Charlottesville High School art students and teachers traveled to the Virginia Fine Arts Museum in Richmond, VA to witness the much-anticipated unveiling of the sculpture, “Rumors of War,” created by American artist Kehinde Wiley.
According to a media release by the Virginia Fine Arts Museum, “Rumors of War” expands Wiley’s well-known efforts to use art to include more black and brown men and women in visual, historical, and cultural narratives. The statue, inspired by traditional portrayals of white subjects in equestrian portraiture and monuments, depicts a young African American rider in urban street clothes striking a heroic pose on a muscular horse.
“As Charlottesville City Schools strives to teach a more complete history through its Changing the Narrative initiative, field trips like this one provide cross-curricular opportunities for students to engage in learning experiences through the fine arts that challenge them to think beyond the traditional historical narrative and better understand the complexities of history and various perspectives,” said fine arts coordinator Aaron Eichorst.
The VMFA release further states that Wiley’s work “powerfully repositions black youth within the classical European tradition of power and status…while directly engaging the national conversation around monuments and their role in perpetuating incomplete histories and inequality.”