Having selected the site for the Mother Jones Monument, the City of Chicago is now seeking the RFQs (Request for Qualifications) from artists who wish to submit designs for the monument. The next steps will be for the Advisory Committee to choose an artist and a design, with a goal of dedicating the memorial.
The idea to honour Mother Jones was promoted by the Mother Jones Heritage Project, and the great news is that Irish artists and sculptors can apply. So if you know friends, groups or people who might be interested and qualify, especially those here in Cork (the birthplace of Mary Harris) please do send the link underneath to them.
Closing date is 26th March 2023, all details in the attached link above.
The Chicago Monuments Project (CMP) Advisory Committee and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Projects has decided the statue memorialising Labor icon “Mother” Jones will be placed in Jane Byrne Plaza, in the shadow of Chicago’s historic Water Tower. Jane Byrne (Burke) was the first woman Mayor of Chicago.
Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde, in an effort to court controversy back in 1882 unfairly described the historic water tower as “a castellated monstrosity with pepper-boxes stuck all over it”. Wilde died on the 30th November 1900, thirty years to the day before Mother Jones.
The artwork commission will be $250,000.
According to Rosemary Feurer of the Mother Jones Heritage Project in Chicago,
“Mother Jones organised oppressed and exploited people, including women and children, black and white, native born and immigrant. She fought to end child labor, and campaigned to improve the working conditions for millions of poor people all over America for many decades,”
James Nolan for the Cork Mother Jones Committee stated;
“This competition to find a suitable design for a monument to celebrate Cork born Mary Harris in Chicago represents a fantastic opportunity for Cork artists with a track record to apply to design what will be a landmark public memorial in a major American city.
We are really hoping some Cork artists will get involved in this design due to its huge connection to the rebel spirit of a woman born in our own city. She was the rebel daughter of Cork City, who survived so much tragedy and yet her indomitable spirit prevailed.
The Chicago City Authorities have just recently issued details of the initial requirements needed to participate in the process.”
For further details about Mother Jones, visit https://www.motherjonesmuseum.org/about-us.