News Blog

Spirit Bench Receives Spring Cleaning

Before and after photo of “Spirit Bench” by John Riddle (circa. 1976) at Arthur Langford Park

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Conservation Team recently treated “Spirit Bench” by John Riddle.

The conservation team removed light graffiti from the concrete sculpture in late February. A supplemental treatment followed in early March to pressure wash the sculpture, patch concrete voids, and weed the site bed. The team even received help from one of the neighborhood’s budding art conservators. (pictured below)

Riddle was a beloved community leader and a nationally recognized artist. In 1974, he moved to Atlanta and was an active member of the City’s arts community and director of the Neighborhood Arts Center.

He created “Spirit Bench” in 1976, which incorporates etched Adinkra motifs from Ghana, West Africa. This inviting archway sculpture creates a visual gateway that welcomes visitors to Arthur Langford Park.

In 1999, Riddle returned to Los Angeles to curate exhibitions for the California African American Museum. Riddle passed away in 2002 at the age of 68.