GREENSBORO, NC (August 13, 2020) – The Downtown Greenway announces a virtual community conversation on Monday, August 24 at noon via zoom webinar with artist Radcliffe Bailey who has been commissioned to create the Freedom Cornerstone.
Radcliffe Bailey from Atlanta, Georgia, brings an international reputation to the project and a history of telling stories of African American history and culture. His work is in the collections of many institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Ford Foundation, New York City; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia; Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Denver Art Museum, Denver Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; Mint Museum, Charlotte; Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham; and the Weatherspooon Art Museum at UNCG, Greensboro. Radcliffe’s most recent work has been installed at the newly expanded Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and is titled From the Cabinet.
Ayla Amon is a contract Curatorial Assistant at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and Visiting Lecturer at University of North Carolina Greensboro. She holds degrees in Islamic Art and Architecture, Middle Eastern Studies, and Museum Studies from the University of Chicago and George Washington University, and has worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walters Art Museum, and the Tangier American Legation Museum in Morocco. Ayla studies the African Muslim Diaspora, specifically tracing the cultural and spiritual legacies of the enslaved African Muslims in North America.
This fourth and final Cornerstone commission is the Freedom Cornerstone. The theme of “Freedom” is inspired by the City’s role in the Civil Rights Movement, especially the non-violent protests of the pivotal 1960 Greensboro lunch-counter sit-ins that served as a catalyst to the larger movement. Racial justice and equity have played an important role in shaping our city and defining its identity. The selected artist is asked to explore this history as well as consider what Freedom means today as they conceive of a vision for the artwork. The site for this Cornerstone is located in the southeast corner of the Downtown Greenway’s four-mile loop - at the northeast corner of the intersection of Murrow Blvd and East Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro, NC 27401, a highly visible location that has been created with the realignment of the intersection as Downtown Greenway construction is underway.
In addition to the artwork, the Artist will be responsible for the design of the entire site and will oversee its installation, including landscape features, lighting, and walkways and/or paths.
Downtown Greenway Project Manager, Dabney Sanders remarks that “while we cannot convene the public as we normally would to meet and hear from Radcliffe in person, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to present a thoughtful conversation between Radcliffe and Ayla Amon who served on our Freedom Cornerstone Focus Group. The conversation should give insights into Radcliffe’s thought process and vision for creating work.”
About Downtown Greenway
The Downtown Greenway, a collaborative project of the City of Greensboro and Action Greensboro, is a planned 4 mile walking and biking trail that will encourage economic development, increase the tax base for the city, and will improve quality of life for its citizens. This urban loop around the center city of downtown Greensboro will enhance the urban landscape with a green space that will promote fitness, connectedness and well-being for our residents and visitors in an aesthetically pleasing environment. The loop itself provides a unique opportunity for Greensboro to have the only one of its kind in the state and one of the few in the country. With its emphasis on public art, the Greenway will tell stories and engage users of the trail in a unique and authentic way. In addition, with the connections to the extensive existing and planned trails systems in the city and the county, this loop will connect residents from all parts of the community and beyond. With 1 ½ miles built and open to the public, and another 1 ½ miles under construction, the Downtown Greenway is expected to be completed late 2020/early 2021.