July 24, 2019
Statue unveiling honors civil rights martyr Viola Liuzzo
Detroit — Sally Liuzzo seemed close to tears when she saw the statue of her late mother unveiled Tuesday.
"You know it's Mom," Liuzzo said after the ceremony honoring Viola Gregg Liuzzo in the northwest Detroit park named for the civil rights martyr who was slain in Alabama in 1965.
"Viola marched for people to have the right to live their best life," said Metro Detroit sculptor Austen Brantley, who made the statue. "Her life tells us that we should not be complacent but to take action in our community and our nation.
"Through her symbol, we have a North Star that shines so bright," he concluded, drawing "awwws" from the audience.
July 23, 2019
Detroit statue finds a barefoot, undaunted Viola Liuzzo walking again for civil rights Julie Hinds and Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press
Now the Detroit statue joins the highway marker in paying tribute to Liuzzo. The sculpture was created on commission by African-American sculptor Austen Brantley, 23, whose studio is in Royal Oak.
Brantley, who worked closely with Liuzzo's family to capture her spirit as well as her physical appearance, told the crowd at the unveiling that "her every stride speaks volumes about her character."
April 11, 2019
Self-taught Detroit sculptor shapes history with Viola Liuzzo statue
Inside his Royal Oak studio space, Austen Brantley talks about sculpting with the passion of someone who has found what he was meant to do in life.
"'With clay, I can say what I want to say and still make things that appear beautiful," he says. "That's more important than job security or material things."
As the 23-year-old artist speaks, he's standing near a work in progress that is expected to be unveiled sometime in late July.
It is sure to be newsworthy in Detroit. It deserves a worldwide audience.
February 19, 2018
Austen is a self-taught ceramic sculptor. His interesting pieces has captured attention, both local and statewide. Austen has completed over 500 sculptures and has hosted 13 solo exhibits since beginning his career in 2011. Chicago Natives and those interested can see Austen's work up close & personal at the Black Creativity Exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
February 13, 2018
Clay sculptor Austen Brantley is unmistakably young—in his years and in his practice.
This is not a conversation Brantley likes to have. He knows, however, it’s where many people start when they talk about his artworks, primarily figurative. To ignore the obvious would be to miss part of the wonder of his work. There’s also this: he’s completely self-taught.
August 18, 2017
Sculptor Austen Brantley Heads to Italy
Detroit Performs featured artist Austen Brantley’s career has taken off since his appearance on Detroit Performs. He recently traveled to Italy to further his art education. Detroit Performs caught up with Austen and asked a few questions about his experience.
September 04, 2015
Ceramics Class Turned Reluctant Student Into Budding Sculptor
What started out as an elective to boost his grade point average in high school turned into a life-changing passion for sculptor Austen Brantley, 19, of Royal Oak, who is one of 12 artists offering demonstrations this weekend at Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal Oak...
July 22, 2015
Royal Oak sculptor inspired by classics
Royal Oak artist Austen Brantely of knows that life sometimes throws us curve balls. For example, he never intended to become an artist. When he signed up for a ceramics class in 2011 at Berkley High School, Brantely thought it would be an easy A — not a career path...
April 06, 2015
Austen Brantley & His Great Talent
Whitdel Arts, a non-profit gallery located on the corner of Hubbard St. and Porter St. in southwest Detroit, has been showcasing “emerging” artists for the past three years. Ceramic sculptor Austen Brantley is the artist who is currently occupying the space...
December 11, 2013
Emerging Artist Hosts First Hometown Solo Exhibit
SOUTHFIELD — As a child, 18-year-old Austen Brantley didn’t know what he wanted to be. He enjoyed drawing, but wasn’t exceptional at it, he said. “I had no presumptions that I would ever be an artist. I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” the Berkley High School graduate said...
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