Wyndham unveils finalists for mural honouring the Greensboro Six

by: Mark Caswell | April 24, 2024

US: Wyndham Rewards has unveiled the three finalists hoping to be selected to paint a wall mural at the Gillespie Golf Course in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Vincent Ballentine of Brooklyn, NY; Raman Bhardwaj of Greensboro, NC; and Abel Jackson of Charlotte, NC, have been selected by a committee of key community figures and organisations from applications by more than 50 artists nationwide.

The project aims to honour the Greensboro Six, a group of black men who in 1955 played a round of golf at the whites-only Gillespie course.

The show of defiance against segregation took place just a week after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, and led to the six men being arrested, convicted of trespassing and spending 15 days in jail.

Their actions and subsequent court cases eventually led to the Gillespie Golf Course desegragating, and in 1961 the Greater Greensboro Open (now known as the Wyndham Championship) become the first PGA Tour event in the South to welcome a Black player – Charlie Sifford.

Vincent Ballentine, Raman Bhardwaj and Abel Jackson - finalists in the Greensboro Six Mural Project at Gillespie Golf Course
From left to right – Vincent Ballentine, Raman Bhardwaj and Abel Jackson

Unveiling the finalists Wyndham said that if successful Vincent Ballentine – a multi-disciplined visual artist with a degree in film and education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia – would aim to delve into the intricate and layered history of Greensboro while producing work that captivates and inspires.

Meanwhile Raman Bhardwaj – a multi-medium artist with multiple degrees from Panjab University in India – is a Greensboro local and creates murals, portraits, paintings and illustrations for clients including the Charlotte Hornets and the Arts Council of Greater Greensboro.

Finally Abel Jackson – a visual artist with a passion for creative visual expression and a graphic design graduate from Winthrop University – is known for his open approach to his medium of choice, and has a passion for creating thought-providing work that cultivates unity, pride and inspiration. A sample of Jackson’s work is pictured above.

Wyndham Rewards is title sponsor of the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship, and the mural is set to be installed on First Tee – Central Carolina’s Learning Centre situated at Gillespie Golf Course. It will be unveiled on August 5, at the start of the Wyndham Championship tournament week.

Commenting on the news Ryan Wilson, CEO, First Tee – Central Carolina, said: “The Greensboro Six left a lasting legacy at Gillespie – one that deserves to be memorialised for generations to come. Our chosen finalists have unparalleled talent and passion for their craft, and the quality of their work makes us confident these men will have a permanent place to be celebrated in our community.”

More information on the project can be seen at firstteecentralcarolina.org/mural-project.

For our recent Q&A with Philip Halanen, head of sourcing and sustainability EMEA Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, see:

Q&A: Philip Halanen, head of sourcing and sustainability EMEA Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Images supplied by Wyndham.