Cameron Art Museum was the site of the Battle of Forks Road, a Civil War skirmish whose victory was won by the United States Colored Troops (USCT) and led to the fall of Wilmington. Many of the 1600 African-American soldiers who fought here were native to this area, and after the war, many of them stayed to settle, raise their families, establish educational opportunities, and build a thriving merchant class. Their impact is significant, yet their story is virtually unknown. Be a part of this important project that will make a lasting impact on eastern North Carolina.
Stephen Hayes has cast USCT descendants, USCT re-enactors, military veterans, and community members to be a part of this new work of art. This project will promote social change by illuminating this little-known story of African-American freedom fighters that will provide a counterpoint to the narrative of the Civil War told by the built environment of the entire South. Community engagement, through a 4-day Living History School Days and Living History Weekend in the Fall of 2021, furthers the impact of this work of art.
Durham-born artist Stephen Hayes, is the Brock Family Visiting Instructor in Studio Arts in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University. Hayes's work has been featured at the National Cathedral, Winston Salem State University, Duke University, CAM Raleigh, Rosa Parks Museum, African American Museum of Philadelphia, and Harvey B. Gantt Center, among others. He is the recipient of the 2019 North Carolina Arts Council Emerging Artist Award. He has attended residencies at the McColl Center for the Visual Art in Charlotte and the Halcyon Arts Lab, Washington, D.C., among others.
Calling All Ticketholders for the USCT Public Sculpture Project Fundraiser!
Thank you so much for supporting the USCT Public Sculpture Project by purchasing a ticket to the fundraiser that was to be held in March 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we have postponed the in-person gathering until the summer of 2021 when we can safely celebrate this project together, complete with food, drink, and music.
In the meantime, we want to update you on the sculpture’s progress. Put on your Union Blue and join us Thursday, October 29 at 6:30 pm for a virtual event with artist Stephen Hayes and the fundraising committee. We’ll share exciting updates on the sculpture installation, now scheduled for November 2021, and talk about the importance of telling the little-known story of these brave soldiers who were fighting for their freedom and the freedom of their people. The first section of the sculpture was delivered to Carolina Bronze Sculpture in Seagrove, NC, the day before the shutdown. Stephen is now back in his studio at Duke and finishing up the last section.
Register in advance for this virtual event on Thursday, October 29 at 6:30 pm:
Check out this article in the New York Times about the project:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/09/arts/civil-war-black-soldiers.html and this article from the Wilmington Star News: https://www.starnewsonline.com/story/news/2020/07/23/us-colored-troops-sculpture-unveiling-at-cameron-art-museum-delayed/113372096/
To make an additional donation, click here.