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Semi-Finalist Concepts Unveiled for Lex250 Monument Project

LEXINGTON — The semi-finalists have been unveiled in the national search for an artist to build the Lex250 Monument, a key feature of Lex250: the 250th Anniversary celebration of the Battle of Lexington in 1775.

The Semiquincentennial Commission (Lex250), a committee of the Town of Lexington, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (“MAPC”), an official partner of the project, unveiled the four semi-finalists on Wednesday evening in an event held in the Estabrook Auditorium inside the Issac Harris Cary Memorial Building in Lexington.

A total of 35 artist teams responded to the Dec. 20, 2023 call for submissions. 

As adopted by a working group last fall, the vision asks artists to consider what the Battle of Lexington means to Americans today; how the town has reflected ideas of liberty throughout time; and, whether/how, the U.S. represents those ideas today.

The values seek a resulting monument that is engaging, timeless, inclusive, interactive, inspirational, and site-specific.

The four finalists are: 

Spark monument concept rendition by Mark Aeling.

“Spark” by Mark Aeling, MGA Sculpture Studio, of Saint Petersburg, FL

Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s renowned phrase “The shot heard round the world,” Spark explores the notion that a solitary spark — a mere flicker of energy — can alter the trajectory of history. “Spark” stands as a monument encapsulating the birth of the American Revolution, symbolizing the precise moment that a spark ignited the flame of democracy and cemented a path that would lead to the creation of the United States of America.

The sculpture would include a so-far blank placard containing text that will be chosen with input from the community. 

Path To Liberty Monument Concept Rendition by Miriam Gusevich

“The Path to Liberty” by Miriam Gusevich, GM2 Studio, of Washington, D.C.

This memorial is an allegorical garden, a sculptural reenactment to convey the bravery and vulnerability of the American patriots when they confronted the overwhelming force of the British Army Regulars.

The installation would create a plaza that recalls the footprint of the Katherine Harrington House that once stood on the site before being torn down in 1971. The plaza would create a public entrance to Belfry Hill, with the design features representing the flag of the Sons of Liberty, with 13 parallel red and white stripes, one for each British colony. Visitors would encounter a vast array of steel pipes in geometric battle formation, which represent the actors in the historic drama. To the south, 250 red steel pipes would represent the British, while to the north there would be 77 blue steel pipes representing the militiamen. The names of the patriots would be engraved on each of the blue pipes, with eight of the pipes being colored silver to represent those killed in action. An open book on the site will tell the stories of the militiamen, and include braille and a QR code linking to information in other languages.

Lex250 Monument concept rendition by Zaq Landserg & Thomas Robinson

“Lex250 Monument” by Zaq Landsberg & Thomas Robinson, Studio North, of New York City, NY

Lansberg and Thomas’ proposal for the “Lex250 Monument” places an interactive rotating cylindrical bronze sculpture within an architectural garden house as a monument. Through artwork engraved in the bronze, the story of April 19, 1775 will be told, as will the stories of other global decolonization movements, struggles for independence, and revolutions that Captain Parker and his men sparked, and that the American Revolution inspired and set into motion.

The garden house will create a space of invitation, shelter, commemoration, and interaction, providing an audience of all ages with an opportunity to connect with the artwork through play, thought, and education. The sculpture would be sited within a landscaped garden of native flowering plants, and would be built with locally-sourced historical materials. 

Reflection monument concept rendition by Jonathon and Saori Ide Russell.

“Reflection” by Jonathan & Saori Ide Russell, Ride Art Studio, of Berkeley, CA

Reflection would be a kinetic sculpture that represents a seed pod with roots spiraling out from under it to get the energy to feed the seed pod and blossoms above. Reflections would sit on a 10 foot diameter circular concrete slab with 77 inlaid circles spiraling toward the center, representing the 77 minutemen coming together for a single cause. They are the roots that give sustenance and energy to the seedpod of ideals above. 

The pillars of the sculpture represent a tree and the expressed ideals of the American Revolution — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Atop the sculpture would be 50 diamonds, representing the 50 states, which move in the wind and represent the fruits of the revolution that sprung from efforts of the minutemen. 

The final selection will be made by a volunteer Selection Panel consisting of community members. 

To view the full video presentation from each of the artists, click here. Community members can also review each of the full project proposals by clicking here

Community members can provide feeback on the proposals by visiting before Wednesday. 

“I want to thank all the artists for their thoughtful and creative submissions, and thank all those who attended the unveiling,” said Commission Chair Suzie Barry.

The final artist will be announced on April 15. They will receive a grant of $250,000 to develop and install their artwork at Belfry Park, across from the Lexington Battle Green.

The award is funded by a generous donation from a member of the Lexington community who has chosen to remain anonymous.