Since Wings of the City opened on April 1, more than 3,600 people have used the online interactive map to guide their visit through the exhibition. Wings-related posts to the City’s social media accounts have had over 500,000 positive impressions and engagements and a recent Travel + Leisure magazine article promoting the exhibit and travel to Greenville has been viewed by 700,000 readers around the country.
The City of Greenville and the Hispanic Alliance of SC collaborated to bring Wings of the City to Greenville, and while these sculptures may differ from the public art that Greenvillians have seen on display in the past, the City is proud of its strong partnership with the Hispanic Alliance and is honored to have been chosen to host this world-renowned exhibition.
All artwork displayed on public property is reviewed and approved by the City’s nine-member Arts in Public Places Commission, which is comprised of volunteers who, by profession, personal interest, or civic engagement, have demonstrated an interest in creating or supporting art. Both the Arts in Public Places Commission and City Council approved the Wings of the City exhibition.
Additionally, the City and the Hispanic Alliance presented the project to representatives from several community organizations, including the Carolina Foothills Garden Club, the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, VisitGreenvilleSC, Artisphere and the SC Arts Commission, as well as several community sponsors – all of whom expressed overwhelming support.
In each host city, artist Jorge Marín’s sculptures are meant to be incorporated into the local landscape and the project team selected Falls Park and the Peace Center as locations for the Wings of the City exhibits due to the interactive nature of the collection. The one nude sculpture in the collection, Hombre Universal, was specifically installed inside the Peace Center lobby, facing the interior of the building.
“The Wings of the City exhibition celebrates the diversity and richness of the Hispanic culture and demonstrates Greenville’s place as a world-class, progressive and inclusive city,” said City Council member Russell Stall, who was part of the team that worked to bring the collection to Greenville. “We are fortunate to be able to provide this unique cultural experience in our community and I urge those with concerns about the exhibition to learn more about the artist and about the themes and inspiration behind the sculptures he created.”
“The City of Greenville highly values diversity and inclusivity,” said Council member Dorothy Dowe. “We commend the Hispanic Alliance for partnering with us to prioritize these values in our community. The strong relationship between the City of Greenville and the Hispanic Alliance is critical for us to move forward as an inclusive City, and we are grateful for their work to bring the Wings of the City exhibit to our downtown.”
“This exhibit is a celebration of the constant evolution, resilience, and inclusivity happening in our community,” said Adela Mendoza Executive Director of the Hispanic Alliance. “Each one of the sculptures depict qualities inherent to our humanity, such as strength, compassion, and our infinite capacity to reinvent ourselves. We hope people will visit the exhibit and be reminded of our ability to grow our own wings and take flight to reach our dreams. As we recover from a global pandemic, we can and must reinvent our shared future together.”
The City has received dozens of calls and emails offering support. Among them:
"I just wanted to share my support of the Wings of the City exhibit. I frequent downtown, my children do classes at the Children's Theatre. It brings a smile to my face to see unique art around the city. More art! More open minds!"
"Art is something to be appreciated, something to provoke feeling and thought, even something that may provoke debate. All art is not for everyone, but that does not mean you should deprive citizens the chance to experience an installation based on the feelings of a few... This installation is bringing people to Greenville, which, in turn, boosts the Greenville economy."
“It represents Greenville for what it is and should be, a progressive and inclusive community. It makes me proud to know that our city was chosen for this display because it gives us an opportunity to shine. It allows our Hispanic (and other minority) residents to feel represented and the rest of us to learn and grow, which given the current social climate in the world is a positive thing!”