Mother and Child

Title: Mother and Child

Creator: James McDermid, Rev. Walter Madej

Region: Utica

Date: 2001

Medium: granite

Technique: carving

Dimensions: 5 feet 6 inches (height) x 4 feet (width) x 4 feet (depth), 4000 pounds (weight) (approximately)

Description: In 2000, sculptors James McDermid and Rev. Walter Madej were asked to create a sculpture for a new park. Community members had received grants to develop this park at the corner of James and Oneida Streets in Utica. The dedication of the sculpture would accompany the opening of a new housing development in the area. A nearby quarry donated a 4000 pound block of granite, and the artists set to work at Madej's church in New York Mills, carving through the winter. They started with the idea of family. The intended location had been a site of past crime, and in contrast they wanted to emphasize the uplifting forces in the community. Both artists work improvisationally, and they let the figures of mother and child unfold throughout the process. McDermid recalls how memories of his own mother influenced his work, but then shaped a more universal image of a loving embrace. As the weather warmed, they were able to transport the granite and continue working in the park itself. Their work was then strongly affected by their connection with the community members who stopped to talk as they passed by. In response, they added a second sculpture of a Father and Child (discussed on the next page). The park and the two sculptures were dedicated on September 15, 2001.

Inscription: "This Park is Dedicated to / the Memory of / Dr. Robert Talley / Physician, Scientist, Friend / and Community Leader / Saturday, September 15, 2001 / Genesee-Oneida Housing Opportunities, Inc." (on a plaque nearby)

Subject: Public art, Outdoor sculpture, Mother and child

Rights: © James McDermid and Reverend Walter Madej 2001

(In Copyright,

Related Works: AO-00091

ID#: AO-00092

Location: Park at the corner of James and Oneida Street, Utica