Mark Avery

Artist Mark Avery uses photographs to help him sculpt the head of the late community leader Marilyn Murphy at his studio on March 19, 2013. Four additional names have been added to the list of bronze busts that will be displayed in downtown Sioux City as part of a diversity project.

SIOUX CITY | The City Council on Monday is expected to approve a memorandum of understanding with the Celebrating Community Foundation and Mark Avery Studios that would advance installation of a tribute to brave Siouxlanders. 

The project would feature 13 bronze busts, created by sculptor Mark Avery, representing residents "who have taken selfless action to help those who have been marginalized in our community." 

Those immortalized as bronze sculptures represented groups including the Hispanic, black, Jewish and Native American communities. 

The council will decide whether to accept donation of the sculptures.

The project is planned for the east side of the Martin Luther King Jr. Transportation Center at the corner of Fifth and Nebraska streets.

A plaque explaining the achievements of the represented individuals would accompany each sculpture, as well as a bar code visitors could scan with their smartphones to access additional information.

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An arch made of multiple steel beams, twisted into various shapes, would accompany the sculptures. The 23-foot tall, 50-foot wide arch would be illuminated at night.

A grassy area on Nebraska Street would allow visitors to sit and enjoy the park’s architecture and sculptures.

Avery and representatives of the Celebrating Community Foundation, as well as council members, said the project goals are not only to raise awareness about dedicated Siouxland residents but also to grow pride in the community and enhance public and private partnerships.

The council first conducted a study session to gain additional information about the project last fall. 

The Celebrating Community Foundation has planned to fund the project through donations and hopes to collect $534,000 through private giving. 

The city would pay for yearly maintenance of the sculptures. 

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