In the wake of racial violence erupting across the United States, in Georgia a decision was made to honor a man of peace. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced that a decision has been reached on the artist who will design the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. statue that will be erected in front of the Georgia Statehouse.
Georgia artist Andy Davis will create the statue of Georgia’s greatest native son. King will be the first Black man to have a statue among the many at the Statehouse. Davis is a well-known and established self-taught artist who has completed numerous projects across the Georgia and was recognized as a Master Artist by the state in 2001. His works include music legend Ray Charles, the Georgia Police Memorial, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, Griffin County founder Gen. Lawrence Griffin and Patrick Henry.
The decision to choose Davis as the artist was reached in collaboration with the state of Georgia, the King Estate, the Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council and the Georgia Arts Standards Commission. State Representative Calvin Smyre of Columbus, Georgia, was chosen as a liaison between the different stakeholders to reach the final decision.
“Placing a statue of Dr. King at the Capitol of his home state is a long overdue honor, and selecting an artist is an important step forward in this process. I am confident that Andy Davis’ past works, including a statue of Ray Charles in the singer’s hometown of Albany, have prepared him well for this historic project. I commend Rep. Smyre for his diligent efforts and leadership on this project and I look forward to seeing the final work of art.” Gov. Deal said.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired our nation with his dream of hope, peace, justice, and human rights. I am honored to have played a role during the 2014 legislative session in passing House Bill 1080, which authorized the placement of a Capitol-grounds statue honoring Dr. King and was signed into law by Gov. Deal. It is now time for us as a state to make this a reality. Naming Andy Davis as the sculptor is the first step in that process. It was important that a Georgia sculptor be chosen for this historic project. I look forward to working with all the stakeholders as we undertake the statue’s design, likeness and private fundraising efforts,” Rep. Smyre stated this week.
The sculpture will be placed on the northeast quadrant of the Capitol grounds overlooking Liberty Plaza.