SOUTH FLORIDA – Broward County artist George Gadson and Mrs. Blanche Ely go back to 1996 when the artist created a bust of her for the first opening of the Ely Educational Museum twenty-three years ago.
For an event last month, Gadson stood proudly next to Mrs. Ely, one more time.
Since their first meeting, Gadson has become renowned for his celebrity sculptures, designing for high-profile persons in sports and politics through the 80s, 90s and today.
On March 20 when The Ely Educational House in the City of Pompano Beach re-opened at the home of Blanche Ely and her husband, Professor Joseph A. Ely, George was there to celebrate,
The one-story, three-bedroom house at 595 N.W. 15 St., is about two blocks north of Blanche Ely High School, where Ely served as principal for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1951.
To date this museum has had a stamp in its honor; it has been recognized on the Broward County Historical Register, and in the Washington DC Historical Registry.
This March event honed the pride of a City (Pompano Beach) in present time and echoed the legacy of a woman, a couple, and a story that none are willing to forget.
For this strong advocate for equality and education, and in fact, equality in education, more than 100 people attended the celebration.
In attendance were the Blanche Ely High School Band, the Mayor of the City of Pompano Beach, and several City Commissioners, along with school mates of Blanche Ely herself, and countless Blanche Ely High School Alumni.
Mrs. Ely passed away in 1993 and alma mater and friends, who carry her legacy, her friendship and her shining light attended to remember her.
Gadson, who believes that art plays a significant role in providing a quality of life and vitality to the community in which he serves, is a self-taught artist and Duke University graduate.