The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee (IBWCAC) co-hosted an elegant cocktail reception with the McCormick Gallery, located at 835 W. Washington on Thursday, July 26, 2012. A retrospective of Hunt’s work from the 1950s – 1970s that was showcased at the gallery through August 11, 2012. At the reception, Richard Hunt stood in the midst of 20 years of his work and explained to several dozen city business, civic, education and community leaders how he’s going to capture the life and times of Ida B. Wells into a 20-foot monument that will feature three sections. Wells, who was born in Holly Springs, MS as a slave in 1862 became an influential journalist, teacher, anti-lynching crusader, women’s rights activist and civil rights pioneer. Each section of the abstract and interpretive monument will capture a different focus of Wells’ work and include images, biographical text and excerpts of her writing. The monument will be installed on the median strip at 37th & Langley, a short walk from the home where Wells and her family lived on 3624 S. King Drive.
“I remember when the Ida B. Wells Homes were a huge source of pride in the community. It was a beautiful place to live with a park like setting, with kids playing and what not,” said Hunt. “I have to be sensitive to the history of the neighborhood, and also capture the strength and determination of Ida B. Wells to fight for the rights we all enjoy today.”
Remarks were also given by gallery owner Tom McCormick, IBWCAC Co-Chairs, Michelle Duster and Sandra Young and IBWCAC members Joseph Williams and Jessica Caffrey.
With this project, Chicago will join the very few U.S. cities that honor through monumental sculpture an African-American woman. Once installed, the monument will be donated by IBWCAC to the City of Chicago’s Public Art Collection. Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) is acting as the fiscal sponsor for this project. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Photo Credit: Ellen Prather
Committee with Richard Hunt (L-R) – Michelle Duster, Julie Elena Brown, Sandra Young, Joseph Williams, Virginia Harding, Anthony Rogers, Richard Hunt, Shirley J. Newsome,
Lee Pratter, Jessica Caffrey
Richard Hunt and Tom McCormick (owner of McCormick Gallery)