The 12-foot-tall sculpture, designed by visual artist Cheryl Foster, is made of aluminum and glass, and incorporates imagery designed to portray the strength of Delray’s original African American settlers. The design features a male and female in simple work clothes, springing from a central column, decorated with a variety of West African Adinkra symbols standing for values such as cooperation, adaptability, endurance and love. The male, shown casting a net to capture the bounty of the sea, represents the historical ocean fisherman who fished at sea using small boat crafts. The female holds a sweetgrass basket full of fruits and vegetables, representing the agricultural skills of the early African American community.
The art feature is the result of a call to artists issued by the Community Redevelopment Agency in November 2010. A six-member Selection Committee, consisting of members from the West Atlantic Redevelopment Coalition, the Public Art Advisory Board, and the community at large, narrowed the submittals down to three finalists, who then submitted detailed proposals. In April 2011, the CRA Board of Commissioners selected Foster’s proposal, following the Selection Committee’s recommendation.
The CRA has invested $25,000 in the art feature, which will be placed at the northeast corner of the plaza. Previously, the CRA invested $300,000 in the development of the plaza, which is now owned and operated by the City of Delray Beach. For more information about the art feature, visit the CRA website at http://www.delraycra.org or contact the CRA office at (561) 276-8640. For park rental information, contact the City of Delray Beach Parks & Recreation Department at (561) 243-7252.