The heavily anticipated Witness Walls art piece is set to be dedicated to the public on April 21, 2017 in Nashville’s Public Square Park.
Back in October 2016, Metro Arts broke ground at the Public Square Park space for this unique exhibit, which is meant to commemorate Nashville’s Civil Rights veterans and their iconic struggle for equality. The Walls themselves will be located on the west side of the Nashville Courthouse, just a few feet away from the physical site of the monumental student-led, nonviolent protest of April 19, 1960; the very protest which led to the desegregation of Nashville’s lunch counters.
Using concrete and graphite technology, artist Walter Hood is creating life-sized impressions of the historic protests and marches that took place right here in Music City. While the faces will be too abstract to pinpoint any specific individuals, the images used to inspire the piece came from none other than our collection of black-and-white photographs at the Civil Rights Room in Nashville Public Library.
Visitors to the site will be able to walk amidst these textured walls and listen to period music as they observe the shadows of past events and people who worked tirelessly and sacrificially in the name of Civil Rights through lunch counter sit-ins, economic boycotts, marches, meetings, Freedom Rides, and school desegregation.
Walter Hood, originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, is now a Professor and former Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He also runs his own studio: Hood Design Studio in Oakland. For more information about him and other exhibits he may have coming up, please visit his website.