Father and Child

Title: Father and Child

Creator: James McDermid, Rev. Walter Madej

Region: Utica

Date: 2001

Medium: limestone

Technique: carving

Dimensions: 6 feet 6 inches (height) x 1 foot 8 inches (width) x 1 foot 4 inches (depth), 2000 pounds (weight) (approximately)

Description: While working on their sculpture at the corner of James and Oneida Streets in Utica, artists James McDermid and Rev. Walter Madej spent a lot of time talking with community members as they passed by. A young man joked with the artists, asking why they didn't make a sculpture that represented him. That got them thinking. Their Mother and Child was symbolic of familial love, but maybe the men and fathers in the neighborhood felt left out. They reached out, and a quarry along Route 20 donated a slab of limestone for them to add a second sculpture to the park. As with the Mother and Child, the figures emerged over time as the artists interacted with the community. That original young man was one of several informal models for the work. Head turned up to the sky, the father's left hand holds his child close to his chest. His right hand forms a fist behind his back, an expression of strength in the face of any challenge. Some passersby had reminded the artists about concerns for crime in the area. However, after watching the artists' process first hand on site, the community truly came to appreciate their work. Since the park was dedicated in 2001, neither sculpture has fallen victim to vandalism, only to the wear and tear of several years exposed to the elements.

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, Father and child

Rights: © James McDermid and Reverend Walter Madej 2001

(In Copyright, http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/)

Related Works: AO-00092

ID#: AO-00091

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