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Chicago-based sculptor selected as public artist for Charlotte’s Romare Bearden Park

Work of Chicago-based sculptor will be placed in park

By Glenn Burkins
QcityMetro.com

Richard Hunt, a Chicago-based sculptor whose works date back to the 1950s, has been selected as the public artist for Charlotte’s Romare Bearden Park.

Hunt’s artwork is scheduled to be installed in the park, under construction in Third Ward, by September 2013.

“We are thrilled to have an artist of Richard’s caliber pay tribute to Romare Bearden,” Public Art Commission Chair Sabrina Brown said in a statement. “This new piece of public art will be a landmark in Charlotte and a brilliant centerpiece for the park.”

Hunt’s selection was announced last week by the Arts and Science Council and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.

His sculpture, tentatively titled “Memory Place,” will be made of welded stainless steel and “is intended to create a sculptured collage containing references to Romare Bearden’s artistic practice, traditions and inspirations. Within the referential frame of Bearden’s life, the sculpture conjures up the Eiffel Tower, county churches, and roots in land and water associations,” the ASC said in a statement.

Hunt began his career in 1955 as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. His first large-scale public art commission came in 1967. In the 45 years since, he has received more than 100 commissions across the United States and has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Ford and Tamarind fellowships.

He was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson as one of the first artists to the governing board of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2009, Hunt was the recipient of the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

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.

The artwork will be funded through Mecklenburg County, contributions from Duke Energy and ASC’s board of directors, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and North Carolina Arts Council.

Glenn Burkins runs QcityMetro.com and is a member of the Charlotte News Alliance, a network of hyperlocal websites.
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