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New sculpture highlights history of African-Americans in Iowa

A world-class public art project will be dedicated in the metro on Thursday.

What makes this project so unique is its inspiration from right here in Des Moines.

"A Monumental Journey" honors the legacy of the 12 African-American lawyers who helped shape the legal profession by creating the National Bar Association back in the 1920s.

The sculpture was created by well-known artist Kerry James Marshall. It's designed to resemble two 'talking drums', and its uneven appearance is intended to represent the history of the legal system as a whole.

Those who helped bring the sculpture to life explain why public displays of art are so important.

"We're finding public art that's in our parks, in our infrastructure, on our bridges, in our plazas. And it's not just found in galleries or museums. So it surrounds us. By surrounding us, I think it creates an inspirational environment," says Jessica Rowe, the director of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation.

"A Monumental Journey" will have its official public dedication on Thursday morning at 11:00am.

The sculpture is located in an area known as Hansen Triangle, which is at the corner of Second and Grand in downtown Des Moines.

 


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