Unwavering Courage in the Pursuit of Freedom

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Client: Mayor's Cultural Affairs Office

Location: Wilmington, DE, United States

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $220,000

Project Team

Artist

Mario Chiodo

Chiodo Art Development

Client

Tina Betz

Mayor's Office, Wilmington, DE

Overview

Wilmington, Delaware was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the Mayor's Office requested that a sculpture that honored that history be designed for the Riverfront Park. I was chosen as a finalist for this commission and submitted a model to the Mayor's Office. They enthusiastically accepted the design with no changes.

Goals

Unwavering Courage in the Pursuit of Freedom is a 360 degree storytelling monument that includes Harriet Tubman carrying a child which she had drugged to stay quiet, two refugees following Tubman slipping and sliding in the snow, and Thomas Garrett, the Wilmington abolitionist who hid the travelers and gave them supplies such as shoes. It is cast in bronze and is 18' tall.

Process

The Director of Cultural Affairs for the Mayor's Office, Tina Betz, kept in communication with me. I sent her photos of my progress which she approved along the way. The Riverfront Park in Wilmington was already established and had a place for this sculpture. I worked with the City, the developer and their contractor to create a foundation for the sculpture, shipped it to them and they installed it.