Civil Rights sculptures to be unveiled next week in Montgomery
(Source: Jon Cook)
(Source: WSFA 12 News File Video)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March, two steel sculptures honoring voting rights marchers will soon be unveiled. The sculptures were designed by two Montgomery artists who were chosen from a nationwide call by the city's Public Art Commission.
The two pieces, designed by Jon Cook and Barrett Bailey, are made from one piece of steel. They depict a silhouette of marchers holding signs and flags. One mimics the shape of the Edmund Pettus Bridge; the other is the cut-out from that shape. The bigger piece will be placed at the City of St. Jude, the final campsite for marchers back in 1965. The cut-out piece will be placed at the round-about in Cottage Hill, near downtown Montgomery.
Cook and Bailey describe the symbolism behind the look of the individual pieces:
“The one at the City of St. Jude,” said Barrett Bailey, “will be made to look weathered and rusted. It's meant to show the difficulties and struggles the marchers faced. As people make their way closer to the State Capitol, the other one will be shiny. It's meant for people to be able to see their reflection, to see themselves in the footsteps of the marchers.”
“The second one represents something new; the positive future of the city. That's what we hope people see when they walk past or visit the pieces,” Jon Cook added.
The sculptures will be placed and officially unveiled Thursday, March 5th. A mural depicting scenes from the March, which was painted by Montgomery artist Sunny Paulk, will also officially be unveiled that day. The artwork was paid for by grants and private donations, solicited by the Montgomery Public Art Commission.