New statue at Cameron Art Museum honors America’s colored troops
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Hundreds of people visited the Cameron Art Museum on Saturday, to witness the unveiling of a sculpture and an exhibition of works depicting African Americans in Cape Fear and the country.
The public statue of the United States’ Colored Troops “Boundless” stands on the site where the Forks Road Civil War battle took place on the grounds of the Cameron Art Museum.
The statue was designed by artist and Duke University professor Stephen Hayes, and features casts of 11 African-American men linked to the Battle of Forks Road, including descendants of American colored troops, reenactors, veterans and local community leaders.
Event attendees Daisy Wooten and Yvonnia Johnson said they were deeply moved by the statue when it was unveiled.
“It made me feel like I was really proud of those who fought for our freedom, because like they said, freedom is not free,” said Daisy Wooten, participant of the event.
“This and also it inspired me to be able to meet the people and some of their families who are here and still live. I just couldn’t imagine what they went through, so it’s so nice to have this story to pass down from generation to generation, ”said Yvonnia Johnson, event attendee.
The unveiling event also featured music, storytelling, food trucks, and free entry to the museum, giving attendees the chance to see ‘Voices of Future’s Past’, Hayes’ new exhibit that explores race issues. and economics in the United States.
A couple shared that they believed “Boundless” and “Voices of Future’s Past” would attract the attention of many outside of Cape Fear.
“It’s a great way to, when you have visitors I thought I had a place to take them and kind of show them a nice statue of what really happened here in Wilmington,” said Fred Atkinson, attending the event.
“Because if you don’t talk about the story, it’s forgotten and information like this has to be spread across America, really around the world,” said Cynthia Atkinson, attendee at the event.
Artist Stephen Hayes said he was grateful for the chance to create the piece which was well received and appreciated by those who attended its unveiling.
“It’s something that will help create the conversation. It’s the first of its kind and having it here should be a feeling of pride. You know, and it might be a destination where people come to see it, ”said Stephen Hayes.
Heather Wilson, deputy director of the museum, said she was happy the museum is a place in the community where people can connect with history through art.
“Art has this ability to ask questions, to spark dialogue, and I think it’s a safe way for us to connect, and find our common humanity,” said Heather Wilson, Deputy Director of CAM. .
The names of 1,820 United States Troopers of Color who fought in the Battle of Forks Road will be permanently inscribed on the Limitless Sculpture in December.