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“About William Lanson” by David de la Mano in New Haven, Connecticut

November 19, 2020
3 min read
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Spanish contemporary artist David de la Mano recently finished a new mural located in Ninth Square at 33 Crown Street, New Haven, Connecticut entitled “About William Lanson”. It is a 330 meter square mural that took the artist 6 non-consecutive days (due to snow and rain) to paint.

This project was born in 2018 and is an initiative of SITE PROJECTS (a private non-profit organization that commissions world-class works of art, programming and public events project by project in partnership with local agencies and organizations that enhance cultural heritage and diversity. New Haven).

SITE PROJECTS believes that public art is an essential part of a healthy and democratic society. It enriches, inspires, and educates, enhancing our sense of place, purpose, and potential. SITE PROJECTS commissions site-specific world-class public art that brings 21st century avant-garde art to historic New Haven, CT. By speaking in the universal language of art, we stimulate community conversations and interactions that embrace diversity and bridge social and economic differences.

The organization’s proposal for this mural project was to generate a metaphor for the figure of the black businessman and engineer William Lanson, an extraordinary figure in New Haven of the early 19th century who made possible the industrial success of the 19th century New Haven, CT.

Almost certainly a runaway slave, Lanson beat incredible odds to become a highly successful businessman, one of Connecticut’s first black entrepreneurs.He was one of the first leaders among free blacks and was praised by the white establishment for his commercial achievements.
It was Lanson who discovered a way to extend the city’s dock to New Haven Harbor, facilitating the growth of the city as a port when no one else could hold the piles firm in the sand and mud. He amassed an entire neighborhood of businesses and homes.

This project on Lanson is about barriers and extraordinary people, the ability to overcome and how these people are able to see beyond. He also wants to make them visible so that they serve as example by example to people who are in their situation and live adversity with despair. We all look for references that help us to build our own path and William Lanson is undoubtedly and will be a reference for all.

Check out below for more images of the mural.

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