The Arts in Public Places Commission approved plans for Greenville to join a select group of cities from around the globe that have hosted Wings of the City, a collection of nine monumental bronze sculptures by world-renowned Mexican artist Jorge Marín. The sculptures will be installed in Falls Park and on the Peace Center campus in April and remain in Greenville until October.
Marín is one of the most recognized figurative artists in Mexico. He has participated in more than 300 collective exhibitions, and individually, his work has been exhibited in museums in Europe, Asia and North and South America. Alas de México, the iconic sculpture from the Wings of the City collection, is on permanent display in 13 cities on three continents.
In 2013, the temporary Wings of the City installation began its journey through the United States, with stops in Texas, Colorado and California. Greenville will be the first city on the East Coast to host the exhibition. Described as “an aesthetic experience where the perfection of the human body is mixed, in balance, with allegorical forms and fantastic beings,” Marín’s sculptures are expected to draw visitors from across the region.
The City of Greenville and the Hispanic Alliance of SC collaborated to bring Wings of the City to Greenville and will work closely with the Jorge Marín Foundation to facilitate the installation. Bank of America will be the presenting sponsor of Wings of the City, which will include a special interactive web tool, with photos and information about the collection, and a map showing sculpture locations for the exhibition. Piedmont Natural Gas and BMW will also participate as sponsors of the exhibit.
According to Adela Mendoza, executive director of the Hispanic Alliance SC, the collection promotes a community-wide dialogue and offers a bridge to Mexican culture. “Wings of the City” highlights the importance of migration and the cultural exchange that enriches societies,” said Mendoza. “This world-class exhibit celebrates the global spirit of the Upstate—symbolizing human connection across distance, and the role of art as a universal language.”
The opportunity to bring this exhibit to the East Coast was presented by the General Consulate of Mexico in Raleigh, NC. “We are thrilled to welcome this magnificent collection to South Carolina and invite the public to enjoy the work of one of Mexico’s most prominent cultural ambassadors” said general consul, Claudia Velasco Osorio.
The project team proposed Falls Park and the Peace Center as locations for the Wings of the City exhibit due to the interactive nature of the collection. “Wings of the City is more than just putting sculpture in our public spaces,” said City Council member Russell Stall. “Through the collaboration with the Hispanic Alliance, we are featuring world renowned art that demonstrates Greenville’s commitment as welcoming city and broadens our understanding of Hispanic cultural heritage.”
The Wings of the City exhibit aligns with Bank of America’s commitment to support nonprofit institutions that highlight varied cultural traditions and help the arts sector create pathways for more diverse engagement. “At Bank of America, we believe in the power of the arts to help economies thrive, educate and enrich societies and create greater cultural understanding,” said Stacy Brandon, Bank of America Market President for the Upstate. “We are especially proud to help bring such a powerful exhibit by a world-renowned artist to Greenville to promote discussion and awareness of Mexican culture for the benefit of our community.”
The Jorge Marín Foundation was established in 2017 to preserve and protect the artist’s work and to further Marín’s belief in the power of art to create more reflective and peaceful societies. “Through Wings of the City, Jorge Marín has enriched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world by reminding them what it means to be human,” said Elena Catalán, director of the Jorge Marín Foundation. “And no matter where they arrive, his sculptures, which he considers incomplete by themselves, acquire new meaning with each person who interacts with them.”
Visit wingsofgvl.com for additional information.
Prepared by the City of Greenville.