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Size: 14’ high, 28’ long
Installed in 1994
Location: Kellogg Foundation Headquarters
About the Artist: Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Ed left his hometown in 1953 to join the U.S. Air Force. After completing pilot training, he served as a military fighter pilot and obtained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University. In 1961 Dwight was chosen by President John F. Kennedy to enter training as an Experimental Test Pilot in preparation to become the first African American Astronaut candidate.
Ed’s childhood dream was to become an artist, but was encouraged by his father to become an engineer. He received a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University in 1957. With little formal art training, his first serious artistic endeavor began with a commission to create a sculpture of Colorado’s first Black Lt. Governor, George Brown in 1974. From this first artistic endeavor, he was commissioned by the Colorado Centennial Commission to create a series of bronzes entitled “Black Frontier in the American West.” The series depicted the contribution of African Americans to the opening of the West. Few facts were known about Black pioneers, explorers, trappers, farmers and soldiers. Through using his newly developed and unique artistic style, Ed opened the minds of viewers to this unknown history of the American West. The Series of 50 bronzes was on exhibit for several years throughout the U.S., gaining widespread acceptance and critical acclaim.
About the Sculpture: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation commissioned this memorial. The sculpture is the largest memorial to the Underground Railroad in the United States. It features Harriet Tubman leading a group of escaped slaves, Erastus and Sarah Hussey and the Station Masters for the Southern Michigan Underground Railroad Operation ushering slaves into their basement.
Information & photograph was retrieved from the artist’s personal website: http://www.eddwight.com/