Life-size Sculptures of President Obama and Family by Renowned Sculptor Set to Debut at the Colorado History Museum on Feb. 20

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The Inauguration of Hope, an exhibition which honors the African American experience from slavery to the White House by nationally renowned sculptor Ed Dwight, will debut with new life-size bronze sculptures of President Barack Obama and family. The exhibition kicks-off at the Colorado History Museum in Denver, Feb. 20-28, as part of Black History Month celebrations, before embarking on a national tour.

By virtue of the nomination and swearing in ceremony Dwight has so deftly captured in bronze, the election of President Obama made history in both Colorado and the United States, adding a new and inspiring chapter to the African American experience.

History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society, and nationally renowned artist Ed Dwight celebrate Black History Month with "The Inauguration of Hope," an exhibition which at its centerpiece features new life-sized bronze sculptures of President Barack Obama and his family created by Dwight. The exhibition will be from Feb. 20–28, 2010 at the Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway, Denver, before they embark on a national tour.

The first sculpture portrays Senator Obama accepting the presidential nomination at Invesco Field during the 2008 Democratic National Convention; the second portrays President Obama’s swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C. with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha.

The struggles and the achievements of African Americans are acknowledged and honored in "The Inauguration of Hope" exhibition developed by Dwight. By virtue of the nomination and swearing in ceremony Dwight has so deftly captured in bronze, the election of President Obama made history in both Colorado and the United States, adding a new and inspiring chapter to the African American experience.

The sculptures represent painstakingly detailed research and artistic inspiration by Dwight, a person who has his own remarkable history -- he is a graduate engineer, a former USAF test pilot and America’s first Black astronaut candidate. Dwight has dedicated the last 32 years of his life solely to art endeavors. He graduated in 1975 with a Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Denver. Ed’s first large-scale commissioned work was the abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1978, which was commissioned by the National Park Service and is on display at the Douglass Museum in Anacostia, Maryland. Ed has since completed more than 110 large scale commissioned installations throughout the United States. He has also created over 18,000 gallery level sculptures and is represented in galleries throughout the United States.

Today, Dwight’s sculptures are rigorously collected by museums, institutions and art collectors throughout the world. These most recent works will be included among the Smithsonian Institution's collections.

“We are honored to welcome an artist of Ed Dwight’s caliber to share his art and insight on the African American experience with History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society, and the public, in celebration of Black History Month,” said Ed Nichols, President and CEO.

The exhibition kick-off is on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 at the Colorado History Museum with free events that include a play at 1 p.m. by Denver School of the Arts students that re-creates a historic event from the 1908 Democratic Convention in Denver when African American men of voting age were encouraged to join the Democratic party. Also, a special presentation at 2 p.m. by Dwight will recount his life, work and inspirations—from test pilot and astronaut to the accomplished artist he is today. There is a suggested donation of $5 with proceeds going to History Colorado educational programs.

On Sunday, Feb. 21, the public is invited to attend a behind-the-scenes tour of Dwight’s Denver gallery and studio, housed in a refurbished aircraft hangar at Stapleton (cost is $21 general public or $15 for History Colorado members). Reservations are necessary for the tour and can be made by calling 303/866-4686.

For more information about Ed Dwight, visit http://www.eddwight.com.

*Note to media*: The Inauguration of Hope exhibition will be unveiled at an invitation-only event on Friday, Feb. 19 at the Colorado History Museum. Media are invited to attend with advance notice. News cameras welcome. Contact Rebecca Laurie, Public Relations Director, at rebecca.laurie@chs.state.co.us, cell phone 303/918-9216. To arrange interviews with Ed Dwight, tour his Denver-based studio or for biographical information, please contact McKenna Stephens, mcKenna(at)eddwight(dot)com.

History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society, engages people in our State’s heritage through collecting, preserving, and discovering the past and providing perspectives for the future. Established in 1879, History Colorado is headquartered at the Colorado History Museum in Denver. This educational institution contains statewide historical museums and sites, educational programs, volunteer and membership opportunities, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, the Stephen H. Hart Research Library, and administers the State Historical Fund—a preservation-based grants program funded by limited stakes gaming tax revenues. Visit http://www.historycolorado.org or call (303) 866-3682.

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Rebecca Laurie, Public Relations Directo
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