Greenville officials gathered at Falls Park on Friday, April 1 to celebrate the reveal of “Wings of the City,” a public art exhibition in the park.
The display is a collection of nine bronze sculptures, weighing hundreds of pounds each, created by artist Jorge Marín, one of the most well-known figurative artists in Mexico. The sculptures will be located at Falls Park and around the Peace Center’s campus.
Marín’s work has been showcased in more than 300 exhibitions across Asia, Europe, and North and South America. This will be the first time his work is on exhibit on the U.S. east coast, according to Greenville officials.
The impetus for the exhibition came from the General Consulate of Mexico in Raleigh, North Carolina and the Hispanic Alliance in Greenville, who brought the idea to the city of Greenville.
“Marín’s work promotes art as a universal language and the bond between countries,” said Hispanic Alliance executive director, Adela Mendoza. “The ‘Wings of the City’ exhibition symbolizes the ability to fly with our minds, going beyond our physical abilities and dream big — and I think Greenville is all about that.”
Officials also said it was the first time Greenville has hosted a mobile art exhibition.
“One of the great things about our downtown has been that people walk around our downtown,” said Mayor Knox White. “It’s about the opportunities for people of all kinds to come together in this common space of downtown Greenville, this common space of Falls Park, and to see things that really surprise and delight. This project is going to do just that for people who live in Greenville.”
A hope for Greenville officials is that the exhibition will help revitalize downtown after the coronavirus pandemic closed so many of the area’s businesses.
As well as celebrating Mexican culture and art, Tracy Ramseur, cultural arts manager for Greenville, said, “Our goal is to really get people back downtown [and] try to get people out into the park to support our businesses post-COVID.”
Mendoza says the exhibition’s opening is another sign of Greenville’s support of the Hispanic community.
“I think that it just signals the spirit of inclusion that Greenville has,” she said. “I really do believe that Greenville has a long history of visionary leadership, and I think that leadership is exactly what makes this kind of transformational projects happen.”
“Wings of the City” will be on display until October. The pieces of art are included in an interactive map that visitors can access along with further information about the artwork: https://www.wingsofgvl.com/