"The Golden Blocks: A Community Built on the Shoulders" of Giants by Theron Cartwright

Written by: Heather Dunaway
February 2024
"The Golden Blocks: A Community Built on the Shoulders of Giants" design by Theron Cartwright

Theron Cartwright, an emerging local talent with a passion for celebrating culture and history through art, is currently making waves as the newest muralist involved with The Golden Blocks Project at 1134 Laney Walker Blvd thanks to a generous grant through the Porter Fleming Foundation and local building owner Denzel Robinson. This project is a collaboration between the City of Augusta Housing and Community Development, The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, and the Greater Augusta Arts Council. Theron’s mural, titled “The Golden Blocks: A Community Built on the Shoulders of Giants” is the newest in a series of public artworks created to honor Augusta’s African American heritage in the historic Laney-Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods.


After learning about the Golden Blocks Project through the Greater Augusta Art Council’s website, Theron applied and was accepted into the program. Other artists that have been involved, to date, include Salonika Rhyne, Audrey Sala Adenike Jeter Allen, Poet Kristie Robin Johnson, Ashley Gray and Sara Cooks.


“What drew me to apply was the opportunity to honor my culture and history with my art. Celebrating Augusta’s African American history and culture on such a large scale felt like a significant way to contribute.” -Theron Cartwright

Theron has incredible enthusiasm in his work for this mural. Creating work that honors a legacy of excellence that Augusta’s African American icons built is an important undertaking. by creating art that is accessible, empowering, and impactful, Theron’s mural will only add to the array of educational public art we are seeing arise through the Golden Blocks works. Part of Theron’s creative process for this mural relies heavily on research. Getting an accurate understanding of these historic figures and buildings and translating that into artwork is a labor of love.


“A lot of research went into designing this mural,” Theron explained. “Visiting the Lucy Craft Laney Black History Museum, taking the Golden Blocks self-guided tour, and delving into the stories of Augusta’s African American pioneers provided invaluable insights. The challenge lay in condensing this wealth of history into one cohesive composition.”


Of course, with any project of this size, there is bound to be setbacks and struggles. The wall, for example, required repairs and priming to be able to take to the mural’s paint. Unlike working on canvases or digital art, outdoor murals pose unique challenges with each varying surface. Fortunately for Theron, the building owner, Denzel Robinson, has been an incredibly supportive partner throughout the wall’s reconditioning process.


While we wait for the mural’s completion this spring, you can find more of Theron’s work featured in the Artists of Color exhibition at the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta. He also plans to participate in upcoming shows such as the SpringFest art show and the Spring Artists’ Market at Gertrude Herbert. For those interested, Theron’s work can be found online at Theroncartwright.com and on Instagram.