Edward Joseph Dwight, Jr.

Ed Dwight is a man whose resume reads: Former Air Force test pilot, and America’s first Black Astronaut candidate, IBM Systems Engineer, Civil Aviation consultant, executive pilot, Real Estate and construction entrepreneur, and restauranteur can best be described as a true renaissance man. Ed Dwight has succeeded in all those areas. For the last 36 years, however, Ed has focused his direction singularly on art endeavors. Since his serious art career began in 1978, Dwight has become one of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America. 

Born in Kansas City, Ed left to join the U.S. Air Force in 1953. After pilot training, Ed obtained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University and served as an officer and pilot. In 1961, Ed was chosen by President John Kennedy to enter the Air Force’s Experimental Test Pilot School, as a prerequisite to becoming America’s first Black Astronaut. Unfortunately, the assassination of President Kennedy terminated any chance for Dwight to go into space. In 1966, after fourteen years in the military, Ed left the Air Force. 

Ed rekindled his initial love for art, and in 1977 earned a Masters Degree in Fine Arts (MFA) from the University of Denver. In 1974, the State of Colorado offered Ed a commission to create a series of bronzes entitled “Black Frontier Spirit in the American West” to honor the contributions of African Americans in settling the American frontier. 

In 1980, Ed received his first large scale commission of Frederick Douglass from the National Park Service. Since then Ed has created over 128 Monuments, Memorials & Public Art installations around the U.S. depicting the contributions of African Americans to America’s landscape. Recent Memorials include an Underground Railroad Memorial in downtown Paterson, NJ; a memorial to Medgar Evers on the Alcorn University Campus in Mississippi, the Denmark Vesey Memorial for the City of Charleston, SC; a Memorial to Thaddeus Tate, an early Black Pioneer, for the City of Charlotte, SC. 

Ed’s largest Memorial to date is the Texas African American History Memorial recently installed on the State Capitol Grounds, in Austin, TX, and dedicated to the Emancipation of the Slaves on Juneteenth Day. Under development and construction include a Memorial to Harriett Tubman, for her service in the Battle of Combahee River in 1863, where she freed 750 Slaves. Also in planning is a 20 acre Monument to Cotton Picking, Sharecropping & Black Farming in Mound Bayou, MS, on the Mississippi Delta. 

Ed has works in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution, and other museums, and commands an extensive collector base all over the world. Ed’s company, Ed Dwight Studios, Inc. operates a 30,000 sq.ft, studio/gallery and foundry as is one of the largest single artist production and marketing facilities in the Western U.S. Ed Dwight is a true and dedicated Renaissance man.

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