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Northside Gateway Art Committee selects Brooklyn-based Olalekan Jeyifous for new iconic public art.

February 01, 2021 | Press Releases

Spartanburg, SC, February 1, 2021 – Northside Gateway Art Committee announces the selection of Olalekan Jeyifous as the artist for an iconic outdoor artwork for the new gateway plaza at the corner of Howard and College Streets in Spartanburg, SC.

The Northside Gateway Art Project, a partnership between Northside Development Group and Northside Gateway Art Committee, has commissioned an iconic outdoor work of art for the gateway into the Northside neighborhood. The artwork, intended to activate and enhance the cultural connectivity and economic vitality of the Northside, will inspire healthy lifestyles via walkability in the neighborhood by engaging with the history, natural beauty, and cultural identity of the community. Neighborhood resident and Art Committee member, Tony Thomas shares that "this artwork will reflect the spirit of the Northside community and our vision for diversity and inclusion. A community where all people feel welcomed. I truly believe Olalekan Jeyifous is the right artist to capture that sentiment—for all to enjoy!"

Olalekan Jeyifous is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work re-imagines social spaces that examine the relationship between architecture, community, and the environment. He has received numerous grants and is a recent fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. In addition to an extensive exhibition history, he has spent over a decade creating large-scale installations for a variety of public spaces. Jeyifous’ previous works can be found in Alexandria, VA, Grand Rapids, MI, Durham, NC, and Cleveland, OH.

“This opportunity is of great interest to me given my strong background in creating award winning public artwork that engages a variety of diverse conditions and communities,” Jeyifous said in his submission. “I am also very excited about the possibility of producing artwork that reflects the evolving cultural, educational, and economic values for the ‘new Northside’ community.”

The next steps for the Northside Gateway Art project include a site visit by Jeyifous to continue the planning and community engagement process for the art project. The work is scheduled to be completed by summer 2022.

About Northside Gateway Art Committee

Public art is designed and installed for public enjoyment and engagement and is intended to be a visual extension of a community’s endeavors to become a “safe, vibrant, healthy community.” To keep this endeavor focused on the goals of the neighborhood, a committee of Northside stakeholders and arts professionals, as lead by Cheryl Stewart a Public Art Consultant, are overseeing the project’s process. Committee members include:

Sarah Tignor, Chair, Chief Operating Officer, The Johnson Collection; Shaquana Peake, Northside Voyager; Tony Thomas, Community Engagement Coordinator, Northside Development Group; Erica Brown, Councilwoman, District 6; Michael Webster, Assistant Professor of Studio Art, Wofford College; William Gray, Associate Principal, McMillan Pazdan Smith, Architecture; Tammy Whaley, Assistant Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations and Executive Director of SCOMS, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine; Thomas A. Tucker, Spartanburg visual artist and educator; William Barnet, III, Board Chair of NDG (Ex Officio); Jennifer Evins, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center (Ex Officio).

About Northside Development Group

Northside Development Group serves to encourage and manage the redevelopment of the City of Spartanburg’s Northside community, honoring its past and expanding the opportunities for a mix of affordable and market rate housing, economic, educational, recreational, health, and social opportunities for its residents.

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