Published on October 29th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


New Mural Completed in Columbia’s Downtown

Piece entitled Don’t Tread on Us explores shifting meanings

COLUMBIA SC – One Columbia for Arts and History announces the establishment of a mural space on Taylor Street at the corner of Main and the completion of the first mural.

The mural space is a joint project of Indie Grits, Tapp’s Arts Center and One Columbia for Arts and History. Starting in April 2015, a mural artist will be selected in conjunction with the Indie Grits Festival and will paint a mural within the theme of Indie Grits. A new artist and mural will be featured in subsequent years. The wall space was generously donated by Capitol Places who owns the building.

The first iteration of the mural was designed and painted by artist Seth Gadsden and is associated in theme with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the burning of Columbia in February 2015.

As the artist describes, “Don’t Tread on Us is a statement and a question about ownership and empowerment. The Gadsden Flag’s perpetual presence in my family’s history has triggered a lot of personal questions about politics, structural racism, and national identity. Using an urban script to alter the image — and changing the ‘me’ to ‘us’ — I complicate the message and hopefully draw attention to the shifting layers of meaning the image has accumulated over the past 239 years as it passes from one context to another: from the political arena to advertising to art, and so on.”

Mr. Gadsden is also the Managing Director at the Nickelodeon Theatre and the Director of Indie Grits.

Lee Snelgrove, Executive Director of One Columbia for Arts and History states, “Seth’s mural is both challenging and whimsical in how it contains multiple layers of meaning and will be perceived differently by many people. I personally find it to be an interesting iteration of the slogan that brings all Columbians together in its reference to ‘us.’ It’s exciting how public art can create dialogue within a community. And, I’m looking forward to the future opportunities that this mural space will give us to enhance this area of Downtown.”

About One Columbia for Arts and History:

One Columbia for Arts and History is a non-profit organization that works to promote collaboration among citizens, the cultural community, and city government through celebrations of Columbia’s arts and historic treasures. Its goal is to enhance the quality of life for our residents, attract tourist dollars to our city, and further build our vibrant community. Visit the One Columbia website ( for a continuously updated master list of art and cultural activities occurring throughout the city.




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