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Celebrating History Through Art: An Interview with Artist Dina Fisher

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

Powder-coated graphics on aluminum discs with photos & text
Visitors to the DWIF Monument interact with the image curtain

The Denton Women’s Interracial Fellowship Monument is a meaningful and colorful addition to the landscape of Denton, Texas. Storytelling through sculpture, landscape and digital components, the monument pays tribute to a group of the city’s Civil Rights era heroes: a group of black and white women who came together in the 1960s to ease public school integration and improve the lives of Denton’s African American community.

The piece began as part of a larger discussion about art monuments in the Deep South of the United States, as Denton, Texas began searching for a work of public art to provide balance for an existing monument, a Confederate-era statue (which has since been taken down). The five-year process culminated in late 2021, when the DWIF Monument was unveiled to the public.

Dina Fisher, an LA-based artist who works with sound, graphics, light-reactive murals and interactive tech, was commissioned by the city to create the monument. From the first, Dina saw the project as an exceptional opportunity to use photography and digital art to tell the story of the Fellowship.

Powder-coated graphics on aluminum discs and curved bollard lights with photos & text
A view of the park with bollard lighting and the image curtain

Over three months, Dina collaborated with the women of the DWIF, as well as their descendants, to learn their stories and gather family photos for the digital art. Her intensive research also involved scouring multiple resources for information and visual materials, including university archives, local libraries, the Denton Record Chronicle, Denton public school yearbooks, University of Texas yearbooks, documentaries about the DWIF, the Library of Congress National Archives and oral history recordings of DWIF members.

The monument is meant to be interactive and inspirational, but it was important to Dina, as well as the women of the Fellowship, that the monument be educational as well.