A New Sculpture Added to Entrance of Federal Hill

| December 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

A new sculpture was installed this month at Robert Baker Park located at the southeast corner of Light St. and Key Hwy. The sculpture sits just above the brick ‘Federal Hill’ sign.

The steel sculpture created by Baltimore artist Sam Christian Holmes is 14 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide. Holmes provided SouthBMore.com the following description about the piece:

In the Garden, Woman and Man. Robert Baker Park Baltimore, Maryland tells the tale of the union of Woman and Man in a Garden of Eden. Their spiritual presence is represented by a Mermaid adorned with basket boat above her head in the case of the woman and a crowned king for man. She is regal, busted and reaching up. He is strong erect, with a chest filled with the four corners of the universe connecting him to the universal father. In between them is a centered sacred heart surrounded by a starburst shield. She is flanked by her guardian female spirit often represented by the African saint Yemenja. The male is flanked by a shield with a fedora center.

My works are born out of an iconography in respect for the blacksmithing traditions associated with the African diaspora. The language of the wrought iron gate/fence was during a creolization of the captive craftsman caught in the slave trade and West African bronze workers. They created images long associated with the religious practices found throughout the African harbors of export. You can find these Africanisms along the Middle Passage, from places like Brazil, throughout the Caribbean, up to the American south and even the Bronx and Brooklyn. My marks reflect that history while exploring my own personal narratives.

The sculpture project, which has been in the works for a couple of years, was spearheaded by Federal Hill residents Jessica Damen and Margaret McCarthy. It had the support of the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association (FHNA), which was shown preliminary renderings of the piece.

Some bushes had to be removed to clear space for the sculpture. The sculpture was installed by LandArt Associates.

The $28,000 project was funded by a $22,000 Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) Transformative Art Prize grant and a $3,000 donation from FHNA. For the remaining $3,000, FHNA launched a GoFundMe campaign that has currently raised $925.

Since the sculpture sits on public property, it has to be donated back to the City of Baltimore.

FHNA is planning a ceremony to officially dedicate the sculpture in January.

On the southern end of the South Baltimore Peninsula, the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association (SBNA) will begin construction in the coming weeks on a new ‘South Baltimore’ sign at the northeast corner of S. Hanover St. and Wells St. It is expected to be completed in February.

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