Fort Wayne Public Art Commission Reveals Concept for Downtown Monument Honoring MLK

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The City of Fort Wayne Public Art Commission has selected a pair of sculptors who could create a new downtown monument honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee were selected from numerous submissions by the Public Art Commission on Wednesday afternoon. If approved by City Council, their proposed sculpture will be built on the southeast corner of the Saint Francis University Performing Arts Center parking lot at 420 W. Berry St.

“We are very honored to build this monument to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights leaders of Fort Wayne, Indiana,” Allbritton and Lee said.

The MLK monument will be approximately 15 feet tall and will include quotes from Dr. King’s speech during his visit to Fort Wayne in June 1963.

The artist’s sculpture is titled ‘Pillars of Hope and Justice’, which commemorates Dr. King’s historic visit to Fort Wayne in June 1963. The monument features six pillars arranged in a circular configuration around a stone plaza or in concrete. Each pillar will evoke ancient architectural pillars and growing papyrus reeds, representing Dr. King’s vision of nonviolent resistance. The sculptural steel forms will be water jet cut with words from Dr King’s speech in June 1963.

The pillars should be approximately 15 feet tall and include LED lights installed in the center of each pillar.

The Commission’s recommendation will be forwarded to City Council, which will vote on final approval in December. If approved, the final design and development process is expected to begin in January 2022.

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