Sculpture by Bearden peer, Richard Hunt, installed at Romare Bearden Park

New public artwork pays tribute to Charlotte-born artist Romare Bearden’s life and works.

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A new sculptural work by renowned African-American artist Richard Hunt, “Spiral Odyssey,” has been installed at Romare Bearden Park, according to a news release Saturday.

“The ‘Odyssey’ in the title refers to Romare Bearden’s series of works that took Homer’s epic poem as a point of inspiration and departure. ‘Odyssey’ is also a way to refer to Bearden’s personal journey alone and with others, his peers, his artistic offspring and his world of admirers,” Hunt said in a statement.

‘Spiral’ in my title has multiple associations. One was his pivotal role in the joining together of African-American artists in 1963 in New York to share ideas on arts activism in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, the complexities of career development, and the art of politics. Also considered in the work is the widening, elevating spiral of Bearden’s multifaceted career which even in its legacy phase continues to ascend.”

The sculpture, made of welded stainless steel, stands nearly 30 feet and weighs approximately 8,000 pounds.

About Richard Hunt:

A Chicago-based artist, Hunt began his career in 1955 as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. His first large-scale public artwork came in 1967.

Hunt and Bearden share the distinction of being the first two African-American artists to have solo exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The two exhibited at the museum in 1971.

In 2009, Hunt received the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hunt’s artwork is displayed in museums around the world, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Locally, Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts is home to one of Hunt’s sculptural pieces, as is The Park Church campus on Beatties Ford Road in west Charlotte.

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