For the last few weeks, all twelve of the sculptures that are going to be installed at American Veterans Park in Nebraska were in danger of becoming a french brown or black patina. These sculptures were all designed to have some color in them and a brown or black patina would have gone against my original designs and diluted the meaning of many of the sculptures. Over several meetings the design committee was split evenly, half of them were for it and the other half were very vocally against it. I was not in these meetings, but last night I was asked to write a letter that explains why I would choose the colored patinas on these military sculptures for a meeting the following day. The committee was going to be absent one person who was pro-color so I needed a miracle.
Below is what I wrote to explain why I wanted color in the sculptures.
Committee members of AVP
I have been aware of the discussions regarding patina choices on the AVP sculptures and I would like to express my thoughts on why various transparent and opaque colors were chosen in the designs compared to a traditional french brown or black patina.
#1 Although each sculpture might have a color that is different than the sculpture it is next to, it is important for each sculpture to be seen independently and not judged on cohesiveness as a group. While the entire design of the park will be viewed as one whole, those individual elements themselves (concrete, granite and bronze) should not be. For example, there are two colors of granite in the park. Is that a bad design? Should ALL of the granite and concrete be one color? I think all of us agree that it should not. Comparitively, by lumping all of the individually designed monuments into a similar color or tone will greatly affect the uniqueness of each individual sculpture. For example, present arms, Marine will look too similar to the present arms, Army. This will take away from the unique 4 generation gap. The color difference on these two sculptures, in my honest opinion, helps people to see the two statues for what they are and invites them to spend more time in the park.
I am aware that having some form of consistent color is the topic of discussion. However, I believe that what would make AVP unique among the other veteran parks is not how much the statues look like each other, but how much individuality and power each one has. People connect with color, so lets use color where we need to to help communicate our message.