Revisiting “A Tribute to Carolina Artists”
In today’s blog, we are throwing it way back to 2016 and celebrating “A Tribute to Carolina Artists.” This original multimedia project debuted in May of that year and honors eight of the Carolinas’ most significant artists. It was created by local artists too.
The honorees were chosen from among more than 1,200 entries submitted by the public, and their likenesses were painted by individual artists on columns inside Spirit Square (345 N. College St.). These art installments are permanently displayed inside the lobby.
In addition, local spoken word artists wrote and performed original poetry to accompany each of the pieces. While we’re on this COVID-19 “intermission,” join us for a stroll through the lobby and this celebration of unique Carolina talents from yesterday and today.
Here’s a key to who’s who in the exhibition:
Honoree: Maya Angelou
The prolific author, poet and civil rights activist, called Winston-Salem home for nearly 30 years. Her notable works include “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “On the Pulse of Morning.”
Visual art by: Raquel Gaiten
Poetry by: Starr Steward
Honoree: Romare Bearden
The renowned painter, author and songwriter was born in Charlotte and later spent summers here visiting his grandparents.
Visual art by: John Hairston, Jr.
Poetry by: Jay Ward
Honoree: James Brown
Born in Barnwell, SC, Brown is referred to as the “Godfather of Soul” and had hit singles with classic songs like “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good).”
Visual art by: Nick Napoletano
Poetry by: Bluz
Honoree: Dizzy Gillespie
Born in Cheraw, SC in 1917, Gillespie was a celebrated jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer.
Visual art by: Owl and Arko
Poetry by: Ed Mabrey
Honoree: Andy Griffith
Griffith put the state of North Carolina in the Hollywood spotlight with his hit television show “The Andy Griffith Show,” which was based in Griffith’s hometown of Mt. Airy, N.C., or “Mayberry.”
Visual art by: John Burgin
Poetry by: Edgar Savage
Honoree: Earl Scruggs
Scruggs was a legendary bluegrass musician from Shelby, NC, known for his three-finger banjo playing style and songs like his Grammy Award-winning “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”
Visual art by: Joe Dobson
Poetry by: Freddie Morgan
Honoree: Nina Simone
The acclaimed singer, songwriter and civil rights activist was born in Tryon, NC.
Visual art by: Matt Moore
Poetry by: Carlos Robson
Honoree: James Taylor
The singer-songwriter, who grew up in Chapel Hill, NC has won five Grammy Awards and his song “Carolina in my Mind” has become the state’s unofficial anthem.
Visual art by: Matt Hooker
Poetry by: Greylan Counts