Inspired by Kehinde Wiley’s reimagining of the J.E.B. Stuart statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, the Queen City Nerve commissioned Charlotte native and 2019 Northwest School of the Arts graduate Nadia Chauhan, a rising junior in social work at Appalachian State, to reimagine the “Spirit of Mecklenburg” Captain Jack statue as part of its Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence coverage.
Here’s what she did.
Here’s what she has to say about it.
I love the idea of reclaiming history through illustration. I was inspired by Charlotte’s Black Lives Matter mural and how unique it was. I was hoping to hint at that mural as well as reinterpret the Captain Jack statue as a way to empower young black girls. As a person, hearing about the unjust killing of black men is absolutely heart-wrenching. As a black woman, it is terrifying and draining to witness the constant terror that consumes America. Hearing about police brutality in Charlotte specifically is even more concerning and that is why I felt it was important to participate in the conversation about activism in the city.
I want to shoutout my absolutely incredible art teachers at Northwest School of the Arts: Jamie Berry, Brian Wilson, Joshua Cornwell, and Tamara Conrad. They have inspired me to continue making art and use it to help others.
Here she is.
Kehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War” statue in Richmond, photographed by Peter Wong. You can learn more about Wiley’s “Rumors of War” series here.
“Spirit of Mecklenburg” statue of Captain James Jack in Charlotte, photographed by Ryan Pitkin.