Trout Education Management Assistant, Megan McElroy, is working with us from her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Here, she shares with us Romare Bearden Park, named for an artist we have in our collection.
Located in almost exactly the center of downtown Charlotte, Romare Bearden park, named after Charlotte, North Carolina-born artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988), is a gathering place for many human rights protests and movements today. Throughout his career, Bearden explored ways in which to portray the day to day life of African American families through art. Using his most popular medium, the collage, he created a version of a piece we have in the Trout Gallery’s collection today. This piece, entitled The Family, presents the audience with themes of race and colorblindness, gender, and family structure.
Bearden was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement, perhaps most notably with the founding of an African American artist collective called the “Spiral Group.” This group became the inspiration for the spiraling sculpture piece at the park. The piece, done by Richard Hunt, a friend of Bearden’s, “alludes to forward momentum as well as the suffering experienced by enslaved Africans during the Middle Passage.” With all of the contributions Bearden made towards equality, it is safe to say that he would be proud of the protests happening at a park in his name, and in his hometown.