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With the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment approaching and given our need to continue the fight for our rights as women, I feel called to action. I am a sculptor, and clay is my voice. I rolled up my sleeves, put my hands into clay, and listened to the words of the women who came before me to guide my own movement, women like Sojourner Truth who taught me to take a stand, because “Ain’t I a woman?” Women like Susan B. Anthony who spent a night in jail for casting a vote to incite other women to take action. Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton who used her pen to write the words that would become the nineteenth amendment- her own father bemoaned she was “only a woman” and could never be a lawyer. But their work was not done. Nor is mine.
I pick up more clay and form the ripples that connect my hands to the work of the founders of the women’s movement. Sojourner snd Susan and Elizabeth never voted. But they influenced an army of suffragettes who found power in their own voices until the 29th amendment was ratified. I searched for the essence of these women to help us now. I searched in the archive of photos, letters, speeches, correspondence, and friendship. How amazing it must have been to hear the real voices of these women who set in motion a revolution. Their words came alive for me, and their life-size studies emerged. They created a ripple of change, a positive force that still reverberates today. When viewers see this monument, my hope is that they, too, will be inspired to join the effort.
My concept, “Every Word We Utter,” depicts Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a drop of water that forms the ripples of perpetual change. My design was inspired by a letter from Stanton to Lucretia Mott in which she wrote about the power of every gesture in the women’s movement: “Every word we utter, every act we perform, waft unto innumerable circles.”
When a water drop impacts the water it pushes waves outward and then rebounds upward as a smaller daughter droplet that creates a second impact. This concept of a coalescent cascade captures the height and breadth of the suffragists’ work. As Stanton said at the Second Women’s Rights Convention in Rochester, NY, “Woman herself must do this work – for woman alone can understand the height, and the depth, the length and the breadth of her own degradation and woe.”
I believe that Every Word We Utter will inspire young women to take action, make their voices heard and continue the movement to set the world right-side up again.
I know that together we can get the monument Every Word We Utter created and placed in a prominent location before the 100th Anniversary of the 19 Amendment (Nov 2020). I am in contact with groups in Washington D.C regarding a potential site and the process for making a donation. I am moving forward with the enlargement and I am asking for your help to cover the costs.
Creating any sculpture is a process.
Phase 1 Funding Goal
It will require 14 months for me to create the piece in clay. Progress will be documented and shared bringing you into the studio. Once I am finished we make a mold and the costs begin to mount. Funding for Phase 1 will cover the hard costs related to the enlargement and the latex/plaster mold including studio space rental, materials for the sculptureu0026amp;mold and third party contractors. The required funding to get us to this point is $118,000
Phase 2 Funding Goal
Once the mold is made we can begin the lost wax casting process. Wax duplicates will have to be created and then cast into bronze at Madd Castings in Berthoud, Colorado. The funding for Phase 2 will cover the costs of the wax reproduction, bronze casting process, bronze fabrication, and patina application which are all very labor intensive processes that will require 3 months to compete. The majority of the hard costs occur during this phase and are estimated to be $276,000 excluding any payment to me as the artist.
Once the monument is complete we can turn our attention and fundraising to Phase 3 – Delivery and Installation. Installation and site preparation will depend on the site that is selected. Solidifying an appropriate site be done in parallel with the creation and fabrication phases.
The ripples have come under my feet, and my gestures in clay are my contributions to the continued work that we as women need to do. The work is not done. I believe the words of Anthony and Stanton still inspire, for these words were meant for action and indeed, these words became action. Actions became the movement. Let the ripples come under your feet and let them hear Every Word We Utter.
Thank you for your consideration and help