The Bridge

by Thornton Dial
located in the John Lewis Plaza on the corner of Freedom Parkway and Ponce de Leon

“The Bridge” portrays “congressman John Lewis‘ lifelong quest for civil and human rights” and the community’s “valiant efforts to stop the road and preserve intown neighborhoods”. The sculpture was dedicated to Rep. Lewis in 2005 through the leadership of members of CAUTION, Freedom Park Conservancy, and the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

L-R: Al Caproni, Ruth Wall, Rep. David Scott, Rep. John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young, Justice Leah Ward Sears, Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Senator Nan Orrock, Emory McClinton, Rep. JoAnn McClinton

Thornton Dial was born in 1928 and raised in poverty in the rural South. As a young man he worked as a laborer in the region’s heavy industry. Throughout the years, Dial made a variety of objects through which he commented on the human spectacle. His creations began to receive attention from the established art world in the mid-1980s. Dial’s work addresses historical, social and political issues faced in the United States, such as racism, homelessness and war. His large scale sculptures are assembled from cast-away and found objects.

The Bridge by Thornton Dial
The Bridge, Artist: Thornton Dial

In August 2018, Freedom Parkway was renamed John Lewis Freedom Parkway, and a dedication event was held in Rep. Lewis’ honor. Additional public art installations in John Lewis plaza are in progress and will focus on his involvement with the Freedom Riders.

Images from the unveiling and dedication of The Bridge, September 09, 2005.


This artwork is owned and maintained by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

Freedom Park