Join the Society of the Cincinnati Cobra and support the world’s first interactive sculpture from Cincinnati Parks; a statue of Ezzard Charles, a West End native and professional boxer, former World Heavyweight Champion and lifelong humanitarian.
Activations unique to the Ezzard Charles statue include a mobile platform and programming embraced by the community. These activations will enhance the health, quality of life and wellness of Cincinnati’s historic West End neighborhood.
Ezzard Charles has been rated as one of the greatest boxers in history, and as the greatest light heavyweight of all time by “The Ring” and “Boxing” magazines. He lived for many years on Lincoln Park Drive, which was renamed in his honor in 1976 as Ezzard Charles Drive. Charles was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia in 1921 and later moved to Cincinnati at age nine where he lived with his grandmother and great-grandmother at 929 Laurel Street. Charles lived and trained in the West End and complemented his gym workouts with hill runs throughout Eden Park and endurance sprints between Music Hall and Union Terminal.
A veteran sculptor and advocate for public art, John Hebenstreit continues the fine arts traditions of his Cincinnati family, specializing in three-dimensional plaques, life-size sculptures and a variety of art objects. Hebenstreit complements his fine arts education at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with work at Cincinnati foundries like Casting Arts & Technology. There’s bold spirit driving his artwork Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Inductee plaques as well as statues of former chancellors at the University of Charlotte. Closer to home, Hebenstreit has two works in Cincinnati Parks, a bust of former Mayor Theodore Berry in the pavilion at Friendship Park and two figures at the Black Brigade Monument at Smale Riverfront Park.
Our project, named the Society of the Cincinnati Cobra, will also support conservationism via maintenance of Laurel Park.
Thanks to Cincinnati Museum of Athletics and West End Community Council for their early support.