Doors to Freedom monument set to make downtown Valdosta debut

The public art piece will be unveiled to the public next Friday.
Posted at 6:04 PM, Sep 15, 2023
  • Doors to Freedom is downtown Valdosta's latest civil-rights themed artwork.
  • This is the third piece to make its debut since this June.
  • The monument will be shown to the public on Friday, September 22.


Has walking in downtown been feeling like an open-air art gallery lately? You’d be correct as the city is adding yet another piece to its collection next Friday.

My name is Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta. I’m currently at the heart of the city, which will be housing another piece of art: the Doors to Freedom monument.

The city’s latest civil rights themed statue is courtesy of local artist Steven Walker, who has been working with the mayor for the last year to bring the project to life. Walker said the idea of the monument was to accurately represent the Underground Railroad.

“Obviously, the Underground Railroad is not a railroad, so my wife gave us the idea of using doors as a path for freedom that those before us went through.”

The city will be using the next week to make final tweaks to the structure. These types of sculptures are what Turner Center for the Arts director Semantha Mathews are essential for remembering history.

“I love pieces like this because it tells us what not to do in the present as we know better now, but it also tells us what to do now and is inspirational for us all.”

The city will officially unveil Doors to Freedom to the public next Friday.

I’m Malia Thomas, ABC27.