Semifinalists to unveil 8/4 Memorial design proposals next week

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Five artist teams are preparing to present their proposed designs 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 later this summer.

Artist presentations will be held at the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch, 215 E. Third St., on Tuesday, May 23 and Wednesday, May 24. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, May 23

2-2:45 p.m. Terry Welker, Jes McMillan and Sierra Leone based in Dayton.

3-3:45 p.m. James Dinh based in Los Angeles; Amy Deal and Landon Crowell based in Dayton.

4-4:45 p.m. Jon Barlow Hudson based in Yellow Springs.

Wednesday, May 24

2-2:45 p.m. Shane Albritton and Norman Lee based in Houston.

3-3:45 p.m. Stephen Canneto and Judith Spater based in Columbus; Mike Ruestchle and Tyler Rogan of Dayton.

Starting Monday, June 5, videos of each proposal will be available on Following that date, community members are also invited to share feedback about the presentations on

“We are eager to see what the semifinalists have envisioned for the 8/4 Memorial project,” said Eva Buttacavoli, executive director of The Contemporary Dayton in a news release. “These artist teams were selected by a panel of experts and we know they have been working diligently over the past few months to create impactful designs.”

Starting Monday, June 5, members of the public are encouraged to review design proposals and share their feedback and comments through an online portal at The 8/4 Memorial Selection Committee will take all public feedback into consideration before making their final design selection in late June with the goal of announcing the winner by Aug. 4.

The winning artist team will receive $200,000 to create the public art memorial. The goal of the 8/4 Memorial Committee is to unveil the finished work by Aug. 4, 2024. The completed memorial will be located in the plaza adjacent to the Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.

For more information about the 8/4 Memorial Committee and the 8/4 Memorial, contact co-chairs Sandy Gudorf (email or call 937-224-1518) and Sandy Hunt (email or call 937-225-6262). For more information about the RFP process, contact Cydnie King, curatorial assistant at The Contemporary Dayton ( or call 937-224-3882).

Here’s a closer look at the artist presentation timeline and bios provided by the 8/4 Memorial Commitee.

5/23 2-2:45 p.m. Terry Welker, Jes McMillan & Sierra Leone based in Dayton

“We are bringing this unique team of artists together as equal partners with specific skills and diverse viewpoints to achieve an outcome better than any of us could accomplish on our own.” All three of this team’s artists are accomplished public artists in their own mediums.

5/23 3-3:45 p.m. James Dinh based in Los Angeles; Amy Deal and Landon Crowell based in Dayton

“For the August 4th memorial project, we envision a contemplative space where people of all backgrounds and abilities will feel welcomed to be alone or gather; a place that will commemorate the victims of the mass shooting by honoring their lives; a community room that will inspire hope, unity, and healing.” Team members have worked on several local public art projects including the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Memorial, the “Love Dove” mural, and the 900 linear foot mural at RiverScape MetroPark.

5/23 4-4:45 p.m. Jon Barlow Hudson based in Yellow Springs

“I always thoroughly research a given project and create a sculpture or project that speaks to the pertinent characteristics of the situation, whether cultural, environmental or architectural. I am happy to work with the community as much as possible, getting inspiration from the community; including members in the making to the extent possible, relative to the techniques utilized.” Hudson has been creating large-scale sculpture projects for public environments since 1976 in 27 different countries.

5/24 2-2:45 p.m. Shane Albritton and Norman Lee based in Houston

“For the 8/4 Memorial, we seek to create a memorial that provides a contemplative, healing, and uplifting space for survivors and families dealing with the trauma of gun violence. Gun violence is something that affects our team personally, and this would be a deeply meaningful project for us.” Shane and Norman often engage the community as part of the creative process through workshops, interviews, and oral histories. The team has extensive experience with projects ranging from $200,000 to over $1 million and was named a finalist in the World Trade Center Memorial Competition.

5/24 3-3:35 p.m. Stephen Canneto and Judith Spater based in Columbus; Mike Ruestchle and Tyler Rogan of Dayton

“Our commitment to this project is deepened by our team members’ personal connections to the victims, to Dayton, and through the creation of memorials to victims of violence.” The team’s history includes creating memorials, public art, architecture, and art as well as designing and implementing U.S. DOJ funded programs for at-risk and incarcerated youth. Canneto Studios is an established design/ build public art studio whose past public art project budgets ranged from $20,000 to $850,000.

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