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Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), American Abolitionist and Social Activist, Head and Shoulders Portrait, Tarby Studios, 1908

Source: Universal History Archive / Getty

The City of Philadelphia has selected artist Alvin Pettit to be apart of history. Pettit has been chosen to create Philly’s permanent statue of Harriet Tubman outside City Hall.

The auditioning for the project began back in September, as a survey was conducted that allowed voters to chose between multiple artists including Alvin Pettit, Vinnie Bagwell, Tanda Francis, Richard Blake and Basil Watson.

Pettit submitted a piece titled “A Higher Power”. “I purposefully refrained from depicting her as being pursued, as many other monuments have.” Pettit captioned on Instagram “Instead, I chose to highlight a moment in history when tyranny was on the run from her.”

The survey allowed voters to score the artists designs in seven categories, including likeness, essence and emotional qualities. The survey received nearly 3,000 responses, in which Pettit’s proposal scored the highest in all categories.

Mayor Jim Kenney echoed the people’s sentiments with his response to Pettit’s work.

“In the course of this competition, we witnessed remarkable talent from our semi-finalist artists,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a release. “Each depicted a unique vision and told a distinct story about Harriet Tubman through their proposals. Yet, I was struck by Alvin Pettit’s design and how it depicts Harriet Tubman’s likeness, evokes her power, and reminds us of her leadership.”.

According to current city projections. it is expected to be completely completed by early 2025.

Check out some of Alvin Pettit’s work below!


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Meet Alvin Pettit: Philly’s Artist Selected to Sculpt Harriet Tubman Statue  was originally published on