A Monumental Journey
Des Moines, IA
A Monumental Journey, by artist Kerry James Marshall, celebrates the legacy of the African American lawyers who founded the National Bar Association in Des Moines, IA. The shape is inspired by the form of the African talking drums, with one drum stacked upon the other.
Standing 30 feet tall, the sculpture is made of manganese iron spot brick, which has a rich texture and tones of grey with a subtle shine. The radial geometry of the sculpture created unique challenges for clay masonry. Detailed coordination with the design team at substance architecture was important in finding the best solutions for this project. The brick is supported by a steel monument frame structure. Every brick was custom made and hand-cut in order to maintain consistency in this application. The short edges (heads) or the stretched brick have been shaved to follow the circular configuration of the bricks, while the leading edge has been chamfered to smooth the exterior geometry of the sculpture and create interest with shadows and reflection at the bed joints.
Architect Substance Architecture
Contractor Neumann Brothers