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Mural by Seminole artists unveiled in Tallahassee

The mural created by Wilson Bowers and Samuel Tommie at 728 Macomb Street in downtown Tallahassee. (Photo James Patrick)

Submitted by Gordon O. Wareham, Director Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

TALLAHASSEE — On April 27, the official unveiling of the 135-foot-long mural “The First Mothers” took place at 728 Macomb Street in downtown Tallahassee. The mural was created by Seminole artists Wilson Bowers and Samuel Tommie.


The Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority Board reached out to the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum for help with a “call out to artist” for the project. Assistant museum director Marcella Billie and head of exhibitions James Patrick took the lead on finding the artists and also to make sure that the artists’ vision was not compromised.


The mural project started the last week of March and lasted 10 days. Amid a few days of rain and some hot Florida days, the mural was completed on time.

Seminole artist Wilson Bowers talks to officials in Tallahassee on April 27, 2022, during a ceremony for the unveiling of a mural he and Samuel Tommie created. (Photo James Patrick)


The unveiling drew a crowd of Tallahassee dignitaries, political leaders and Florida State University officials. Guest speakers were Mayor John Dailey, FSU President Richard McCullough, Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority Board Chair Slaton Murray and Director of the At-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Gordon O. Wareham.


“I’m proud of this story, the true history of the Seminole Tribe and people,” said Big Cypress Councilwoman Mariann Billie, who attended the ceremony.


Tommie created the diamond patchwork design on the mural.


“I choose this design because this design pulls us all together, the colors stand for fire. It’s important for each clan for each village,” he said.


Wilson, who was last to speak at the ceremony, gave his views on the mural and its meaning.


“We have a history, we have a rich and colorful culture. We have traditions that survive today despite all that we have faced. I believe it’s a disservice to the name and who we are not to help educate the people more on the name and the visuals that are represented by the university…,” he said.

Plenty of representation from the tribe was in Tallahassee on April 27, 2022, for the unveiling of a mural by Seminole artists Wilson Bowers and Samuel Tommie. From left, in the front row are Charlotte Tommie, Big Cypress Councilwoman Mariann Billie, Wilson Bowers and Krystal Bowers. From left, in the back row are Samuel Tommie, Paul Bowers, Randall Osceola and Gordon O. Wareham. (Photo James Patrick)
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