerful work contributes to CityPlace’s “reimagining,” an ef- fort to make the dining, shopping and entertainment center more colorful and inviting to visitors. Rosemary Avenue is undergoing transformation into a curb-less plaza, taking the emphasis off cars and placing it on pedestrians.

Gatson, a Brooklyn artist, has made his name with political and confrontational themes touching on black history. These include images of the Watts riots, Black Panthers and the election of Barack Obama. Gatson works in painting, video, sculpture and installations, thinking of himself as “an object maker,” he says.

Mountain Top is scheduled to be completed in February.

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