Coppin State University Exhibits Sculpture of President Barack Obama

Published Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

New Mexico based artist, Matthew Gonzales created the bronze sculpture.

By Gavin Lewis (CSU Student)

BALTIMORE, MD –– On February 19, Coppin State University unveiled a bronze bust of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama to commemorate President’s Day and African American History Month.

This prominent event occurred in Coppin State’s Parlett L. Moore Library and featured many respected personnel such as; President Maria Thompson, Chancellor Robert Caret, Mayor Catherine Pugh, and local artist, Larry “Poncho” Brown, student regent Will Shorter, Jr., along with members of ROTC.

Dr. Maria Thompson is the seventh president of Coppin State University – serving for two years to present. Thompson highlighted President Obama’s journey to making history. According to Thompson, it was only fitting to honor the first African American President, Barack Obama, on President’s Day and African American History Month.

Mercy Rufai is a sophomore majoring in Health Information Management. Rufai spoke about the significance of the gift and how privileged the university is to showcase black excellence. In her speech, Rufai said, “This bust of President Obama will stand as a symbol that the sky is no longer the limit – the only thing that can limit you is you!”

Matthew Gonzales is the brilliant sculptor behind this masterpiece – a lost-wax, bronze sculpture of President Barack Obama. According to Gonzales, his goal was to create a realistic, life-sized bust in stages––first in clay, then lost-wax, then finished bronze and finally cast-resin––which would become the ‘black canvas’ for artists to paint and/or embellish.

The bronze sculpture was created in 2012, and exhibited by Coppin State University as part of a 44-piece exhibition, Visions of Our 44th President, in 2018.

The bust was commissioned and produced through a partnership between The Wright Museum of African American History and Our World, LLC. Baltimore artist, Larry “Poncho” Brown, who is a friend and supporter of the university, presented the opportunity to purchase the bust to CSU. The bust was acquired through the generosity of James “Winky” Camphor and a match of that donation by the Coppin State University Development Foundation.  

The bust is now permanently displayed on the first floor of the Parlett L. Moore Library for the campus and community to enjoy.

Obama bronze


Obama Bronze


Obama Bronze


Obama Bronze