Oregon District 8/4 Memorial semifinalist: Bearing Witness by Team Canneto

Designs from five artist teams are semifinalists for the 8/4 Memorial in tribute to the victims of the Oregon District tragedy that occurred August 4, 2019.

The five semifinalists were selected by a local panel of jurors after 39 artist teams submitted RFQs in a national call for entries in late 2022. The same panel of jurors will select a final design by Aug. 4.

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The completed memorial will be located in the plaza adjacent to the Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.

Here’s what you should know about the semifinalist Bearing Witness, in the words of the artists.

Bearing Witness

Team Members: Stephen Canneto, Judith Spater, Tyler Rogan, and Mike & Mark Ruetschle

Bearing Witness sets the stage for experience, understanding and action. The Trolley Stop Memorial Plaza becomes a place where something happens within the viewer. Our vision for Bearing Witness is that this memorial is for, about, and of the community impacted by the events of Aug. 4, 2019. The involvement of the community is foremost in the development of Bearing Witness.

Bearing Witness — The 8/4 Memorial is composed of nine individual stelae, a Commemorative Tableau, Community Engagement, a Dynamic QR Code and an Affirmation Garden. Each of the nine victims is memorialized by a stela of black granite and dichroic glass. The stelae heights vary from 5 feet, 6 inches to 6 feet, 6 inches to symbolize individuals. The stelae’s placement on the plaza symbolizes the random area over which the victims fell.

Each victim’s name is etched on their stela’s dichroic glass finial. Their age, dates of birth and death are etched in the polished stone. The stelae’s dichroic glass crowns sparkle with natural light by day and internal LED lights at night. Seeing ourselves reflected in the polished granite and glass, we become an interactive, living part of the memorial.

The memorial’s commemorative tableau will be informed and created in collaboration with those impacted by the event. Volunteer participants will include family and friends of victims, survivors, first responders, Oregon District community members, business owners and employees, and students of Stivers School for the Arts.