Richmond middle school students meet man who helped inspire ‘Rumors of War’ sculpture

Richmond middle school students meet man who helped inspire ‘Rumors of War’ sculpture

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Tuesday was a monumental day in the City of Richmond’s history as the “Rumors of War” statue was unveiled in front of the VMFA.

Artist Kehinde Wiley took likeness from six different people to help inspire the sculpture, including Najee Wilson. Wilson reached out to Wiley on Instagram back in 2017 and the rest is history. Wilson took the time to speak with some Binford Middle School students about the work, which sparked a conversation about representation in art.

“For quite a long time, we can see art has been mostly lots of white guys. So it’s really important for us to have these open conversations about who is seen, who is creating the art,” said Principal Melissa Rickey.

Binford has been what’s considered a turn-around arts school since 2016, which means the school strives to use the arts to teach other subjects and learn about the issues.

That’s where Kehinde Wiley comes in. He visited Richmond back in 2016 and saw not one statue that looked like him or Najee Wilson.

“Art has the ability to make the invisible visible and when you are seen, you’re understood,” said Wilson.

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