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Honorees announced for “A Tribute to Carolina Artists” at Spirit Square

By CLTure News

March 20, 2016

Blumenthal Performing Arts recently announced the eight Carolina artists that will be honored with original art installments at Spirit Square. Earlier in the year the public was invited to nominate honorees and Blumenthal received over 1,200 nominations. Based on those nominations, the eight selected honorees are Nina Simone, James Brown, Maya Angelou, Romare Bearden, Dizzy Gillespie, Andy Griffith, Earl Scruggs, and James Taylor.

Maya Angelou, the prolific author, poet and civil rights activist, called Winston-Salem, N.C., home for nearly 30 years. Her notable works include “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “On the Pulse of Morning.”

Romare Bearden, born in Charlotte, N.C., in 1911, was a celebrated painter and writer. His legacy was recently honored with the naming of Romare Bearden Park in Uptown Charlotte.

James Brown, born in Barnwell, S.C., is referred to as the “Godfather of Soul” and had hit singles with classic songs like “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good).”

Dizzy Gillespie was a celebrated jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer. He was born in Cheraw, S.C., in 1917.

Andy Griffith put the state of North Carolina in the Hollywood spotlight with his hit television show “The Andy Griffith Show,” which was based in Griffith’s hometown of Mt. Airy, N.C., or “Mayberry.”

Earl Scruggs was a legendary bluegrass musician from Shelby, N.C. He is best known for his three-finger style of playing, his work with Lester Flatt, and the Grammy award-winning tune “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”

Nina Simone, born in Tryon, N.C., in 1933, was a renowned singer and civil rights activist. Her notable songs include “My Baby Just Cares for Me” and her version of “I Loves You, Porgy.”

James Taylor is a singer-songwriter who spent his childhood in Chapel Hill, N.C. Taylor reminisced about his home state in the hit song “Carolina in My Mind,” which quickly became an unofficial anthem for North Carolina.

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Photo courtesy of Blumenthal Performing Arts

Blumenthal will be working with Charlotte artist Matt Hooker to pick the local artists commissioned to paint the columns. Hooker was one of several graffiti artists who painted the columns in the Knight Theater lobby at Levine Center for the Arts during the Breakin’ Convention in October. Due to the popularity of the painted columns, the Blumenthal decided to make a lasting impression with this tribute to Carolina artists.

Painting is expected to begin at Spirit Square on Monday, March 21, and will continue throughout April.

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