GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation has pledged up to $1 million for the purchase of a major work of public art to anchor Greensboro’s newest city park, The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and the Armfield Foundation announced today.
The Public Art Endowment, an initiative of The Community Foundation, will manage the effort to identify an artist for the project, and the resulting artwork will become the Endowment’s first permanent commissioned installation – and a gift to the city.
“The Armfield Foundation’s generous commitment is truly breathtaking,” said Frances Bullock, chair of The Public Art Endowment. “Our trustees are thrilled by not only the Armfields’ support of public art and our city, but of our Endowment’s mission and what we together are working to achieve in Greensboro. The sculpture that will result from this gift promises to dramatically define Greensboro in an iconic manner that is just as impactful for Greensboro as Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate” has been for Chicago or Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” has been for Philadelphia. All of Greensboro is in for a real treat when this project is completed.”
The Armfield Foundation awarded the grant for two main reasons, said Mindy Oakley, its executive director. “Ed Armfield loved this city, and he also was incredibly appreciative of the many people who worked for his company, as well as their families. Our grant will provide what we intend to be an important and significant addition to Greensboro’s landscape – while honoring Ed and the textile employees who themselves gave so much to this community.”
Edward M. Armfield, Sr. was a native of Asheboro and lived in Greensboro until his death in 1999. He was the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Armtex, Inc., and Surry Industries, Inc., both textile companies based in Surry County. The foundation that bears his name was organized in 1999 to make grants in Surry, Randolph and Guilford counties. While education in Surry County is the primary focus of the Armfield Foundation, additional areas of interest include efforts to enhance parks, recreation and quality of life.
Five years ago, The Community Foundation launched The Public Art Endowment to preserve and extend a sense of community in Greensboro by way of significant pieces of public art. As it continues to work toward its $2 million fundraising goal, the Endowment has overseen the long-term installations of loaned sculptures from such artists as Dennis Oppenheim, Vollis Simpson, James Surls, Evan Lewis and Peter Shire. In 2009, the Endowment presented the city with its first permanent gift, a sculpture by Greensboro-based artist Billy Lee called Guardian II on the grounds of the Old Guilford County Courthouse. This piece was made possible because of a special donation through the Endowment by trustees Richard and Jane Levy of Greensboro. (The sculpture made possible by the Armfield Foundation’s grant will be the Endowment’s first permanent commissioned work of art.)
Last November, The Community Foundation announced a bequest by the late Carolyn Weill LeBauer of Greensboro to create a public park “for the benefit and enjoyment of the general population of Greensboro, particularly children and their families.” A steering committee of community volunteers and experts is working with consultants on the design of the park, to be located on city-owned land adjacent to the Greensboro Public Library, the Greensboro Historical Museum and the Cultural Arts Center. Once completed, the park will be donated to the city.
Oakley and Adair Armfield, chair of the Armfield Foundation, serve on the LeBauer Park steering committee. LeBauer Park consultants and the committee that will identify the artist of the Armfield sculpture will work closely together during the park planning and design process.
The Carolyn and Maurice LeBauer City Park is scheduled to open in March 2016.
About the Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation
The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation was established in 1999 to make grants in Surry, Randolph and Guilford counties. While education in Surry County is the primary focus of the Armfield Foundation, additional areas of interest include efforts to enhance parks, recreation and quality of life.
About The Public Art Endowment
The Endowment’s mission is “to preserve and extend our sense of community through the development of new community assets in the form of long-term and permanent installations of aesthetically and culturally significant works of art.”
The Public Art Endowment is a permanent fund for the creation of new community assets and is the only fund of its kind in the area. Stewardship for The Public Art Endowment is provided by a diverse group of Trustees who are passionate enthusiasts for the arts and for Greensboro. Trustees are involved in all aspects of The Public Art Endowment, including selection of art works and development of related programming as well as advocacy within the greater community for The Public Art Endowment and its mission. Visit PublicArtEndowment.org and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.
About The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Inc.
The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro is a charitable organization dedicated to strengthening the community for present and future generations. The Community Foundation promotes philanthropy, builds and maintains a permanent collection of endowment funds and serves as a trustworthy partner and leader in shaping effective responses to community issues and opportunities. Visit CFGG.org and follow us on Facebook, You Tube, LinkedIn and Twitter.