Client: City of Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA, United States
Completion date: 2021
FORM 3D Foundry
Four portraits of civil rights icons for Atlanta. The call was for life-sized seated bronze portraits of the Rev. Hosea Williams, Dorothy Lee Bolden, W.A. Scott II and Dr. Rita Samuels. Williams was one of Dr. King’s close advisors and stayed in Atlanta after King’s death to build voting among African Americans, feed the hungry and house the homeless – founding an organization, Hosea Helps, that still carries on his work. Bolden organized Atlanta’s domestic workers into a union and helped many of them vote for the first time. Scott founded the first newspaper syndicate for Black readers in the nation. And Dr. Samuels worked in civil and women’s rights her entire career, working with Gov. and then President Carter in the middle, and continuing until days before her death.
There are many untold stories of the civil rights movement, these four begin to scratch the surface.
The city provided us with contact information for the families of all four (now deceased) individuals. We met with all of them to get a better understanding of what each person was really like, and were able to access private family photographs to ensure a good likeness. The families also provided feedback on the clay portraits. If we achieved great likenesses, it was thanks to the families' help.
This is the type of project that makes us most proud: being able to celebrate those people who helped change our world for the better, but because of their sex or color, went under-celebrated in life. Being able to help nudge the public art scales a bit more towards equality is what we love to do.