Sponsored by Indivisible Lambertville/New Hope, and created by Alexis Berends, Katie O’Neill and Dolores Dragan, the candlelit gazebo features an image of a silhouetted mother and child designed to recall George Floyd’s cry for his mother at the time of his murder.
“After the Black Lives Matter demonstrations globally, we felt it was important to continue to create awareness locally about the history and damaging effects of systemic racism,” said Katie O’Neill, one of the artists. “The garden was intended to create a space for the community to come to process and reflect as well as provide educational tools for our continued call to action. The doors that accompany the mother and child image are representative of the past and the lives that have been lost as well, as the light of hope for envisioning a more equal and loving path forward together.”
Visitors to the garden can place messages or images on provided rocks to add to the installation. They can also take a copy of the “Say Their Names Pledge” that lists all the black people of color who have died at the hands of law enforcement, according to sponsors. The pledge includes a commitment to be an activist in the fight against systemic racism.
“It feels almost like a sacred space,” said MaryJane Legere, a leader with Indivisible Lambertville/New Hope and liaison to the artists. “I see people just sitting and reading there. It’s very peaceful.”
Berends and O’Neill designed the installation, seeking the assistance of Dragan, who had been Berend’s art teacher many years ago. Dragan is well known for the unique Halloween display she creates on Union Street every year, which has recently included a BLM figure.
The installation will be up until the end of July.