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Posts Tagged ‘Hudson River Park

A photo of Hudson River Park taken at sunset.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

In June of 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo established a commission to seek out a design for a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida that had happened earlier that month. Submissions were accepted in October, and on Sunday, June 25th 2017, the winning design was announced

Anthony Goicolea, the victorious designer, was perhaps destined to win it. A Cuban-American who grew up in the south and now shares a Brooklyn home with his husband, he is a part of the communities hit hardest by the shooting, which stands as the deadliest civilian incident of gun violence in the United States.

His design is an arrangement of nine boulders, most of them bisected by thick, polished layers of refractive glass. The glass slices will act as prisms, using any available light to throw rainbows in all directions. The boulders, in their loose circle, will remind visitors to the space of ancient sites, like Stonehenge and burial mounds.

“This monument will serve as a communal space filled with light, color, and hope where the visitors can sit, mourn, love, and remember for years to come,” Giocolea stated. 

The site of the new monument, Hudson River Park, is Giocolea’s home turf. He often runs there. And it is an important place to the LGBT community as well; the Stonewall Inn is only a short walk away.

“It feels like there are certain shapes and patterns that are encoded in our DNA as humans that transcend any particular culture and speak to how we are unified in the larger scheme,” Giocolea added. “I wanted to create a space that feels familiar, even though it is new.”

While the announcement of the winning design was timed to coincide with NYC Pride festivities, there is currently no official date for the completion of the installation.

A photo of a LGBT parade. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stands among the advocates.

Photo credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock

New York City is seeking submissions as we speak for an art installation to memorialize LGBT “victims of hate, intolerance, and violence,” with a nod towards New York’s part in the history of queer activism. The memorial will have its place in Hudson River Park.

“New York has a storied history of being at the forefront of the fight for equal rights and it is essential that we always honor the people who sought to achieve fairness for the LGBT community,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on October 20th in a prepared statement.

This memorial will be one of Cuomo’s own projectshe personally established the LGBT Memorial Commission after the June 12th Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. The Commission will be the ones to review and select a shortlist of designs, and Cuomo will select which one will go forward.

Cuomo’s commission is hearteningit features representatives from LGBT activist groups and LGBT health groups, CEOs of nonprofits for women and minorities, and the commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Cuomo’s record on behalf of his LGBT constituents show that this memorial is more than an empty gesture. It was under his hand that New York passed its Marriage Equality Act in 2011, and in 2015, Cuomo signed into law regulations protecting transgender individuals in their jobs, their homes, and in business. He has also made a political commitment to making New York the first state to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, ban conversion therapy, and ensure equal rights to insurance and health care for trans individuals.

Whichever artist is chosen (and anyone from the state is welcome to submit) will have access to a budget of $800,000 to design, fabricate, install, and promote the memorial. Hopeful applicants have until November 21st to apply. A decision will be reached in December.