Here are images and text from my new proposal for a Wanda Gag memorial sculpture. I want to communicate Wanda Gag’s focus and freedom with this memorial. I also intend to design an engaging experience for generations of viewers.
My proposal includes 2 bronze sculptures. I propose a life-sized bronze sculpture of Wanda Gag sitting cross-legged on the existing New Ulm Library signage. I submit this informal, eager posture as an expression of Wanda’s independent spirit and artistic intensity. Her bare foot is placed near her notebook as a concise symbolic pairing of her freedom and focus.
Directly in front of Wanda is a cat looking back at her. The cat mirrors Wanda’s curiosity with an eager and inquisitive posture. This is primarily intended to be a work of art depicting Wanda as a creator. She is shown absorbed in her study. As a secondary narrative, the cat serves as a symbol of her most accessible creative contribution. Drawings in her notebook could serve to amplify the cat theme or refer to other highlights in her career.
There are several strategies incorporated in this design to engage an audience. The proposed sculptures would be securely installed directly into the existing concrete signage. This “baseless” approach suggests a closer connection to reality and encourages interaction with the public. I believe that choosing to include a cat in this arrangement is another way to create a monument with widely endearing appeal. Positioning the sculpture on the existing sign puts it in prominent view from street and sidewalk. A Wanda Gag monument in this location would become a daily companion for local Broadway traffic and join New Ulm’s inviting array of attractions for visitors. Naturally, a monument of this type will provide an enduring entry point to Wanda Gag’s legacy that may lead viewers to further investigation.
See my previous work on this project: http://jjjaspersen.com/?s=wanda+gag
Learn more about Wanda Gag: http://wandagaghouse.org/explore/#!/learn/
Her thoughts on internal dialogue: http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/11/wanda-gag-growing-pains-me-myself/
And this from the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/juicy-as-a-pear-wanda-ggs-delectable-books