Artists chosen for MLK public monument

(Supplied/City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A pair of artists has been chosen to work on a public monument sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Fort Wayne.

The Fort Wayne City Council got the process started back in February 2020 by passing a resolution sponsored by Michelle Chambers and Russ Jehl calling for a public display commemorating King’s visit to the city on June 5th, 1963.

The city’s Public Arts Commission has chosen a proposal called “Pillars of Hope and Justice” by Shane Albritton and Norman Lee.

According to the artists’ proposal, “Pillars of Hope and Justice” commemorates the historic visit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Fort Wayne in June 1963, where he shared his vision of nonviolent resistance. The monument features six pillars set in a circular configuration around a stone or concrete plaza. Each pillar will evoke both ancient architectural pillars and growing reeds of papyrus that emerge from the ground and bend outwards at the top. The organic form of papyrus reeds evokes Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of nonviolent resistance. The sculptural, steel forms will be waterjet cut with words from King’s 1963 speech in Fort Wayne. The waterjet words dramatically arc over visitors, evoking King’s statement, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

If it gets final approval, work should begin early next year with an unveiling – on the southeast corner of the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center parking lot on West Better Street – is set for June 2023, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of King’s visit to Fort Wayne.

Learn more about the Fort Wayne Public Art Program here. 

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