In Phase 2, local St. Paul artist, Seitu Jones, will lead the Memorial design based on a set of criteria determined by the Memorial Steering Committee. Seitu’s vision for the project is one of community involvement and honoring Gordon Parks’ legacy:
“Like a conductor, I want to collaborate with a composer and create a concerto — that concerto will be the Gordon Parks Memorial. The players, the band members, include emerging artists from this community. The composer will be a nationally recognized artist selected from a list of about seven top talents.
At this time in my life, part of my mission is to pass on knowledge, skills and values that have sustained me my whole life. Working in concert with In The Footsteps of Gordon Parks, and in a small way, walking in Gordon’s footsteps myself, I’m committed to involving young people of color and bringing his spirit to life.
I suggest that we think about this project holistically and include some of the ‘band’ in the process from where we are right now, through the planning, design and construction, fabrication and installation of the memorial space at Landmark Plaza. The way this team might be involved or interact with the community during the entire course of the 2-3 years that would include temporary interventions at the site, lectures, workshops and performances, that tie into the development of the project and keep the effort visible through completion.”
Lead artist, Gordon Parks Memorial
During this phase, Seitu (and team) will begin to produce a preliminary design for the Gordon Parks Memorial. The artist will be encouraged to engage the community in the development of the memorial concept, and several steps of the process will be documented.
The Memorial Steering Committee will meet with Seitu at select milestones. Once the design has been approved, it will be forwarded to St. Paul Parks staff for analysis and vetting through a series of community meetings.
During this phase, Seitu and his team will also begin programming the space in Landmark Plaza, so stayed tuned to this website for announcements about how you can get involved!