March 18, 2009

Celebration of Life Statue

I was running down Broad Street yesterday and came across one of my favorite city sculptures: the "Celebration of Life" by Alfred Tibor.
It's depicts Arthur Boke, the first black resident of Franklinton, and Sarah Sullivant, the white woman who raised him. Via Google:
Murphy said she fell in love with a prototype of "Celebration of Life" when she visited Tibor's studio in Whitehall. As an adult student in the music program at Capital University in Bexley, she'd seen Tibor's sculpture "Promise for Life" on the front lawn of Trinity Lutheran Seminary and contacted Tibor to see if he'd be willing to donate a piece to honor Arthur Boke and his adoptive family. Tibor agreed to donate his work, so all funds raised will go toward casting the full-sized statue at a foundry in Athens, Ohio.

The sculptor, 82, lost nearly all of his family members in the Holocaust, was drafted into a German labor battalion at age 20, was captured by the Russians, and survived five years in a Siberian war prisoners' camp. In 1956, Tibor and his wife and brother escaped their native Hungary; Tibor carried their son on his back, and his infant daughter was drugged to keep her from crying and alerting guards as they fled across the border at 2 a.m.

He and Murphy agree that the Sullivants' adoption of Arthur Boke is a love story that needs to be told.

"Alfred said it touched his heart, the story, because he said it was so human," Murphy says. "Sarah [Sullivant] could see, here was a helpless baby, and she nursed him, Arthur, right along with William. It was a great act of love."


Darwin said...

Maybe it's the angle, or maybe it's the style, but the child looks like a seal.

TS said...

Yeah I don't like that angle. It's much better from the front. Couldn't find any better pictures on the 'net.