News & Updates

Celebrating Community Project: Design Through Sculpture

Siouxland Magazine | Spring 2014 Isuue
by: Jennifer, Beaver

It only takes one person to make a ripple in the ocean of humanity and change the world.  That is the message that Celebrating Community Project, the NAACP, and local artis, Mark Avery, wants to convey through the thirteen bronze busts that will soon rest outside of the Martin Luther King Transportation Center Sioux City. The sculpture park started out as a simple idea to give back to those who shaped the Siouxland Community.  How do you begin to thank these special people?  The answer to that question was to honor the influential community members by casting their busts in bronze.  It is a simple gesture to let everyone know that the honorees displayed made a big impact in our community, and they will never be forgotten.

In order to understand the true meaning of this project and how it evolved, I spoke with Flora Lee, the president of the NAACP, and Mark Avery, a local Siouxland artist.  Ms. Lee gave me the facts about the project and she described to me the process of taking the original idea and turning that idea into a reality; Mr. Avery then explained the stories of the people and the narrative that is to be conveyed through the sculptures, and that is what has remained with me since finishing the interview.  This project isn’t just about making beautiful sculptures to display in our city for all to see; it is about conveying compassion, life, and humanity.

The location of the future bronze sculptures is a very important piece of the message this project sends, as the busts will be displayed within the heart of downtown Sioux City.  You may be wondering, as I did, why is the location so significant?  I believe Mr. Avery explained it perfectly when he said, “The location represents the beginning.  The heart of the city is where the city and the town began.”  Sioux City has developed into a flourishing town with suburbs, shops, restaurants, and everything a town could want.  However, we often forget where it all started.  This is also true for those who are being honored.

Purpose. Passion. Change. Honor.  These four simple words sum up the reason for the bronze sculptures that will be displayed in front of the Martin Luther King Transportation Center.  Those being honored set out in their lives with a purpose.  With their purpose and a passion for that purpose close to their heart they set out on a journey to make a change in the community and even the world.  They may not have know the mark they would leave, but they still worked relentlessly to “be the change.”  Now, years after many of these journeys have come to an end, the honor that these important people deserve has finally come.  Their bronze busts will be displayed for everyone to see.  When people walk past the sculptures, the stories of the honorees may not be known, but one look into the eyes of each person will reveal a passion for humanity, and that speaks volumes.

Although the park is designed to honor thirteen important Siouxland community members, it is also there as a reminder to each and every one of us.  It only takes one stone to make a ripple in the water, and in the same way it only takes one person to make a ripple in the waters of life.  It doesn’t take a high-powered official to change the community, and it doesn’t take a super hero to change the world.  We all have the ability to change the world.

As printed in the Siouxland Magazine’s 2014 issue. Please visit for full article.