OCA’s Public Art Team Mends Thornton Dial’s “The Bridge” in Freedom Park

“The Bridge” by Thornton Dial after restoration

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Conservation and Maintenance Team recently visited Thornton Dial’s “The Bridge” – a commemorative found-object sculpture honoring the life and work of the late Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis. Created in 1997, the artwork was dedicated to Congressman Lewis in 2005 to represent his efforts within communities combatting gentrification and its echoing effects upon already burdened cultural lineages.

In late March 2021, the OCA’s Conservation and Maintenance personnel cleaned away any biological growth, debris, and other evidence of direct exposure to the elements on the sculpture. Various cracks and voids on the artwork were filled and repainted.

The base of the sculpture was cleaned to remove any unsightly residues and staining, thereby elevating the work once again. This piece will continue to serve as a cultural beacon, inviting visitors of Freedom Park to engage with Atlanta’s rich historical lineage.