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Gwendolyn Brooks sculpture Honoring the life of Gwendolyn Brooks

Margot has created first sculpture in a Chicago park of an African American woman, only the second sculpture of any woman in the parks.

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, in partnership with the Chicago Park District, the Poetry Foundation, and Brooks Permissions, has installed the memorial in Gwendolyn Brooks Park. The larger-than-life bronze portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks, a porch modeled after the poet’s childhood writing spot, a stepping stone path etched with memorable Annie Allen quotations, and a stone circle symbolic of her enlarged world post-literary acclaim celebrate Brooks' life and achievements.

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame has been awarded a Chicago Community Trust Acting Up grant to help fund its proposed “From the Porch of Gwendolyn Brooks” program.

 

Brooks sculpture in kiln


The installation dedication ceremony

The Chicago Park District awarded the CLHOF a $2,000 grant and other support to help stage the unveiling on June 7, 2018, which would have been Brooks’ 101st birthday.

Margot McMahon Brooks installation

  Margot deivering an address honoring Gwendolyn Brooks

  The installation: porch, poetry stones, sculpture, plaque, and sitting stones in a circle representing Brooks' wide recognition

Poems posted on porch   Don Evans speaking   Unveiling
Poems posted on the porch: neighborhood children are encouraged to use the space in a variety of ways.   Don Evans of the
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
Photo by Don Seeley

  Cynthia Walls and Gwendolyn Brooks' daughter Nora Brooks Blakely unveil the sculpture.

Brooks daughter smiling and applauding   Angela Jackson   Haki Madhubuti and other attendants
Nora Brooks at the church ceremony.
Photo by Don Seeley
  Poet Angela Jackson reads Brooks' spoetry at the ceremony continuing in the nearby Kenwood United Church of Christ.

  Poet Haki Madhubuti is among the friends of Gwendolyn Brooks attending the event.
The crowd at the dedication ceremony in the Kenwood United Church of Christ

Photo by Don Seeley



Margot has shared her process for developing the installation to encourage needed contributions.

Video about Gwendolyn Brooks sculpture installationThe community warmly welcomed the additions to Gwendolyn Brooks Park as evidenced by broad press coverage including:

ABC 7 Chicago
Chicago Sun Times
Chicago Tribune

Moore Women Artists
OakPark.com
MSN.com

The Tribune also included the park in "Bucket List: 20 things to see linked to influential Illinoisians"

Sketch of Brooks installation


Wet clay over armiture   Hands
Margot finishing clay

  Mold making   Wax being melted
The pour   The sculpture   The sculpture with people
         
Brooks installation
 



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