Chiodo to Design Freedmen's Cemetery Sculpture

Artist awarded commission for $350,000 sculpture, which is scheduled to be completed in spring 2013.

The Public Art Committee has selected sculptor Mario Chiodo’s design proposal for the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial.

The cemetery is currently under construction with completion scheduled for spring 2013.

The memorial, including Chiodo’s sculpture, “will be a sacred site dedicated to honoring the people of African descent who were buried in the cemetery during and immediately following the Civil War,” according to city documents.

The $350,000 budget for the project includes the design, fabrication, materials, insurance, delivery, installation, travel and any other incidental costs associated with the sculpture.

The budget stems from funding provided by the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Settlement agreement. The funding is 100 percent state and federal with no city matching funds.

Maintenance funds, which are expected to be $50,000 annually, will come from the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ operating budget.

On Aug. 12, the Public Art Committee reviewed the selection panel’s recommendation to choose artist Ed Dwight for the project. The committee ultimately did not support that recommendation, ruling that the artist failed to comply with the “request for qualification” requirements. The committee then recommended the commission be awarded to Chiodo.


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