The411 with Sherlene Shanklin: Sculptor Ed Hamilton and his family unveiled his latest project today in Newport News, Virginia. I had the opportunity to see the magnificent piece several months ago while it was in the clay stage and I was just blown away by the detail. I’m referring to the life size bronze bas relief of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with the men, women and children walking along side of the civil right leader. The City of Newport News commissioned the Louisville artist to create “The Unfinished March”.
The sculpture was installed earlier this week at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza at 25th and Jefferson Avenue.
Hamilton says “I’m truly humbled and honored that the City of Newport News asked me to recreate a moment in Civil Rights that marked a significant piece of history. People from all over the world will be able to see how I captured Dr. King and other civil right leaders walk for freedom, justice and opportunity. When you walk away, I want it to give you a sense of pride and hope for the future.”
Other works Hamilton has designed is the 16th President of the United States and Kentucky native Abraham Lincoln with the Lincoln Memorial which is located along the Ohio River in downtown Louisville. He’s known for but not limited to is The Booker T. Washington Memorial in Hampton, VA, Spirit of Freedom in Washington D.C., Joe Louis Memorial in Detroit, MI and the Amistad Memorial in New Haven, CT.
Hamilton has an autobiography, “The Birth of An Artist: A Journey of Discovery” (Chicago Spectrum Press). The book outlines his journey from hopeful art student in Louisville, Kentucky to nationally acclaimed sculptor.
I wanted to share with you some exclusive photos of Ed Hamilton at work. I watched Hamilton carefully work his way up and down the piece carefully defining creases in the sleeve of Dr. King’s jacket to Hamilton looking him in the eyes as if they were talking. To see a visionary in the arts create the likeness of another visionary in the civil rights movement was truly a historic moment. I even caught him closing his eyes as if he was trying to remember Dr. King and his image. Hamilton had this determination in his eyes that everything had to be perfect before he sent it to be bronzed. Today, his vision came to life.
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