Georgia Tech will honor civil rights activist Rosa Parks with a new piece of public art.
The unveiling of the sculpture, “Continuing the Conversation” will be unveiled April 5 in Atlanta coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
A story by Stacy Braukman on the school website, www.gatech.edu, explains the work depicts Parks at 42, the age she helped launch the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, and 92 when she died. They sit across from each other with an empty seat between them, in which people may sit.
Funding is by school supporters Rod and Michelle Adkins.
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Atlanta sculptor Martin Dawe came up with the idea. The story says he and his team began with somewhere between 300-400 pounds of clay. They sculpted it in six weeks and then painted multiple layers of rubber over the clay, making a mold a quarter of an inch thick. The mold was then shipped to a bronze factory in Utah. Since then, Dawe has been working with a quarry in Elberton, Ga., to cut the granite out. He will travel to the foundry to oversee the final stages of production.
Braukman’s report says the Rosa Parks sculpture will be located in Harrison Square near Tech Tower and Cherry Street. The plaza is named for the school’s sixth president Edwin D. Harrison. It was during his tenure in 1961 that Ga. Tech became the first major university in the deep south to desegregate without a court order.