Saturday, December 17, 2011

UPDATE: Sponsors give up on statue depicting free slave

Update to the July 29, 2011 BlackArtistNews post "Anti-slave rally to oppose Fred Wilson project"
This rendering shows "E Pluribus Unum," a statue that artist Fred Wilson had planned to install on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail in 2011.

Fred Wilson's public art project officially withdrawn from installation

Written by Star report for
December 13, 2011

A proposed public art project that stirred controversy in the black community was discontinued by its sponsors.

Fred Wilson's "E Pluribus Unum," a statue of a freed slave holding a flag of the African diaspora, will be replaced by another work to be installed along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

The Cultural Trail and Central Indiana Community Foundation boards of directors unanimously agreed to cancel Wilson's project, on which the foundation has already spent $75,000. A new project, with a budget of $175,000, will be undertaken in 2012 and overseen by "a group of African-American community advocates," according to a CICF news release.

Wilson's design was based on the figure of a black man included on the Solders and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle. Among the sculptor's honors is a 1999 "genius" award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Four public discussions presented by the foundation over the past two years resulted in a negative response to the Wilson project from more than 90 percent of the participants, according to the CICF.

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