Landscape Architect Lydia Major has outlined a proposal to move a sculpture dedicated to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from its current spot in King Park to a grassy knoll further south in the park.
In Major’s plan, the sculpture would be moved in time for a celebration coinciding with the Aug. 28 dedication ceremonies of the new National Martin Luther King monument in Washington D.C. Landscaping improvements couldn't happen in time for the ceremony, Major said, and would have to wait several months.
Major laid out her proposal late last month to the newly permanent MLK Park Legacy Advisory Council. The park board voted to establish the council's permanency in May, but allotted $32,500 toward the , "Freedom Form No. 2," at the end of last year.
Art Seratoff, a member of the advisory council, expressed disappointment that there weren’t more options to review. Other members stressed the importance of caution when selecting the exact location for the move. Ultimately, the council voted to form a sub-committee, which would have the authority to approve plans.
“You’ve done a huge amount of work, but this is the first time we’ve seen [the design]," Seratoff said to Major. "My understanding was that we were supposed to work together. What were the options? What were the alternatives? We don’t know any of that. I’m a little uneasy about this. We had nothing to do with any of this. I’d like to gain some involvement rather than rubber stamp this thing.”
Roderic Southall, from Obsidian Art Center in South Minneapolis, raised the possibility of bringing the artist of the sculpture, Daniel Johnson, to Minneapolis for the dedication ceremony, in conjunction with an exhibit of his work at The Minnesota African American Cultural Museum. Southall estimated it would cost about $1,500 for Johnson’s airline ticket and hotel. “He flies first class,” he said.