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From Charlotte to International Success, the Life of Romare Bearden 1911 to 1988
Item 4 of 8
This is a contributing entry for From Charlotte to International Success, the Life of Romare Bearden 1911 to 1988 and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

“Spiral Odyssey” is sculptor Richard Hunt’s homage to Charlotte native, Romare Bearden. The sculpture was installed in May, 2017 in the southeast corner of Romare Bearden Park, a calm, public greenspace open to the public in the heart of Charlotte’s bustling Uptown commercial district. The sculpture is made of stainless steel, is 30 feet tall and weighs approximately 8,000 pounds. The piece is a primary focal point in the part and the art is a subtle but permanent reminder that the park is dedicated to an artist. Charlotte takes great pride that Romare Bearden was born in the city. As Bearden's legacy continues to grow, so are the many opportunities for Charlotte to expand upon its cultural life as a community by this important association.


  • Tower block, Daytime, Metropolitan area, Architecture
  • Bird, Sculpture, Wing, Beak

Sculptor, Richard Hunt, created “Spiral Odyssey” to honor his friend and fellow creative. Bearden and Hunt were the first African American artists to have solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art in 1971.

Inspiration for the sculpture came from Bearden and his work. “Odyssey” in the title refers to Bearden’s series of works that were inspired by the Homer’s epic poem. Also, in a personal way, “Odessey” is a reference to Bearden’s personal journey alone and with others, his fellow artists and his fans and followers.

The word “Spiral” from the title of the piece has many meanings. One was Bearden’s role as a champion of his fellow African American artists. In 1963, Bearden role in gathering African American artists together in New York to collaborate on ideas about arts activism in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, share ideas on the challenges of career development and the art of politics during the turbulent period. Finally, there is the association in the sculpture of the widening and elevating spiral of Bearden’s broad career which even today its legacy continues to rise.

Romare Bearden. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2020, from https://www.cmstory.org/exhibits/mecklenburg-people/romare-bearden

Romare Bearden Park. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2020, from https://www.mecknc.gov/ParkandRec/Parks/ParksByRegion/CentralRegion/Pages/Romare-Bearden-Park.aspx

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Romare Bearden Park. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2020, from https://www.mecknc.gov/ParkandRec/Parks/ParksByRegion/CentralRegion/Pages/Romare-Bearden-Park.aspx

Romare Bearden Park. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2020, from https://www.mecknc.gov/ParkandRec/Parks/ParksByRegion/CentralRegion/Pages/Romare-Bearden-Park.aspx