Scipio and the Twelve

Thanks to an anonymous donor and artist Ed Wade, you can support the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation’s efforts to advance racial justice and receive one of a limited run of fifty numbered, signed prints of “Scipio and the Twelve” as a thank you gift. The painting depicts famed civil rights lawyer, Scipio Africanus Jones and the twelve African American men he defended in the wake of the Elaine Massacre. The men, who had been convicted and sentenced to death, were vindicated by Jones’s efforts. Jones described the case as “the greatest case against peonage and mob law ever fought in the land.” (Read more here)

Get one of 50 signed and numbered limited edition prints here by donating $250 or more. 100% of the amount you donate will support scholarships for traditionally underrepresented law students in Arkansas and our other racial justice initiatives. A portion of your gift may be tax deductible.

From the artist:

“While pondering how to approach doing a painting of Scipio Jones I came up with lots of thoughts and visuals in my mind. I had him setting at a desk, standing before a judge, or sitting in a jail cell with his clients.

I was at the church one day and while walking towards my office I could see my car through the church door window and in the rear bumper was a reflection of the brick wall of the church. I immediately thought that I could stand them in front of a brick wall with a larger portrait of Scipio right beside them because these were the ones he represented and freed from a death sentence.

I then began to think that all focus on the twelve was not enough to give a vision of the scope of the tragic results of hatred and bigotry so I thought,  I can write graffiti behind them. I thought that it would show respect to other victims of massacres to let the graffiti be the names and dates of some of those other incidents because as satisfying as Scipio’s victory was, many were not so lucky and they suffered and died and needed to be honored as well.

I wanted to bring honor to them but not take away from what Scipio had done so the names and dates are just scribbles on a wall until you take the time to read them and hopefully being reminded of those many other tragedy’s will help you feel really good that because of the work Scipio did…there was a victory to celebrate.”

About the Artist

Ed Wade is an artist working almost exclusively in watercolor. He lived and pastored in Mariana, Arkansas for 19 years, recently moving back to his hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lately his art has focused on African people and their cultures.