Hinds Plaza Gates

Graphic for the exhibition titled Hinds Plaza Gates

Exhibit Info

This Exhibition Is No Longer Showing


Hinds Plaza Gates


April 1 until June 12, 2023


2nd Floor Nook (near the conference room)


“It’s always the right time to do the right thing” at Albert E. Hinds Community Plaza

Hand embroidered by Kyle Burkhardt, 2021 and 2022

Have you ever noticed the gates in the plaza next to the Princeton Public Library? The plaza is named for Albert E. Hinds, a Black resident and pillar of the Princeton community. Born on April 14, 1902 in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, Mr. Hinds lived until the age of 104. He contributed to the Princeton community in a myriad of ways, including paving Nassau Street, directing the YMCA, maintaining the Princeton Public Library’s furnace at its previous Bainbridge House location, and co-leading historical walking tours, among many others.

Thanks to the efforts of community members, the plaza was named after Mr. Hinds in 2007. Two sets of brushed stainless steel gates and two plaques honoring Mr. Hinds, created by NJ artist Tom Nussbaum, were installed in the plaza in 2013.

Following the white supremacists’ attacks in Charlottesville in 2017, I wanted to hand embroider a statement against white supremacy. I knew the gates from many lunch hours spent on a bench in Hinds Plaza, but it wasn’t until that summer that I really, truly looked at the gates, learned more about them, and for whom they were named. One gate says “it’s always the right time”; the other says “to do the right thing”. This was one of Mr. Hinds’s favorite sayings, and a play on Martin Luther King Jr’s “the time is right to do what is right.” Most of the circles are American quilting motifs, although one mimics the hubcap of Mr. Hinds’ car. The horizontal and vertical motifs are from West African textiles.  I stitched the first gate in 2021 and the second gate in 2022. It took about 10 weeks to hand embroider each gate. I’m hoping both pieces will ultimately be on permanent public display in Princeton.

When you leave the library today, I invite you to stop at the gates in the plaza (one pair is right outside the library’s front door) and contemplate them.

About the Artist

Artist Bio

Kyle Burkhardt is a sewist and embroiderer who lives in Franklin Park and works at Princeton University.

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