"Untitled" by Donald Martin | Obelisk 450

Donald Martin, a professor of art at Flagler College since 1980, is a multi-media artist with completed public art projects located throughout Florida, including at the Bacardi Corporation, Flagler College, and Jacksonville International Airport. While Martin’s personal work deals primarily with nature, he is enthusiastic about taking on the themes of freedom, democracy, human rights, and compassion.


Near this site once stood the infamous Monson Travelodge where, in June of 1964, a group of civil rights activists attempted to integrate the “Whites Only” motel swimming pool. Motel management responded to the demonstrators by pouring muriatic acid into the pool causing great pandemonium. Nearby reporters recorded the events on film and news of the demonstration and the brutal response spread throughout the nation’s newspapers. Reaction to the images was immediate and strong and this incident is believed to have been a significant factor in the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 just a couple of weeks following the incident.

In my design for this obelisk I wanted my images to relate to this specific incident but, at the same time, use this incident as a metaphor for the struggle of all courageous individuals and groups as they pull themselves out of a “pool” of despair and prejudice in an attempt to create a more just and equitable future.

While most equate Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma, and Memphis with the Civil

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Collection: Obelisk 450

Date created: September 4, 2015

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