The Foundation had the opportunity to consult on the development of permanent signage for one of the biggest projects ever to celebrate a visual artist. Bearden’s hometown of Charlotte North Carolina celebrated his life by building a park in his name and spirit. The park design is based on Bearden’s collages and paintings as interpreted by supervising artist Norie Sato.
The 5.4 acre public park features two gardens, a courtyard of dining tables with chairs on a bed of crushed granite, a formal event green field, a play area with interactive digital chimes including dance chimes, and a huge waterfall that changes colors. The grand opening took place on August 31-September 1, 2013. Since then the park has been the center of activity, just blocks away from the Mint Museum of Art, home to the largest collection of Bearden’s artwork on public display.
It was important to establish the right signage, ensuring the artist’s spirit would hold up as a reference for future generations. In September 2017 the Foundation was on hand for the unveiling of a brand new sculpture installed in the park. Spiral Odyssey, was created by Chicago sculptor, and Bearden friend, Richard Hunt. The sculpture, made of welded stainless steel, stands nearly 30 feet and weighs approximately 8,000 pounds. The title references Bearden’s Odyssey series inspired by Homer’s epic tale.