A new community art project that was inspired by the hopes and dreams of McDowell residents will soon be sent to Raleigh for a special exhibit.
“Wings of McDowell” is a community art project that is inspired by the international traveling sculpture “Wings of the City,” created by Mexican sculptor Jorge Marin. The local project was developed by Silvia Martin del Campo, who is a teacher at Eastfield Global Magnet School and a cultural ambassador of her country, Mexico.
She is also the driving force behind the annual Dia de Muertos celebration in downtown Marion.
The “Wings of McDowell” project was possible thanks to the support and partnership of the Jorge Marin Foundation, the Consulate General of Mexico in Raleigh, and McDowell Arts Council Association and its staff, Executive Director Susan Pyatt-Baker and Assistant Director Anna Branam.
This is a community art project that aims to bring people together and invite them to connect to their emotions and inspire them by answering the question, “What would you do, if you had wings?”
Fifty members of the community answered this question and recorded their answers on metallic gold “feathers” during workshops held at MACA by del Campo and the Jorge Marin Foundation. Their stories, highlighting the voices of our Latinx community members, were used to construct the 7-foot-tall sculpture “Alas de McDowell//Wings of McDowell.”
The sculpture will soon travel to the Consulate General of Mexico in Raleigh and will be on exhibit there alongside Marin’s “Wings of the City” in Dorothea Dix Park from October of this year through March 2022. It will return to McDowell County for display at McDowell Arts Council Association gallery in April 2022.
The original plan called for this sculpture to be on display at the MACA gallery this week and the next. However, there is emergency facade work being done this week at the MACA building so it is closed to the public.
Due to that, MACA officials are unsure if folks will get a chance to view the sculpture before it travels to Raleigh on Oct. 7. “So we’re just planning to bring them back for a true reception in April,” said Branam.
“This piece of art also shows how we all have dreams, no matter where we come from or how old we are, and is an example of how all people in a community come together in order to make a collaborative unique piece of art respecting each other for who we are and our differences,” said del Campo.
This project would not have been possible without the help of Andres Herrera, Jeff Duckworth, Terri Thorpe, Eddy Rodriguez, Lisa Lack, Gaby Garrido, Gaby Mendez, Daniel Monroy, Santi Monroy, Francesca Hagarty and Carlos Madera.