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Detroit artist Austin Brantley returns to Madison to create a sculpture for Madison’s Darbo-Worthington neighborhood

Austen Brantley

Detroit artist Austen Brantley is set to return to Madison to begin designing a new statue in a collaboration between Madison Arts Commission and Madison College. Brantley is focusing his efforts on gaining insight and inspiration for the statue by engaging with Madison’s Darbo-Worthington neighborhood where the statue will be. 

Brantley has previously done work with Madison College’s Truax Gallery, and he will be returning to Madison College on June 9 and 10 for a demonstration. Along with other presentations on his work, Brantley will be presenting for members of the Black Chamber of Commerce at their Mix and Mingle Series.

Austen Brantley
(Photo supplied.)

Most notably, Brantley will be holding a meet and greet with the community of the Darbo-Worthington neighborhood through a Shaved Ice Social on June 12. The social event will be an opportunity for Brantley to experience the diverse and culturally rich East Madison neighborhood that houses strong community organizations such as Mentoring Positives

Nick Pjevach, chair of the Madison Arts Commission said in a statement, “Austen Brantley is an emerging Black artist from Detroit, celebrated for his sculptures that reflect Black identity. His work has already been showcased in numerous exhibitions and public spaces across the country, and we are pleased that Madison College brought him to our attention and is partnering with us to extend his impact beyond their campus and into our community.”

After his visit, Brantley will return to Detroit to finish the design process, and exact details in the sculpture’s location and installation date will be confirmed in 2024. Intentions to create something meaningful and a source of pride for Darbo-Worthington align with Brantley’s other works that speak to themes of heritage, identity, and Black life. This project came about after a 2017 Darbo-Worthington-Starkweather Neighborhood Plan that called for city investment into empowering the neighborhood.