About the Project
Walter “Doc” Hurley, a legendary figure who helped hundreds of students attend college.
The Doc Hurley Public-Art Project is an initiative for the creation of an urban-heritage sculpture garden to honor the legacy of Walter “Doc” Hurley, Sr. A grant for $250,000 from the State of Connecticut was made possible by the dedicated efforts of Senator Doug McCrory, formerly CT State Representative. The City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works is administrating the funding, and artist Vinnie Bagwell is leading the creation of the seven-foot bronze and sculpture garden. Installation will be at the traffic-island park at the intersection of Ridgefield and Greenfield streets, adjacent to the Martin Luther King, Jr., School. Groundbreaking, this public-art project will be one of most meaningful historical art projects in the capitol city and the State of Connecticut as it will be the first public artwork of a contemporary African-American man in the State of Connecticut.
Vinnie Bagwell has always been an agent for social, educational, and economic growth via the arts in her community. Born in Yonkers, New York, she grew up in the Town of Greenburgh in Westchester County, and began sculpting in 1993. She’s a powerful storyteller for the African diaspora who knows how to incorporate the narrative in a finely-tuned, visual portrayal of historical events: From “The First Lady of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald” (the first public artwork of a contemporary African-American woman to be commissioned by a municipality in the United States, installed at the Yonkers Metro-North/Amtrak train station) to “The Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden” (a major urban-heritage sculpture garden being created for the City of Yonkers), the creative genius of Vinnie Bagwell’s sculptures gives voice to their stories, meaning to their legacies.
Goals and Objectives
Focus-group sessions are being conducted to aid the artist in achieving the goals of engaging the community for inclusion, coalition building, collective learning in the creative process and the fabrication and installation of the final artwork. The community-at-large will be engaged in person, digitally, and through the social media, in hopes of bringing viewers on the journey with the artist to remember and celebrate a legacy of a man they called “Doc.