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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
In just a matter of months the whole world will be watching Montgomery, Alabama, as the city hosts the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March.
Tuesday morning on Today In Alabama, WSFA 12 News reporter Melissa Johnson got a first look at plans for some new additions to that trail -- two steel sculptures.
Right now, a couple of major streetscape projects are underway in Montgomery, ahead of the 50th Anniversary March. City leaders are making sure they don't forget the smallest of details.
"We were looking at the trail as a whole, and there were some significant stops along the way. We knew we needed something significant there, not just an intersection, so we to add some pieces," said Melanie Golson, Development Coordinator for the City of Montgomery.
So, back in January, the city put out a nationwide call for submissions. The vision was for two sculptures marking two prominent locations—one being the last campsite for the marchers on the campus of St. Jude. The other was on Mobile Street at Five Points. It was one of the last turns before marchers made their way into downtown Montgomery.
Golson said, "We separated the artists' names from their work. Strangely enough, the Public Art Commission unanimously selected this piece."
That piece was designed by two local artists, Barrett Bailey and Jon Cook.
Cook said, "It's very humbling. It's a huge honor to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves. It really hit us when we sat down and realized that our names were going to be on something that would be around much longer than we are."
The two steel sculptures depict a silhouette of marchers, some adults and some children, carrying signs and flags. The first one mimics the shape of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the second one is basically cut out from that shape.
Bailey said, "The first one will be made out of raw steel, so it will rust over time. And that will be on purpose. The whole meaning behind that is we are showing something that was in the past, something that was dark and tarnished. The second one will be made out of stainless steel, and it will be polished. The thought process behind that was that if you walk up to it, you'll be reflected. So, you'll see yourself inside the struggle of those who have gone before you."
The two sculptures will be in place in time for the 50th anniversary March in 2015. The first one will be installed in October at St. Jude; the second one after the first of the year on Mobile Street.
This is part of a larger $1.5 million dollar trail improvement project.