Larry Leon Hamlin portrait to be unveiled in the fall

This portrait of Larry Leon Hamlin by New Orleans Artist Aron Belka will be unveiled at the Benton Convention Center on Sept. 28.

Larry Leon Hamlin portrait to be unveiled in the fall
July 19
02:00 2018

A massive portrait of the late Larry Leon Hamlin will grace the walls of the Benton Convention Center starting in September.

Hamlin, who passed away in 2007, is founder of both the North Carolina Black Repertory Company and the National Black Theatre Festival, which brings 65,000 attendees and dozens of plays to Winston-Salem every two years. The portrait is scheduled to be unveiled on Sept. 28 at 11:30 a.m. The Black Rep will hold its Marvtastic Bash fundraiser at the Benton the following evening, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.

The portrait by New Orleans Artist Aron Belka is a project of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Art Commission and is on a similar scale to the 13-foot Maya Angelou portrait that currently hangs in The Benton. Belka was selected from about 20 artists who applied for the project and was picked by a committee that included Hamlin’s widow, Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, who is president of the Black Rep’s board and NBTF executive producer.

“I think it’s great because it really shows that the community really appreciates everything he’s done for the community,” said Sprinkle-Hamlin. “That National Black Theatre Festival is the largest event in city and we bring thousands of people here and the economic impact on the city, county and state is great.”

This will be the fourth completed project commissioned by the Public Art Commission. It’s previous projects were the 11-foot tall steel book sculpture outside the Central Library, most of the artwork that adorns the walls at The Benton and the 50-foot tall water tank mural of an otter that can be seen from Peters Creek Parkway. It’s currently working on a portrait project that’ll be displayed throughout the city.

The Public Art Commission is accepting suggestions for future projects on its website:

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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