- Dedication Remarks by the Artist -

Douglas Kornfeld, April 22, 2005

To dedicate this sculpture I would like to begin by quoting my favorite President Abraham Lincoln: He said, at Gettysburg almost 150 years ago, “The world will little note nor long remember what is said here today.” That is ever so true of my remarks today. However, what will be remembered and will last are the Arts. The Arts are that which nourishes our souls today. And; just as importantly, the Arts are the mark our culture will pass on to the future.

In 100 years no one will remember what athletic team won the championship. No one will care what Michael Jackson said or did. And; The television shows that command the attention of millions today will be remembered only by a few tired graduate students in some obscure college anthropology department.

No; in 100 years the works of art that we create today will be the heritage that tells the future who we were, what we were like and most important what we cared about. People looking at this artwork will be able to tell that this neighborhood had a strong African-American presence as shown by the beautiful profile of this woman’s face behind me. They will see a culture that used very modern tools and materials to make its art. They will deduce that we employed artisans of all types who must have co-operated to bring a work of this size to life.

They will see the figures in her mind and know that we communicated with pictures as well as language. They will see the variety of those figures in this upright head and see that we prized thinking that celebrated the diversity of the community, and, at the same time, cherished the uniqueness of the individual. They will see the head sinking into the ground and learn that, at the end of the 20st century, the dogma that insisted we conform in our looks and thoughts, at the beginning of the 21st century was begining to pass away. And lastly, and so importantly, they will see a society that so loved the ideals that this artwork symbolizes that it used some of its precious resources to bring it to its citizens.

On this day April 22, 2005 it is my wish that that citizens of this Great City take possession of this artwork and see it as one tiny but important symbol of how they work and learn, of what they hold dear, and how they see themselves. Thank you all so much for coming. There is no greater honor for me than your coming to see my work and lend your support and best wishes to my efforts.