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Task force seeks artist to create John Lewis memorial in the Decatur Square

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Task force seeks artist to create John Lewis memorial in the Decatur Square

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. John Lewis talks about education and his namesake schooL. An Atlanta school, John Lewis Invictus Academy, has been named after the longtime congressman and civil-rights icon. BRYN MCCARTHY / WABE

Decatur, GA — The John Lewis Commemorative Task Force is looking for an artist to create the John Lewis memorial in the Decatur Square.

The memorial will inhabit the space previously occupied by a Confederate monument that was a removed in June.

On Jan. 26, DeKalb County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to memorialize the late Congressman John Lewis who served the 5th district for 33 years. Lewis died in July after a battle with cancer at age 80.

A Civil Right activist, Lewis is known for marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in March 1965 with storied politician Hosea L. Williams. It’s the famous image from Bloody Sunday of young John Lewis donning a trench coat and backpack that is being considered for a statue in Decatur.

The county has issued a request for vendor qualifications to find the artist who will lead the project.

“The artist shall create a statue, sculpture or other permanent artistic piece that reflects the values and impact of Congressman Lewis’s life and work,” the request for qualifications says. “The artwork is intended to be a permanent installation that will withstand an outdoor setting.”

A task force formed by Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson and Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett in August asked the committee take six months to make a recommendation on how best to honor the life and work of Lewis.

The Task Force will be evaluating the applicants.

“The Task Force is seeking applicants with demonstrated artistic ability to create public artwork for a permanent, outdoor installation that responds to our purpose and intent of honoring the legacy of Congressman John Lewis,” the request for qualifications says. “Portfolios should demonstrate previous works and submissions should include concepts of the proposed work and an explanation of how the proposed work responds to the goal to honor Congressman Lewis. Experience with projects of a similar scale and scope, such as permanent outdoor installations in public spaces is required. All applicants, regardless of race, sex, religion, nationality, origin or disability will be considered.”

Questions or request for clarifications about the request for qualifications are due by Feb. 17. Qualifications are due no later than 5 p.m. on March 3.

To review the request for vendor qualifications, click here.

Writer Logan C. Ritchie contributed to this story. 

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