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OCA’s Public Art Program Restores Sculpture Dedicated to Congressman John Lewis

“The Bridge” (c. 1997), by artist Thornton Dial. Dedicated to Congressman John Lewis in 2005

This month’s City of Atlanta Public Art highlight is “The Bridge” (c. 1997), by American artist Thornton Dial. This 42-foot-long abstract sculpture, dedicated to Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis, is part of the City’s Public Art Collection and can be found in Freedom Park near the intersection of Ponce de Leon Avenue and the newly renamed John Lewis Freedom Parkway.

Dial, a self-taught artist, created the sculpture using found objects, such as scrap metal, tires, wood, plastic, various textiles, and glass. “The Bridge” evokes the image of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama while also representing Congressman Lewis’ enduring crusade for a more just society.

Simultaneously, the assemblage is a memorial to the efforts of local intown neighborhoods in protecting their homes against the construction of a planned highway.

For more information on this piece and other artworks, visit our Art Hub to learn about the more than 200 pieces of art in the City of Atlanta’s Art Collection.

Click the link below to listen to our exclusive interview with Congressman Lewis discussing the sculpture.