City of Alexandria, VA
Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial
Four artists/artist teams have been selected as finalists for the Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial. Congratulations to:
Team of Jennifer Andrews & Gregg LeFevre, New York City, NY
A Public Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 21, 7pm - 9pm at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. The proposals are now on display as follows and public comments are invited.
You may record your comments in the notebook provided at the display location, or e-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. When submitting via e-mail, please put "Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial Comment" in the subject line and include your zip code and how you heard about the display. We are interested in knowing which proposal is your favorite and why. Please feel free to comment on the other proposals as well.
The Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial Selection Panel and Stakeholder Advisory Group reviewed 59 sumissions, from the United States and abroad, received as a result of the Request for Qualifications. Four artists/artist teams were selected as the top candidates among a field of highly talented and experienced artists. On April 2, 2011, the artists presented their proposals to the Selection Panel. That evening, a public "Meet the Artist" reception was held at the Charles Houston Recreation Center which attracted more than 60 people. Attendees had an opportunity to view the proposals and ask questions of the artists.
The City of Alexandria, Virginia seeks to commission public art for the new Charles Houston Recreation Center. The process will be managed by the Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts Public Art Committee. The City will conduct the search for qualified applicants through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The art will be paid for by private donations. The purpose of the project is to honor and memorialize Charles Houston and to recognize the historical importance of the former Parker-Gray High School, Alexandria’s first African-American high school.
Charles Hamilton Houston was a nationally-known civil rights leader and NAACP attorney who fought for equality in public education. He became involved with Alexandria when, in 1941, a group of concerned citizens began to petition for a new school and eventually appealed to the NAACP for assistance. Houston took on this challenge and used his knowledge and influence to aid the community in their fight. Their efforts were successful and a new Parker-Gray High School was built in 1950.
When Charles Houston passed away one month before the school was dedicated, the community requested that the former Parker-Gray School be renamed the Charles Houston Elementary School in recognition of his important contribution. Years later, the school was demolished and a recreation facility was built that retained the Houston name. This building was later razed to make room for the new, state-of-the-art Charles Houston Recreation Center which opened in February of 2009.
When plans for the new facility began, the community indicated their interest in seeking an appropriate way to not only memorialize Houston and his contributions to Alexandria but to also find a way to preserve the history of the Parker-Gray schools. The project's overarching theme is Education and Civil Rights.
This public art project seeks to:
Appointed by the Mayor, the Selection Panel’s role is to conduct a public art competition, review proposals and, with input from the Stakeholders Advisory Group and the public, select a final design.
Mary Cook, Torpedo Factory Artist Association
Stakeholders Advisory Group
Appointed by the City Manager, the Stakeholders Advisory Group’s role is to provide oversight to the competition and input on the design, as well as to sponsor community outreach opportunities.
Rebecca Adams, Public Art Committee, Alexandria Commission for the Arts
Fund Raising Committee