| Public art as the mirror of public conscience
The Foot soldier’s monument will stand as a universal symbol of the right of life, liberty and happiness for all. The figurative monument tells the history of the struggle to achieve human dignity and equality. It echos truth of the struggle against oppression and it compels all of us to join to hands as human to human in search of a better world.
As we encounter these public monument figures, we see the eternal gestures of yearning for love, justice, equality, and peace. We bend towards the oppressed figures and connect with their suffering for human dignity (and humanity); we hear their silent song of truth, we see in these figures the mirror image of our conscience; it reflects who we are what we value. Such a mirror of conscience lives as light in our consciousness and is the spirit guarding our freedom.
In Kelly Ingram Park, our public park where history was made, they open our eyes wide, so that inequity does not repeat itself, they reach to mend the torn places in our hearts and in society and inspire love and healing in our world today. The enduring legacy of non-violence demonstrates the way to treasure life and to honor the right of life. We see the doves as the symbol of peace and the triumph of love over strife. The spirit of love compels us to reshape our world with kindness and respect, it inspires compassion in all of us to serve each other in our daily work, and to embrace the God-given dignity in each of us as human, it compel the triumph of love with each human being over hatred.
The foot soldiers figurative monument tells a story of ordinary people able to do an extraordinary thing- through courage and determination they achieved desegregation. It inspires all of us in our daily struggle to seek justice and freedom for all. We must honor each diverse culture making up America, and each ethic group that makes up our one nation is a limb of that body, and we are all of one destiny. We must see in the mirror of consciousness that we are created equal, and preserve the hard fought freedoms and values and rights of each of us because it is vital to the destiny of all of our children' future.
Sculptor, Ai Qiu Hopen
Grand prize winner , 2013 National Competition A monument to Foot soldiers monument, for Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama.
269 Morrison Ave, Sutton WV 26601,
Tel: 304 765 5611 e-mail: email@example.com