Black Wall Street Gardens

Please take the time to review the design concept below for public art at Black Wall Street Gardens and submit your feedback to the artists by filling out this survey

We need you to help shape the public art for Black Wall Street Gardens!

We all have stories - experiences, moments, and memories, that have shaped how we connect to the communities that define our city. The City of Durham invites you to share your feedback about the proposed public art design that will honor the rich cultural history of Durham's Black Wall Street era. 

Your feedback will assist artist collective David Wilson and Stephen Hayes in their final design for site specific public art for Black Wall Street Gardens, located at 102 West Main Street.

Project Background

The City of Durham’s Cultu0004ral and Public Art Program and the Public Art Committee have select the African-American artist team, David Wilson and Stephen Hayes to design, fabricate and install public art in the Black Wall Street Gardens, a greenspace located at 102 W. Main Street. The plaza has undergone lighting, landscaping, and walkway improvements to further enhance the greenspace as a pedestrian-friendly gathering space. Two walkways traverse the greenspace and provides a space for moveable seating, tables, and the future site for the Black Wall Street permanent art installation. The piece is to commemorate and illuminate the importance of Black Wall Street and the legacy of Durham’s African-American business community. 

David Wilson is a Durham-based artist who explores the connection between architecture, nature and the public.  The story of community and place is the primary driver of his installations is the narration. The Durham-based artist serves as Public Art Consultant for Go-Triangle, assisting in the creation of original art for new transit shelters throughout Durham. Stephen Hayes recently received a Master of Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design, whose power sculptural work has been exhibited in the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and the Nasher Museum at Duke University.

Design Concept

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The general and specific design features will: 

  • Honor achievements of African American women in business and education during early 20th century
  • Highlight social change that laid the foundation for what became Black Wall Street
  • Celebrate African American ingenuity and entrepreneurship

The actual look and feel of each sculpture will emerge in a way that is thematically tied to Black Wall Street's unique history. The diversity of materials used (e.g. metal, brick, paint) will metaphorically speak to the strength, foundation, and adaptability of Durham's African American community.

Submit your feedback on the design concept using this survey

For more information, contact: Alexandra Benson, Cultural and Public Art Program Assistant, at 919-560-4197 x21238 or alexandra.benson@durhamnc.gov