Monuments glorifying white supremacy are coming down. Will more projects like Ayokunle Odeleye’s rise up in their place?
In his home workshop in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Ayokunle Odeleye’s larger-than-life pieces of public art often start as a small wooden mock-up, that he shapes with a lathe.
The finished product can wind up soaring into the air.
Like the bronze monument called Spirit, Family, Community in Peoplestown that went up before the 1996 Olympics.
Or his latest commission, a 30-foot tall by 27-foot wide steel “Gateway” monument that’s planned for southwest Atlanta. It’s a sculpture that will feature the likeness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., imagery paying tribute to the African-American heritage of many of the city’s residents and an homage to Atlanta’s educational and religious institutions and music scene.
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