The Boys of Dozier Memorial, Florida School for Boys, Marianna, Florida - CODAworx

The Boys of Dozier Memorial, Florida School for Boys, Marianna, Florida

Client: State of Florida

Location: Tallahassee , FL, United States

Completion date: 2023

Artwork budget: $500,000

Project Team


Nicole Castelluccio

Franco Fine Art Studio

Bronze Castings

Tony and Shelby Workman

Art Castings of Colorado


I was commissioned by the State of Florida to create two memorials honoring The Boys of Dozier School, otherwise known as Florida State Reform School. Throughout the 111-year history the reform school gained a reputation for abuse, beatings, rapes and murders.

In an open competition, my entries were awarded 1st and 2nd place commissions consisting of two separate memorials. The first was installed at the Dozier School Site (where the atrocities occurred). The second commission will be installed in the latter part of 2024 in the Capital Plaza in Tallahassee Fla, when the site is ready.( the sculptures are completed) I also designed 55 grave markers installed at the schools cemetery. The total commission for the two projects and the grave markers was $500,00.00


My goal from the onset was to report the story honestly .


I interviewed many of the surviving victims who are now old men. Their accounts of what happened were very graphic and all rang true.

How these atrocities affected their lives inspired me to include "Joe" in the Capital Plaza project (included is a sneak peek) Joe is looking at the three boys and in an accompanied plaque, says "Hi I'm Joe" Thats me in the middle(referring to the boy who was just beaten. The introduction of "JOE" gave me the opportunity to give a personal account of how his time spent at Dozier ravaged his life, the psychological damage, unable to form lasting bonds with people, substance abuse and the problems that ensued.

Additional Information

I believe I was chosen for this memorial because intention was simply to tell the story of what happened, without sugar coating or a gimmicky design. I left my ego at the door and reported what I saw and the stories I heard from the surviving victims. The Dozier school project is a vignette, There are two groups of boys, 3 boys are leaving the scene and 4 boys are waiting their turns to be beaten. Also included is a doorway to symbolize the entrance. Behind it is a bed (used as a whipping station (as the boys were made to lay on the bed and hold the bars-if they let go the beating would start over)and a noisy industrial fan, used to drown out the screams. In the photos I included a sneak peek of the Dozier Capital Plaza project- to be unveiled end of 2024