Orlando attraction features ‘bright futures’ for Black History Month

Wall Crawl hires local artist to create portraits of inspiring Black women

Wall Crawl features artwork from Sabrina Dessalines for Black History Month (Wall Crawl)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Wall Crawl is known for being a picture studio where visitors can get some Instagram-worthy content by posing in front of their 20-plus walls.

The studio first opened in August 2019, and ever since, Wall Crawl has made sure to have a Black History Month wall.

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“From the moment we considered signing a lease in Parramore, we felt that it was important to amplify the voices of the leaders and artists who already occupy this space. Celebrating Black History Month has been just one of the ways we do that,” said Jeanette Johnson, co-founder of Wall Crawl.

Last year, Wall Crawl featured Black historical figures who played a big role in Central Florida, but this year, the attraction is looking to the future.

Wall Crawl’s website says, “By focusing on the future, Wall Crawl hopes to highlight just a few of the amazing women in Orlando who are making history here and now.”

That’s where Sabrina Dessalines comes in.

The 22-year-old fine artist recently graduated from the University of Central Florida and she’s using her artwork to capture four women in Orlando who personally inspire her.

Sabrina Dessalines created a wall honoring Black women who inspire her for Black History Month. It features Trenessa Williams, Krystina Francois, Akenyae Jones and Danielle Hodge. (Wall Crawl)

Here’s who she featured for Wall Crawl, pictured from top left, to bottom right:

Trenessa Williams - Owner of Kizzy’s Books & More. Her bookstore in Winter Garden is committed to embracing African-American culture and literature.

Krystina Francois - Executive director of Office of New Americans, an organization that guides people to a path of citizenship. She’s also the co-founder of The Black Collective, a movement aimed to elevate political consciousness and amplify the economic power of Black communities.

Akenyae Jones - Black business owner and founder of Yae’s Kitchen, which is based out of the Orlando area.

Danielle Hodge - An entrepreneur and Black business owner. She’s the founder of Alma Ocean, a company that creates pool accessories that reflect different cultures.

Dessalines said she’s still trying to find her style of art, but all of her work is done with the intent of each piece having its own message. She said she also doesn’t like to compare herself to other artist.

“I am who I am, this is what I enjoy doing, and here’s what I have to show for it.... The main thing I aim to portray is for my art to be seen in light of a Black man/woman’s beauty. I want to be sure that one can see themselves or someone they know in my work. But again other than that, I like to let my work tell their own stories and allow others to depict their own meanings in comparison of their perspectives in my work,” Dessalines said.

If her artwork looks familiar, that’s because she worked on a mural last year as a collaboration with other artists.

You can catch her again in art shows during the next few months and she will be featured in Orlando’s Art Museum’s 1st Thursday showing on Thursday evening.

About the Author:

Brooke is a news producer and has been with News 6 since January 2018. She grew up in Coral Springs and graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Before she came back to Central Florida, she worked in Fort Myers.