The Memoria Project is a grassroots initiative to create a national tribute to the victims and survivors of September 11, 2001.
In early 2002, volunteers from Monmouth County, NJ (which lost 146 persons in the terrorist attacks) formed a non-profit group to oversee the creation of a commemorative stone sculpture. Led by artist Stephen Shaheen, the memorialization effort became a process-driven installation involving hundreds of community members and the families of 9/11 victims.
Sculpted on Sandy Hook (Gateway National Recreational Area), the memorial’s centerpiece statues became the hub for dozens of public arts enrichment programs, organized by Shaheen and volunteer instructors. From June through August, as thousands looked on and surviving family members assisted, two 13-foot statues were sculpted from marble blocks donated by Vermont Quarries, Inc. Hundreds of people participated in dozens of free educational events held on-site. From stone carving workshops to sand sculpture contests, clay modeling demos and lectures on Renaissance masters, the fascinating art of sculpture was brought to Monmouth County as the memorial took shape.
After years of planning, The Memoria Project prepares for its final installation this summer. The second phase of the project is currently underway, which involves the engraving of all 2,983 victims' names onto five, immense granite stones. An inauguration is planned for 9/11/11.
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- August 2011