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Susan B. Anthony, bicycles and women's rights

Art students and community members collaborated over the weekend on a mural honoring the centennial for the 19th Amendment. 

Located on West Main Street in the same area where Susan B. Anthony cast her then illegal ballot in 1872, the piece is a depiction of Anthony on a bicycle representing Rochester’s role in the history of transportation, suffrage, and women’s rights.

Lucy Ray, 16, designed the mural with her mother Jessica Leiberman. She said the mural is inspired by Susan B. Anthony’s admiration for the bicycle and its role in the emancipation of women.

"The bicycle did many things with like transportation athletics," Lucy said.  "It touched on so many topics like fashion (and) social life.”

Jessica said that Anthony’s words inspired her design. 

"We remembered the Susan B. Anthony quote about the bicycle doing more to empower women more than anything else in history," Jessica said. "This being the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, we wanted to do apiece on intersectional feminism on the one side and community engagement and riding bikes."

Jessica, an associate professor at of visual culture at RIT, said it was important that they invite the community to help with the project.

"There is no point if it’s not of the community," Jessica said. "This is not about going into someone else’s community and putting up a mural that you think belongs. It’s because we live here and this is what we have noticed about and our own space. And what we love and feel empowered about ourselves here.

April Franklin is an occasional local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition.