St. Mary's College of Maryland will host three artists who will present design proposals from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Feb. 12, 13 and 14 for a contemplative memorial to commemorate the lives of enslaved peoples of Southern Maryland.
Presentations, open to the public, by Norman Lee & Shane Allbritton of RE:Site (Feb. 12), The studio of Donna Dobberfuhl (Feb. 13), and Steven Prince (Feb. 14) are the latest in an ongoing effort by the College in designing, A Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland, an effort inspired by archaeological investigations revealing evidence of two separate and distinct slave quarters: one from the eighteenth century; the other from the nineteenth century.
The purpose of the Commemorative is to acknowledge the existence of slavery within the region and remember the resilience of the affected enslaved people.
The memorial project is funded by $500,000 in State of Maryland funds.
The award of the commission is being administered by a selection committee composed of College administration, faculty, staff, students, and members of the community. The committee reviewed and ranked 28 respondents and narrowed the list to eight for interviews before selecting the three aforementioned artists to submit design proposals.
The public is encouraged to attend and there will be an opportunity to provide feedback for each of the artists' presentations.
Iris Ford, associate professor of anthropology and member of the selection committee, encouraged the public to attend: “If you would like an opportunity to revere those who made a way out of no way in the past, and inspire those who will lead the way in the future, please come out and cast your vote for this important county—indeed state—initiative.”
The presentations will be videotaped and the design proposals posted to the College’s website following the presentations, where comments will be collected. The selection committee will consider these comments when making its decision later this month.
The half-acre commemoration site is adjacent to the archaeological site area, along the path from the planned parking area to the in-development Jamie L. Roberts Stadium. This location is about 300 feet southeast of the intersection of College Drive and Mattapany Road.