ECA News Briefs

Internationally Recognized Artist Victor Ekpuk Creates 20-foot Commissioned Sculpture Hope and Dream Under Glory

The Government of the District of Columbia Department of General Services (DCDGS) announced the acquisition and permanent installation of “Hope and Dream Under Glory” by celebrated Washington DC contemporary artist Victor Ekpuk. “Hope and Dream Under Glory” made its debut this week and was installed in front of Boone Elementary School. The artwork was created to stimulate the minds of young students and reflect the cultural and historical impact of the community. The 20-feet statue is the first artwork installed permanently outside the school. It is also the largest public art in South East Washington DC.

“It was serendipitous that the mascot of Boone Elementary school is a Black Panther,” said Ekpuk. “In the African culture that inspires my work, the power of the feline spirit is encoded in secret symbols and graphic signs called nsibidi. By weaving together, the mystery, power and history of the black panther with the vibrancy and spirit of the children of Boone Elementary and their community, this sculpture is designed to visually stimulate, inspire, inform and challenge the imaginations of young minds. It is my hope that this sculpture will perhaps be part of a broader conversation about the history of Africans in America, I am honored for the opportunity to contribute to the memory of a community”

Full title:

Hope and Dream Under Glory
Like the ancient Iroko tree, holding up its branches and proclaiming
‘I am still standing, my roots are deep, I have no fear of the wind”.
He rises in tribulation carrying the memory, knowledge and wisdom of his ancestors encoded in signs and symbols. -Victor Ekpuk

Facts about “Hope and Dream Under Glory”:

  • The structure is 20ft inches tall and 10 feet wide
  • Sculpture is made of hand painted steel

About Victor Ekpuk

Victor Ekpuk is a Nigerian-American artist. His studio is in the Eckington neighborhood of Northeast Washington, D.C. He is renowned for glyph-like paintings and drawings that are inspired by the aesthetic concepts of indigenous African writing systems and graphic symbols from diverse cultures. His work frequently explores the human condition, drawing upon a wide spectrum of meaning that is rooted in African and global contemporary art discourses.

Ekpuk, a Smithsonian Institution fellow, has works that have been featured in several international and national exhibitions; Aicon gallery, New York (2019), Get Up, Stand Up Now, Somerset House, London, UK (2019), Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, France (2017), North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA(2017), 12th Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba (2015) Dakar Biennial, Dakar, Senegal (2014) Auto-Graphics, Hood Museum, New Hampshire, USA (2015) and Krannert Art Museum, Urbana- Champaign, Illinois (2014), Inscribing Meaning, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art Washington DC and Fowler Museum Los Angelis (1998) Africa Now, Museum of Art and Design, New York (2011) Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2010) 1st Johannesburg Biennial, Johannesburg (1995).

He has works in collections of Smithsonian National museum of African Art, Smithsonian National museum of African American Culture & History, Brooks Museum, The World Bank, Newark Museum, Hood Museum, Krannert Art Museum, United States Art in Embassies Art Collection.

Ekpuk has been awarded several commissions by museums in the United States. In 2016, he was commissioned by The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art to design trophies awarded to recipients of the museum’s first African Art Awards. One of the recipients was Yinka Shonibare MBE. In 2017, he completed a large-scale 30ft x 18ft. centerpiece mural at the North Carolina Museum of Art. A commissioned 58ft mural “Essence of Memphis” currently at the Memphis Brooks Museum was a site of a scene in Brian Banks the latest movie by Tom Shaydiac.

Website: www.victorekpuk.com  Photograph showing section of sculpture  © Victor Ekpuk

(via Victor Ekpuk. Photo courtesy of Victor Ekpuk.)