Story, Monrovia Liberia

Story, 2013 – 2014, Bronze sculpture, playground, quilts
Commission, Art in Embassy, U.S. Department of State. 

1c_Story

Bronze casting by New Arts Foundry, Baltimore, MD

Story is a three-part artwork created by Workingman Collective. At its core, the commission considers the relationship of play, learning, and building community across generations, linking the U.S. Embassy and the greater Liberian community.

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Playground created in partnership with the Checago Bright Foundation, Wenneh Town, Kakata

4_Story_Quilt

Quilt created in collaboration with Waste Not Inc. Alice Bracewell, (Sinkor), Quageh, Maude Davis, (Caldwell). (clockwise from upper right): Betty Bracewell, Alice Bracewell, Aletha DeWalt, Peter, Maimia Bracewell, Tom, Tezee Davis.             Also Please Read “Beyond Ebola: Interwoven Histories of Liberia and the United States” by Stephanie Beck Cohen.

On the U.S. Embassy grounds, four cast bronze, oversized school desk chairs populated by the national bird, the Pepper bird, conjure the folktale icon, who according to legend, shrieks each dawn until Father Night releases the people sleeping peacefully under his arms to Father Day so they can go about their daily work. The symbolism of the chairs and Pepper birds carries over into the community in tangible ways. In Wenneh Town, Kakata, Margibi County, Workingman Collective partnered with the Checago Bright Foundation  (a U.S. and Liberia based NGO) to build a playground where children and families from surrounding schools and neighborhoods can gather to socialize and share their similarities and differences through play. In Monrovia, in collaboration with the Quilters Guilds, Waste Not Inc. Alice Bracewell, (Sinkor), Quageh, Maude Davis, (Caldwell), and a team of young women created a visual document of Story in an edition of quilts.

1b_Story     3c_Story_Detail

“…we’ve been getting familiar with Monrovia, shaking hands, listening, digging into all kinds of research, amazed each day, and completely humbled by what we have seen and the Liberians we have met. All in all we are working on an idea that has a presence both inside and outside the embassy walls and weaves together the connective tissue that binds content, goodwill, and a handshake.”

Workingman Collective Field Notes