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“Breaking the Bronze Ceiling: Monuments to Real Women,” a talk and Q&A with sculptors Vinnie Bagwell & Meredith Bergmann
April 4 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm$10
Artist Meredith Bergmann will speak about her work on the Boston Women’s Memorial and the statue of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and escaped slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth being unveiled in Central Park in New York City in 2020, and some of her other work on themes of human rights and social justice, particularly women’s rights. She will also talk about how she came to appreciate the study of history in researching the subjects of her sculpture commissions. Her work in a variety of genres has helped her focus on the essence of public art: What will be most nourishing and challenging for visitors to see and think about? How can the art inspire change? Vinnie Bagwell will discuss her public-art practice and the nature of the work she creates for public places.
Vinnie Bagwell was born in Yonkers, and raised in the Town of Greenburgh in New York. An alumna of Morgan State University, Vinnie began sculpting in 1993. Her first public artwork, “The First Lady of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald”,”at Yonkers Metro-North/Amtrak train station, is the first sculpture of a contemporary African-American woman to be commissioned by a municipality in the United States. She has won 20 public-art commissions around the US: Presently, Vinnie Bagwell is creating the “Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden”–an urban-heritage, public-art project for Yonkers, a 7’ Sojourner Truth for the Walk Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, and the $1M “Victory Beyond Sims” for Central Park.
Meredith Bergmann has been making sculpture for 40 years that deals with complex themes in an accessible, beautiful, and provocative way. Working within the tradition of narrative sculpture, she draws on her love of the history of art, literature, and mythology to make the past speak to the present. She works both on public monuments and on a private scale, exploring issues of history, race, human rights, disabilities, and the power of poetry and music. Her sculpture has been shown in more than two dozen exhibitions and is in 10 institutional collections. Her largest public commission is the Boston Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay, unveiled in 2003. Her FDR Hope Memorial for New York City’s Roosevelt Island will be unveiled this year, and she is currently sculpting statues of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony that will break the “bronze ceiling” in NYC’s Central Park. Meredith’s articles, essays, reviews, and poems have appeared in many journals, and she has been Production Designer for five feature films.