It was a mini Loeb reunion at the recent event to announce the 4 finalists of the Memorials for the Future design competition. Marcel Acosta (LF ’01) represented the National Capital Planning Commission, one of the sponsors, and Brent Leggs (LF ’11) and Janet Echelman (LF ’08) were on hand as part of a panel discussion at the National Archives.
The competition was mounted by the National Park Service, the NCPC (Acosta was on the jury), and Van Alen Institute to reimagine how we think about, feel, and experience memorials. The four finalist teams will be working with competition partners to develop site-specific designs that will advance a framework for the design of 21st-century Washington, DC, memorials and provide future memorial sponsors with fresh approaches to commemorating their subject matter.
The Loeb Fellowship and the GSD community have played an instrumental role in helping us think through the issues that ultimately laid the foundation for the Memorials for the Future competition. We presented the initial idea–Equestrian Statues Beware: There's a New General in Town–at the 2010 Loeb alumni reunion to get a sense of how people might react. We asked GSD professor and artist Krzysztof Wodiczko to talk about his work at our first Beyond Granite forum in Washington and he subsequently held a special studio on innovative commemoration. Over the past three years, we've invited Loeb alumni–Brent Leggs, Theaster Gates (LF ’11), Janet Echelman, and Helen Marriage (LF ’13)–to help lead the public discourse at a series of events. Forbes Lipschitz, a recent GSD MLA grad, is the leader of one of our finalist teams, American Wild.
Finally, Jim Stockard's (LF '78 and curator emeritus) interest in the power of the ephemeral (he held a group discussion during the first month of our LF class in 2000, and organized a fall trip to see WaterFire in Providence) has strongly influenced my own thinking; so we have come full circle!
Watch the panel featuring Leggs and Echelman and read more about the finalists.