Our newest public art project, a life-sized bronze honoring Richard A. Tucker, a key figure in Norfolk’s African-American history, will be unveiled and dedicated at the Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library, located at 2350 Berkley Ave. Extended, Norfolk, VA 23523 on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at 10 a.m.

Created by New York artist, Vinnie Bagwell, the sculpture honors Tucker’s legacy as an educator and advocate for black education. Bas-relief details highlight the rich culture and history of the Campostella community and the people who live, work and contribute to its continued legacy. “Education is the right of every American,” says Bagwell. “My vision of Richard A. Tucker is a means by which to sharpen memories, provoke critical thinking, and give voice to Norfolk’s African-American history and meaning to its legacies.”

Join us as we welcome the artist and Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. A celebration reception will follow featuring an interactive puppet-making theatre created by local artist and founder of Meliq on the Move, Tanya Shadley.

Free shuttle service will be provided to the event from Oakleaf Forest and Diggs Town. Shuttles will stop every 15 minutes between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Pickup locations will be identified with black balloons.

Richard A. Tucker Public Art Dedication and Celebration
Saturday, November 19, 2022
10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library
2350 Berkley Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23523
Free and open to the public.

Richard Allen Tucker & the Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library

The Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library opened in September 2021. It is the newest library location for the Norfolk Public Library system. The branch is named after Richard Allen Tucker, the former rector of the Cumberland Street School, the first school built by Norfolk Public Schools for African American students. In 1943, the Richard A. Tucker Tucker School was opened on the land where Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library sits. The school closed in 2011.

Richard Allen Tucker was born in Norfolk City, Virginia, in February 1850. He attended Howard University for training in Theology. In 1876, Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) hired Tucker as a school teacher, and in 1888, he became rector (principal) of the Cumberland Street School (renamed the S.C. Armstrong School), the first African American school built by NPS. The school was later renamed the Tucker School. He married Josephine Spooner in 1874, and their union produced twelve children.

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Norfolk Arts seeks to create a rich, diverse, environment that reflects, celebrates and invites all to experience the arts. We seek to give voice to our community and strive to unite, energize, prompt dialogue, and inspire the unique character of Norfolk.

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