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 from Shane Albritton and Norman Lee, in the words of the artists.
RE:Site: Shane Albritton and Norman Lee
On August 4, 2019, Dayton, Ohio, the “Gem City,” was turned upside down. That day is symbolized as an inverted diamond, suggesting a teardrop gem. The sculptural gem is composed of dichroic glass and features nine facets representing the nine who lost their lives. The memorial design appears as a teardrop making ripples as it falls onto the water’s surface.
At the base of the sculpture, ripple patterns on a circular concrete plaza evoke how the mass shooting reverberated throughout Dayton and the rest of the nation — but also how the nine victims meaningfully made a difference in the lives of their families, friends, and community. The ripple effect also honors the courage and immediate response of law enforcement officers, who arrived on the scene within seconds and ended the attack within a minute of the first shot.
The dichroic glass and multifaceted orientation of the memorial incorporates the viewer’s movement, color, and natural light to create a dynamically changing experience. This also reflects color onto the plaza surface below celebrating the diverse and vibrant community of Dayton.
As artists, we have utilized reflection in our work as a technique to engage viewers as they see themselves reflected in the work. In this way, viewers’ movements become part of their experience of the work itself. This technique is imbued with narrative meaning as visitors see themselves and the Oregon District neighborhood reflected on the surface, with the names of each of the lost etched onto the glass. This gesture creates a unity with those we lost, perpetually connecting past and present in the context of daily life.